As if Tesla wasn’t already keeping busy with the Model 3, it’s continuing to juggle around prices and equipment on its existing models. But it’s pretty much good news for fans of lower prices and more stuff in their electric cars.
While Tesla killed the least-expensive Model S in July and therefore raised its starting price by about $ 5,000, it dropped the price of the least expensive Model X this week to $ 79,500 — that’s $ 5,000 more than the equivalent Model S, Electrekreports. This follows a deparate $ 3,000 price cut in April for the base Model S 75D. The Model S 75D, which starts at $ 74,500, is unchanged in this latest shuffle.
“When we launched Model X 75D, it had a low gross margin,” a Tesla spokesperson told Electrek. “As we’ve achieved efficiencies, we are able to lower the price and pass along more value to our customers.”
Other Model S and Model X variants get more standard features now, too, as top-end P100D models of both cars — with the longest ranges and quickest acceleration — receive a Premium Upgrade Package standard (formerly a $ 5,000 option.) This means features such as an upgraded audio system, five heated seats, and a “medical-grade” HEPA filtration system are all included in the $ 140,000 price for the Model S, or $ 145,000 Model X.
As generous as this all sounds, the real reason for the equipment changes appears to be reducing the amount of configurations the two cars come in as the general production of the Model 3 starts up. CEO Elon Musk said Wednesday in the quarterly earnings call he was prepared for an incredibly difficult production ramp-up for the new car, learning lessons from last year’s troubled Model X launch that was hobbled by quality issues. This is one reason the first Model 3s out of the factory will have options that will push the price higher than the stated $ 35,000 starting point.
So Tesla’s not exactly the people’s electric car yet, but at least the company’s quest for production simplification is turning into offering a little more for your money.