Tesla's revolutionary '$35k' Model 3 disappears from its website
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When the Tesla Model 3 was revealed on April 1, 2016, it was touted as revolutionary for numerous reasons. And as the entry-level EV endured its 'production bottlenecks' and repair dilemmas, most of those revolutionary elements have been confirmed by buyers and critics alike.
But the one thing that's long hung over the Model 3 is its controversial cost of entry in the US market. At launch, it was said to have a starting price of US$35,000 (before incentives) — placing it at a level where it could be considered a true 'car for the masses'. The model would be lacking some capabilities (it'd be two-wheel drive with a smaller battery and no standard 'Autopilot' capabilities), but nonetheless it helped add to the excitement of the Model 3.
But, it looks like the '$35,000 Tesla' might be dead.
The cheapest Model 3 has vanished from the manufacturer's website. This is where the majority of Tesla sales and orders take place, which makes the disappearance of a model a rather big deal. For the record, the cheapest Model 3 now sits at US$42,900 — dropping to around US$35,000 after America's electric vehicle incentives.
Tesla themselves have yet to issue a statement on what all of this means. What happens now to those who have placed an order for a base-price Model 3? Will markets like New Zealand miss out, too?
The last time the cheapest 'Three' was mentioned in an official capacity by Tesla CEO Elon Musk was in a recent conference call with analysts regarding the company's fourth-quarter performance in 2018. “We expect to introduce the standard range Model 3 sometime during the middle of this year  – it’s a rough, rough guess,” said Musk. “We’re working hard to improve our costs of production, our overhead costs, our fixed costs, just costs in general.”
It's a complicated series of hurdles for Tesla; made even more complicated by the fact that their recent cull of 3,000 employees was, in part, reportedly done to help make the $35,000 Model 3 a viable product.
We'll follow this with interest.