Tesla announced major changes to its model lineup Thursday, especially the Model 3, in an effort to shore up sales. Tesla added the revised Standard Range has a 10-percent reduction in range from the Standard Plus model and several normally standard options are disabled to keep the price down. Notably, leasers won't have the option to purchase their auto at the end of the lease as Tesla aims to repurpose them for its future ride-hailing network. Customers who want this version from now on won't be able to get it from Tesla's online ordering menu - they'll have to call or visit a store instead. "We're making these changes to ensure that our online order process is focused exclusively on the three Model 3 variants customers want most", it said.
Tesla unexpectedly delivered a lot of major news this evening, mostly centered around the Tesla Model 3.
To make the auto more affordable, Tesla also announced that it will offer leases on the Model 3. "But now, alongside the announcement that it has yet again reshuffled the Model 3 lineup, essentially killing the "$35,000" Standard Range model and upping prices across the board, Tesla also has announced that it has finally developed a leasing program.
On Twitter, Musk recently confirmed that the goal of the cameras built in above the rear-view mirror of the Model 3 is to record video when owners put their vehicle on Tesla's future network, which he said would compete with Uber and Lyft.
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While Tesla's press release only mentions the Model 3, a quick look through the brand's configurator reveals that the Model S sedan and the Model X crossover are available to lease as well. Several features will be disabled including the auto company's onboard music streaming service, navigation with live traffic visualization, and heated seats.
All Model 3 leases are 36 months, with annual mileage options being 10,000, 12,000, and 15,000 miles.
What just happened? Tesla said that since introducing the Standard and Standard Plus editions last quarter, the premium model has outsold the Standard more than six to one.
Standard customers can upgrade to Standard Plus at any time and Standard Plus customers can downgrade and receive a refund. The minimum deposit is $3,000, but the payment due at signing will vary from $4,199 to $4,584 depending on the variant.