Tesla cuts vehicle prices in China by as much as $5,000

By Kevin Armstrong
Tesla reduces their prices in China by 5 to 10 percent.
Tesla reduces their prices in China by 5 to 10 percent.
Tesla

Tesla has reversed its most recent price hikes across the board in China — cutting the cost of some models by 5 to 10 percent.

Just last month the company started offering incentives to those who bought Tesla’s insurance. Observers speculate this could signal the beginning of the price war in the country as numerous electric vehicle makers are jousting for the top spot. The implications could be far-reaching as more companies are building EVs, and a recession is looming. Price will be the number one factor for many considering an EV.

Reuters reports Tesla stated, “it was adjusting prices in line with costs. Capacity utilization at its Shanghai Gigafactory has improved, while the supply chain remains stable despite the impact on the economy of China's stringent zero-COVID restrictions, leading to lower costs.” However, the report also claims that retail sales numbers are down, and electric car demand has also slowed.

Interestingly, the slash in prices was reported by The Paper, a Chinese digital newspaper, a month ago. But the media outlet later reported that Tesla China responded to their story, saying “Rumors, false news,” and that customer service “has not received relevant notices.” The drop in prices was remarkably close to the decreases that were rumored a month ago.

There’s been no speculation of a price cut in North America; in fact, the demand remains high with long waiting lists. Elon Musk said during the third quarter earnings call that he doesn’t see that slowing down. He said every vehicle they make would be sold. However, Elon did comment on Twitter back in July of this year saying that Tesla can lower its prices if 'inflation calms down.' We'll have to wait and see if Tesla reduces their prices in any other regions.

However, he did discuss creating a new vehicle that many believe could be the Model 2. This Model is expected to be less expensive, therefore being more competitive with companies who are offering EVs at cheaper prices.

Price Reductions in China

  • Model 3 RWD: reduced by $1,400 USD
  • Model 3 Performance: reduced by $2,500 USD
  • Model Y RWD: reduced by $2,400 USD
  • Model Y Long Range: reduced by $5,100 USD
  • Model Y Performance: reduced by $2,700 USD

While Tesla is the EV giant in North America, and much of the world, it is third place in China. BYD Motor and SAIC-GM-Wuling are the leaders in that country, but Tesla is gaining. The Shanghai factory is producing 22,000 units per week, a jump of nearly 5,000 since June. The company delivered more than 83,000 vehicles last month, the highest output since the factory open in 2019.

China Merchants Bank International (CMBI) told Reuters the price reductions highlight the looming recession and the industry-wide slowdown that is expected in the EV industry in China.  Shi Ji, an analyst with CMBI said, "The price cuts underscore the possible price war, which we have been emphasizing since August." Some Twitter users are posting screenshots of wait lists developing in China just hours after the prices were dropped.

Tesla Chief Designer Says His Favorite Vehicle Is Yet to Come

By Kevin Armstrong
The Tesla Roadster 2.0 could be Tesla's next vehicle to hit production
The Tesla Roadster 2.0 could be Tesla's next vehicle to hit production
Tesla

Tesla's Chief Designer, Franz von Holzhausen, has designed the company's entire fleet of vehicles, but the Model S, 3, X, Y, Cybertruck and Semi are not his favorites. "My favorite one is the one that is coming.

I can't talk about (it)," von Holzhausen told CNBC. He then quickly pivoted the conversation away from that topic. Nevertheless, several rumored vehicles will be the next to carry the "T" logo. So, which one is the creative mind of Tesla referring to in his evasive answer?

Franz von Holzhausen Interview

Let's start with the suspects. A cheaper, smaller and less expensive electric vehicle has been predicted for years. More recently, there have been ideas about a van. And then there is the second generation of the highly anticipated Roadster. While von Holzhausen didn't talk about the next one, he did give some clues later in the interview. "My all-time favorite car is a '62 250 GTO (Ferrari). I mean, it is quintessential. It's an insane car. I'm also a big fan of this kind of wedge era. The early (Lamborghini) Countachs, the whole kind of flat, low sports car. Those were always the posters on my wall."

