Tesla is no longer just a luxury brand, says major auto outlet

One major automotive outlet says Tesla is no longer just a luxury brand, in part due to its unique pricing strategy over the past few years.

In a column shared on Friday, Automotive News Executive Editor Jamie Butters laid out an update to a 2022 piece that had initially called Tesla a luxury brand. Now, he says, the automaker is more than a luxury brand, generally competing in a lower-priced market than back then—and especially as the Model Y seemingly became the world’s best-selling model last year.

In part, Butters notes, the shift from being a luxury brand to a household name comes from Tesla’s price cuts made last year, and as Tesla prepares to produce an ever higher-volume, lower-priced “Model 2” vehhicle next year. While the cuts indicated an interesting shift to a more dynamic pricing strategy, the move to eventually produce an even cheaper electric vehicle (EV) is all according to CEO Elon Musk’s first “Master Plan.”

It’s worth noting that while the Model S and Model X are still considered luxury vehicles, joining the newly-launched Cybertruck at the higher end of the price spectrum, the Model 3 sedan and Model Y SUV are generally competing with vehicles in more affordable segments—though Butters is keen to point out that distinguishing brand segments is not an exact science.

Tesla price cuts push EV market toward affordability with broader influence

In 2022, Tesla’s prices were higher and were competing with companies such as Mercedes-Benz, Aston Martin and Lexus. About a year since Tesla made major price reductions, Butters says the outlet will now instead compare Tesla to companies like Toyota and Ford than to the aforementioned luxury brands.

Tesla price cuts in 2023, current Model Y incentives

Throughout much of the beginning of last year, Tesla launched sweeping price cuts across its lineup, that crucially brought its Model Y price down near the U.S. average car price. The move also sent the emerging EV industry into a frenzy, as many struggled to push as

Over the weekend, Tesla also announced a new wave of Model Y price increases in the U.S. and Europe, with prices set to increase by $1,000 and €2,000, respectively, in the weeks to come. While the Model 3 starts at $31,490 after the federal tax incentive in the U.S., and at €42,990 in Germany, the automaker is currently offering the Model Y at the following prices before prices are increased:

Tesla Model Y in the U.S. (until March 31)

  • Model Y RWD: $36,490 (with federal tax credit, before local credits)
  • Model Y AWD Long Range: $41,490 (with federal tax credit, before local credits)
  • Model Y AWD Performance: $44,990 (with federal tax credit, before local credits)

Tesla Model Y in Germany (until March 22)

  • Model Y RWD: €44,990
  • Model Y AWD Long Range: €52,490
  • Model Y AWD Performance: €58,490

Tesla Master Plan, Part One

Musk penned the first Tesla Master Plan in 2006, with the post laying out a pretty simple objective that fits right in with the automaker’s gradual decrease in pricing as it works toward affordability and EV adoption:

  1. Build sports car
  2. Use that money to build an affordable car
  3. Use that money to build an even more affordable car
  4. While doing above, also provide zero emission electric power generation options

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.

Tesla is no longer just a luxury brand, says major auto outlet


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