They're more expensive than ever. What gives?
There was a time when Tesla promised a $35,000 Model 3. It was available for a very short period of time, but the most affordable Tesla has steadily seen its price increase not long after it went on sale in mid-2017. Just over the past few months, the Tesla Model 3 and Model Y have each gone up in price and now it's happened yet again.
The least expensive Model 3 now costs $41,190 including a $1,200 destination fee. You can't get a new Model Y now for anything less than $53,190. These are only $500 increases but still, they add up. For example, the Model 3 was $2,500 less back in March.
These price changes are not officially announced but come by way of simple website updates. Tesla no longer has a PR department to issue press releases. That means there's no way we can contact them for follow-up questions or, in this case, an explanation for the constant price boosts.
The most likely reason why - again this is not official - probably stems from the global semiconductor chip shortage. Tesla is not immune to it but has weathered the storm better than most other automakers. Global chip supplies continue to run short and will continue to do so for the rest of the year.
Automakers are going to great lengths to conserve what supplies they have left by devoting them to their most profitable models. In Tesla's case, the Model 3 and Model Y make up the backbone of sales. Idling the assembly lines was not an option. Tesla might have had to pay more per chip to secure a constant supply. Alternatively, the increase happened simply because Tesla is in a position to do so.
Demand remains extremely high for both and increasing the price every few weeks doesn't seem to affect that. Elon Musk has mentioned he'd like to launch a $25,000 model aimed at Chinese consumers, though it's unclear whether America and other regions are part of the plan.