Elon Musk comments on Tesla’s pricing strategy following cuts

Tesla has dropped the prices of its electric vehicles (EVs) and its Full Self-Driving (FSD) software over the past few weeks, reigniting larger discussions about the automaker’s overall pricing strategy. In response to one person criticizing the frequency of Tesla’s price changes, Elon Musk has pointed to the dealership model, noting that most automakers change prices on their vehicles more regularly than consumers may realize.

On Friday, Tesla reduced the price of the Model S, X, and Y by $2,000, after the company cut the price of monthly FSD subscriptions in half earlier this month. On Saturday, Tesla also cut the price of the outright FSD purchase option, to which some consumers and shareholders responded with frustration.

Tesla’s pricing strategy comes down to one key difference from its competitors

Following the news, Omar of Whole Mars Blog noted that he finds Tesla’s pricing strategy incoherent, to which Sawyer Merritt noted that this was one of the rare downsides of the direct-to-consumer sales model, despite the extra pricing transparency.

“I think that if you had a monkey throw shit at a keyboard to come up with a pricing strategy for Tesla it would be more coherent than what we’ve seen,” Omar said on Sunday. “Subscription price will go up once we release FSD. Actually we will cut it. We are raising Model Y prices. Actually now we are lowering them.”

“It’s amusing to follow, but probably confusing to consumers. Should I buy FSD now because the price was cut? Or should I wait for the next FSD price cut and save thousands of dollars?”

In response, Musk noted that the dealership model doesn’t offer the same level of transparency that a direct-to-consumer model offers, with the MSRP on a car often being far from its actual price.

To be sure, last week’s Model S, X, and Y price cuts followed additional price cuts just a few weeks ago, which included the Model 3, and saw some vehicle prices dropping off by as much as $5,000.

Last year, following aggressive price cuts that sent shockwaves through the industry, Musk noted that Tesla would be opting for a high volume of vehicles delivered at slightly lower margins, especially given its future potential for revenue from software and services.

“We’ve taken a view that pushing for higher volumes and a larger fleet is the right choice here versus a lower volume and higher margin,” Musk said during the company’s Q1 2023 earnings call. “However, we expect our vehicles, over time, will be able to generate significant profit through autonomy.”

“So we do believe we’re like laying the groundwork here, and then it’s better to ship a large number of cars at a lower margin, and subsequently, harvest that margin in the future as we perfect autonomy. This is an extremely important point.”

What are your thoughts? Let me know at zach@teslarati.com, find me on X at @zacharyvisconti, or send your tips to us at tips@teslarati.com.

Elon Musk comments on Tesla’s pricing strategy following cuts


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