Tesla is closing most of its stores, will only sell vehicles online

Oscar PerryMar 02, 2019

That something is Tesla's retail stores. It also has a better interior than the Standard Range Model 3 with adjustable seats, better materials and upgraded audio.

Shares of Tesla fell 3.4 percent after hours.

The Model 3 is a low-priced version of Telsla's electric vehicle, available for $US35,000 ($49,300).

This is seen as something of the holy grail for electric vehicle manufacturers since getting standard model electric vehicles into the hands of the general public is seen as a tipping point to creating a sustainable industry. It has a top speed of 130mph and can go from 0 to 60mph in 5.6 seconds.

The $35,000 Model 3 will enter the market that's becoming increasingly crowded. "It is excruciatingly hard to make this vehicle for $35,000 and be financially sustainable".

After being announced in 2016, Tesla's budget-friendly Model 3 is now available to purchase. Tesla's goal was to debut a Model 3 at that US starting price, and now it's finally a reality, two years later.

Rather than a well-publicized announcement, however, Tesla simply re-opened its Model 3 orders at 5 p.m. ET to reveal a new option: a $35,000 standard range vehicle, which tops out at about 220 miles. The company says that the auto has all of the features that earned its longer ranged Model 3's a 5-star safety rating, which the company says "has the lowest probability of injury of any vehicle ever tested by the U.S. Government".

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The Standard Range Plus, which will cost $37,000 (£28,000), features 240 miles of range, a 140mph top speed, and a 0-60mph time of 5.3secs.

The $35,000 price comes with a de-contented interior, meaning that you'll get cloth seats, basic audio system, along with standard maps and navigation.

Another way Tesla was able to bring the price down was by switching exclusively to online sales.

The company also said that in lieu of a showroom, North American customers can order their Tesla Model 3 in about a minute over the phone and enjoy a 7-day or 1,000-mile trial period during which you can return the Model 3 to Tesla for a full refund. "Quite literally, you could buy a Tesla, drive several hundred miles for a weekend road trip with friends and then return it for free", the company said in a blog post.

Finally, Tesla announced two Autopilot self-driving packages for the Model S, Model X, and Model 3.

"We see the switch to online sales as a sign the company has been unsuccessful in reducing the production costs of the Model 3 enough to profitably produce it at a US$35,000 price, and the plan as a "Hail Mary" in the face of a largely exhausted USA demand for higher priced variants".

"Electric vehicles now make up only about 2 per cent of global sales, and while we believe that number is likely to grow, we believe there is an education process that is crucial for new customers around charging, range, and other features that are unique to Tesla that will not be as readily available without the in-store experience".

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