On Friday night, Tesla is holding a party for staff and select invitees when they deliver the first 30 Model 3s, but the big event might put some buyers in a foul mood. The first thirty models will go to Tesla and SpaceX employees who can test the cars for any unexpected bugs, but interested buyers can watch a livestream of the exciting event. The real question is the actual price for the new car.
What many interested buyers have forgotten is that the initial figure of $35,000 for the electric sedan was only that…a starting point. What nobody really knows is what the end cost will be with any additional features that may or may not feel necessary to improve the vehicle, like autopilot, a glass roof, or dual motors. If the price goes too high, many won’t be able to afford the type of Tesla they wanted.
The first reveal today will show exactly how much a Tesla fan might have to pay for their dream car. Early estimates from industry ‘experts’ believe that an upscale version of the car will probably come in around $42,000 and the fully loaded model could chime in the low $60,000 range. The reality is that the company needs to absolutely try and get its price point as low as possible to tap into the mainstream. Only an affordable model will make Tesla a legitimate player in the mass market – which is what all of Tesla’s investors were betting on when the company went public – some say this launch will either make or break the company.
According to Kelley Blue Book, the average price that for a new vehicle is about $34,000, but this figure includes SUVs and trucks which are priced much higher than an average sedan. Research suggests that an accessible price for a new car is closer to $24,000, which is a chunk of change less than the base Model 3. The base sedan is priced more like an entry-level import from BMW or Mercedes, and, as such, the automaker risks comparison shopping with luxury models from buyers that want more features at the starting price.
While the ‘handover’ party is great publicity, we have to keep in mind that 370,000 people dropped a grand to get in line for the Model 3, but the company is only scheduled to produce 100 cars in August, 1,000 in September, and then hit 20,000 a month by the end of the year. So I really hope the guests stock up on free food and drink because most buyers won’t see their dream car until well in the future.