The Designer Loves Sports Cars

When a 54-year-old man reminisces about the cars featured in posters plastered on his wall when he was a kid, he is not excited about a van or a compact vehicle — no, he is excited about a sports car. The second-generation Roadster was unveiled in 2017 simultaneously with the Semi. But there hasn't been much mention of the sports car since. The company is just now delivering Semis, and Cybertrucks are expected in 2023, but the Roadster doesn't have an ETA. Or does it? The chief designer says, "… the one that is coming." So, we can only assume that the Roadster is next to hit the production line.

Tesla Roadster 2.0

A Designer Who has Changed the Industry

One of the first employees of Tesla back in 2008, von Holzhausen, recalls the early days and how things have changed. "There is a moment that I thought when I first joined Tesla that it would be great to see multiple Teslas in one drive experience around town. And now, it's hard to go anywhere without seeing a bunch of Teslas. So, it's great to see the impact that Tesla has had in people's lives but also how it's changed the industry. It really pushed this idea that an EV can be better than an internal combustion vehicle."

He also gave some insight into designing vehicles that have and continue to change the auto industry, "Tesla isn't beholden to what has been done in the past. We are always trying to push the boundaries and deliver on a promise of something fun, something enjoyable and something you would love to own and tell your friends about."

It looks like The Roadster could be the next fun, enjoyable vehicle to tell everyone about.

Tesla's 2023 Model 3 'revamp' is for cost-cutting, not a redesign

By Lennon Cihak
Tesla's revamping its Model 3 vehicle
Tesla's revamping its Model 3 vehicle
Tesla

Tesla’s gearing up for a small "revamp" of its popular Model 3 vehicle, which is set to go into production in the middle of 2023.

According to Reuters, the revamp is called “Project Highland” and aimed at lowering the production costs and increasing the Model 3’s attractiveness and not because it needs a redesign. The Model 3 was launched back in 2017, and Tesla has already sold well over 1 million of them.

According to our sources, don’t expect a design overhaul of the Model 3, though. Instead, Project Highland will focus on reducing the number of components and complexity of the Model 3’s interior.

The main goal of this Model 3 revamp is to increase manufacturing efficiencies and reduce costs. Tesla would like to get the Long Range and possibly the Performance variants of the Model 3 to qualify for the US tax incentive for 2023. Under this tax credit, manufacturers’ suggested retail price for brand-new sedans must be less than $55,000. For SUVs, trucks and vans, the maximum price is capped at $80,000.

Our previous evaluation of the vehicles that would qualify include the Model 3 RWD, Model Y Long Range (AWD), and Model Y Performance. However, this will likely change once the revamp goes into production.

Do not expect new vehicle features to be added to the Model 3, such as a rear display, air suspension, or ventilated seats. These features would raise the price of the Model 3 and create a significant overlap between the Model 3 and the refreshed Model S.

Yoke Steering Wheel

One new feature that is possible in this Model 3 revamp is the introduction of a yoke steering wheel or more likely, a wheel similar to the Tesla Semi, which has capacitive controls and no stalks. The stalks are replaced with capacitive controls on the steering wheel and touch controls on the vehicle's display. We previously reported on this rumor in August.

Redesign Rumors

A few rumors are floating around online including a redesigned front bumper and removal of door handles in exchange for touchless doors like the Cybertruck and Roadster 2.0, although our source tells us that this is cool, but not accurate.

The revamped Model 3 is likely to remain without its ultrasonic sensors, as Tesla is beginning its transition to its own Tesla Vision. This technology uses the vehicle’s onboard cameras and vast amounts of data from the neural net to function.

Over the past few years, Tesla has made significant efficiencies in the way it builds and manufactures vehicles. Recently, the Model Y switched to a single-mold front casting. This requires 169 fewer pieces and 1,600 fewer welds. To achieve this, Tesla is using its Giga Presses at its Berlin Gigafactory.

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Take a look at features that Elon Musk has said will be coming soon.

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