Tesla's $35,000 Model 3 is no longer available for order online. The EV maker announced that it has pulled the Model 3 from the website and is only available for order by telephone or in its stores. To add, the Autopilot driver assist features are now standard across all of its vehicles (except for the $35,000 model), and the price has been adjusted accordingly.
Here's something new Tesla added: leasing. Customers in the US can choose from 10,000, 12,000 and 15,000 mile annual usage options, depending on your driving needs and budget. Tesla did add that customer who leave will not have the option to buy back their vehicles at the end of the term, because “with full autonomy coming in the future via an over-their-air software update, we plan to use those vehicles in the Tesla ride-hailing network,” Tesla wrote.
Tesla is really trying to steer customers away from the $35k Model 3. To prove, the EV maker is software limiting the model to 220 mile range, and software disabling music streaming, navigation and heated seats. If customers want those additions, they will need to upgrade to the $39,500 Standard Plus model by paying the difference. Upon upgrading, those additions will be automatically unlocked via over-the-air update.
Given the popularity of the Standard Plus relative to the Standard, we have made the decision to simplify our production operations to better optimize cost, minimize complexity and streamline operations. As a result, Model 3 Standard will now be a software-limited version of the Standard Plus, and we are taking it off the online ordering menu, which just means that to get it, customers will need to call us or visit any one of the several hundred Tesla stores. Deliveries of Model 3 Standard will begin this weekend.
The long-range, rear-wheel drive Tesla Model 3 will not be available online, either. “We're making these changes to ensure that our online order process is focused exclusively on the three Model 3 variants customers want most,” it said.
Tesla Would “Die”
Tesla's CEO Elon Musk stated that the company would “die” by selling the $35k Model 2 version too soon. The company managed to pull off the cheapest Model 3 version through cost-cutting measures, such as laying off employees and closing stores, but it's not entirely practical for the company. It realized this when it reversed the decision to close the stores and instead raised the prices of the Model 3.