Tesla Streamlines Larger Models, Adjusts Pricing in Bid for Production Simplicity

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky
tesla streamlines larger models adjusts pricing in bid for production simplicity

Hoping to simplify vehicle assembly, Tesla tweaked its online car configurator over the weekend, culling numerous options from both the Model S and X. This translates into a price bump for more-basic models and a few dollars saved on the higher trims, but less choice overall. The Model S ($78,000) and X 75D ($84,000) now cost a grand more and offer improved interiors, but the 100D units cost $500 less than before. Meanwhile, all trims play host to a slimmer options list.

It was an expected move, as the brand has previously limited options to grease the wheels of production. Elon Musk said the company would embrace further streamlining to “simplify the product offerings” last month, but it’s a little surprising how far the company went.

All interiors are now premium grade and default to black. However, Tesla is cutting optional fabric patterns and hues from $3,300 to $1,500. Electrek, which did a complete rundown of the changes, said “Black Textile” is gone from the website but would remain available upon special requests. The 100Ds offer the ability to upgrade from wooden interior trim to carbon fiber but abandon creme as a viable fabric choice. You’ll only be able to have them with black or black-and-white interiors.

The Model S has also lost the rear-facing child seats, 21-inch “Black Arachnid” wheels, and panoramic sunroof. The full glass roof will be the only available topper (so, no roof racks) while the special wheels will become available as an aftermarket accessory, instead of a factory option. However, Electrek says the carbon fiber spoiler will become standard gear for the 100D. A nice gesture but not much of a game changer.

Meanwhile, the Model X loses the option to configure it with 6 seats and a rear center console. Customers can still order it to seat 6 or 7, just without the big toilet bowl cup holders taking up space in the middle of the vehicle. Our best guess is that the change is due to Tesla wanting to maximize utility on the Model X and push more buyers into it. This also might be why it axed the rear-facing seats in the Model S — which was one of its more interesting options.

Electrek presumes Tesla’s choice to equip its more expensive models with premium interiors was made to further differentiate them from the Model 3, but you can’t discount the company’s need for hefty, sustained revenue. It’s why there’s still no base, $35,000 Model 3 in American driveways. Thus far, the compact electric has only been sold only in higher-end guises, though a more affordable variant is expected to (finally) roll out early next year. The Model X and S are also slated for an interior refresh in 2019.

[Image: Tesla Motors]

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6 of 18 comments
  • Speedlaw Speedlaw on Nov 13, 2018

    I enjoy the entertainment of Tesla. As a geek, I'm biased to want them to succeed. I don't have any tesla stocks, would go to Vegas and bet on red or black first....but the Shorty Air Force on Twitter is hysterical, and contrasted with r/Tesla on reddit, second to only r/TheDonald for insane party line thought, it's clear that Elon is either God or PT Barnum/Trump. I thought long about a Tesla for my next one. I drive a lot (gas !) and have a kind place to park with power. The lack of parts scared me...I need like everyone else 99% up time....and with 30K per year, somethings going to bust, probably my fault, but I will still need parts....and the forums talk about problems there. I get the impression that car making is rough, and even for a smart guy with endless money, there are still things Ford knows you don't. Financially, if even 50% of the what the shorts chorus claims, is true, then he's dancing as fast as he can (I'd go 420 too, but not on cam). I respect the challenge, but the on line comments from customers is worse than Cadillac....the bottom of the luxury world.

    • See 3 previous
    • Civicjohn Civicjohn on Nov 14, 2018

      @SCE to AUX Just because they released a catalog doesn’t mean everything is sitting on a shelf ready to ship.

  • Art Vandelay Art Vandelay on Nov 14, 2018

    Good. As an American carmaker I want them to do well and it is good to see them making these sorts of decisions.

  • 3SpeedAutomatic And this too shall pass.....Ford went thru this when the model T was introduced. It took the moving assembly line to make real money. As time progressed, it got refined, eventually moving to the Model A. Same kind of hiccups with fuel injection, 4 speed automatic, Firestone tires, dashboards with no radio knobs, etc, etc, etc. Same thing with EVs. Yep, a fire or two in the parking lot, espresso time at the charging stations, other issues yet to be encountered, just give it time. 🚗🚗🚗
  • Art Vandelay 2025 Camaro and Challenger
  • Mike Beranek Any car whose engine makes less than 300 ft-lbs of torque.
  • Malcolm Mini temporarily halted manual transmission production but brought it back as it was a surprisingly good seller. The downside is that they should have made awd standard with the manual instead of nixing it. Ford said recently that 4dr were 7% manual take rate and I think the two door was 15%.
  • Master Baiter It’s hard to make predictions, especially about the future. It will be interesting to see if demand for Ford’s EVs will match the production capacity they are putting on line.