"This is something we've been working on since we created the company, from the beginning this has been the goal", said chief executive Elon Musk. In its fourth-quarter shareholder letter, Tesla had said its "optimistic target" was for a "very small" net profit in the first quarter. That had been removed from the options around the time of the all-wheel drive Model 3. For $35,000-before any federal or local tax incentives-you can now order a rear-wheel drive Model 3 Standard Range.
The tweet that raised SEC's hackles was followed by another one, which was seen as a belated attempt to reverse the damage by clarifying that "Meant to say annualized production rate at end of 2019 probably around 500k, ie 10k cars/week". Recall, Musk last May said that selling the minimum cost Model 3 at the time would "cause Tesla to lose money and die".
Sadly, we don't have any idea what he's going to reveal, but you won't have to wait much longer because the announcement will be carried on his Twitter feed after 10pm United Kingdom time this evening.
The Model 3's previous starting price as of yesterday was just a bit over $42,000 so this is good for a seven thousand dollar discount.
To achieve that, Tesla has undertaken several cost-cutting measures in order to remain financially viable while delivering on Musk's promise. There is also a Standard Range Plus model for $2000 extra that has 240 miles of range and additional equipment.
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Coupled with his SEC woes lingering overhead, Mr Musk hasn't exactly lost his investors' confidence, but he hasn't exactly filled them with it, either. The company announced the long-awaited cheaper version of its sedan and said it can afford to drop prices because it's shutting many of its stores worldwide to cut costs.
"While there are still questions that need to be answered around logistics and delivery. we believe this strategic shift was the right move at the right time for Tesla", he wrote in a note.
The new $35k version of the Model 3 will have a top speed of 130 miles per hour (209 km/h) and accelerate from zero to 60 mph in 5.6 seconds, with a range of 220 miles. Others, meanwhile, assumed that Tesla would finally announce the arrival of its long-promised $35,000 Model 3 or, perhaps, some wild new Autopilot-related announcement. "There's no way around it", Musk said.
The Palo Alto, California, company is slashing costs just a few months after paying half of a $40 million settlement of a case that the Securities and Exchange Commission filed against Musk last September after he tweeted that he had lined up financing for a potential buyout for the company. And if you're anxious about not driving a auto before you buy, Tesla allows you to return the vehicle within seven days or 1,000 miles for a full refund. The company went with a more basic interior for the lower-priced vehicle which should be expected.