By on November 13, 2018

Tesla Model S Grey - Image: Tesla

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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18 Comments on “Tesla Streamlines Larger Models, Adjusts Pricing in Bid for Production Simplicity...”

  • avatar

    Gas under 2 bucks a gallon in Oklahoma. (I paid 2.26 here in Indiana).
    We owe it all to those Teslas crushing the oil cartel. Keep it up Musketeers!

  • avatar

    That picture was taken on CA243, just above Banning, CA. One of the best driving roads in Southern California.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    People will tire of the roulette-style pricing and options availability.

    Maybe the new CEO can tame some of the volatility.

  • avatar

    I pity the children riding in those rear-facing seats if the car is in a rear-end crash.

    • 0 avatar

      I looked into those rear-facing seats—having grown up riding tail gunner in a Ford LTD wagon.

      The marketing material said that the crash protection/safety cage is great. I forget the exact phrasing.

      Not willing to risk a life on it though.

  • avatar

    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.

    • 0 avatar

      My take is they fail not so much from lack of knowledge, but excessive hubris.

      The Japanese cribbed kanban from Piggly Wiggly supermarkets in Tennessee, but apparently Musk feels way above using mundane stuff like that.

      He brags about their super flexibility…hardware configuration change on a weekly (daily?) basis.
      So you not only can’t get parts, but good luck even knowing what to order.

    • 0 avatar

      Tesla will have its first bonafide competitor from Porsche next year. Ever since beginning of this year with all the Model 3 problems, I’ve thought Tesla made big mistake not focusing on optimizing and debugging what is their operations money-maker, the Model S. They could get away with it because nobody made anything remotely like a Model S, and there’s obviously market for it.

      That game’s over soon. Talk about deferred maintenance.

  • avatar
    Art Vandelay

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

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