It's been a wild time for anyone trying to decide when the best time is to buy a new Tesla.
Keeping up with the fluctuating prices of new Teslas is once again becoming a 24/7 job, with yet another price change over the last month affecting the Model 3 sedan and Model Y crossover in opposite ways.
Whereas the base Model 3 is even more affordable than before, the Model Y Performance's price has increased once more. The base Model 3 with rear-wheel drive now starts at $42,990, $500 less than it was a couple of days ago, and the Model Y Performance will cost $58,990, an increase of $1,000. Other Model 3 and Model Y trims have been unaffected by these changes.
The Tesla pricing debacle started in January when price cuts were initiated across the lineup. In some cases, prices dropped by 20%, with the record-breaking Model S Plaid becoming $21,000 cheaper.
This set off an EV price war that saw Ford drop prices of the Mustang Mach-E by nearly $6,000. Not wanting to lose out, Lucid introduced a $7,500 EV credit for its mid-range Air sedan trims, although unlike Tesla and Ford's price cuts, Lucid's credit is only temporary. Vietnamese automaker VinFast has barely gotten a foothold in the USA but has already introduced its own promotions. Including a price bump for the Model Y Long Range late in January, Tesla has changed prices four times in roughly a month.
Not everyone has jumped on the bandwagon, though. Volkswagen is one such example, as is GM, with both saying they will not follow Tesla's lead with price cuts. It must be said, however, that GM and VW already sell some of the cheapest EVs available in the USA, including the VW ID.4 crossover that starts at under $40,000 and the Chevy Bolt EV that is still great value at $26,500, so they would feel less inclined to drop prices as they aren't only competing in premium segments.
Tesla's price cuts have sent demand skyrocketing beyond production capacity, and Elon Musk previously said that the price of the Model Y was raised slightly in response to that. This could be the reason for the Model Y Performance being more expensive, but the big news is how appealing the Model 3 RWD is compared to earlier this year when it was $4,000 pricier.
The EV maker's ability to respond to market conditions and its own production capabilities almost in real time is undoubtedly unique. Still, the rollercoaster prices will continue to frustrate customers who end up paying more than they should, depending on when they buy a new Tesla.
We wouldn't be surprised if another round of price changes is implemented soon.
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