Tesla Model 3 Configurator was revamped on 19 Oct 2018 to add the new Mid Range version but that wasn’t the only change. Tesla also made a change to how the prices are displayed. Instead of the actual price, it now shows the price after potential savings where you select the trim level. The actual price is still there but it’s displayed at the bottom of the page.
In a tweet, Elon emphasized the potential savings. While it is an excellent idea to make it clear what incentives and gas savings buyers might get, displaying the lower price more prominently than the actual price drew some criticism. Here are a few comments I’ve selected:
Screenshot source: /r/teslamotors/
Interestingly, this is not the first time the same issue came up. Here is a quote from 3 years ago which expresses a sad disappointment:
Before this change one could proudly say Tesla Motors’ way of selling directly to the customers was much better than going to your local car hustler and being deceived. Now several of our members are actually ashamed to show the Design studio to people interested in buying a Tesla – as even the lowest, most cheating car hustler in Sweden still states the full price for their cars! (June 9, 2015, Tesla Club Sweden, Open letter to Mr Elon Musk)
This doesn’t look good for Tesla. It sends the wrong message about what kind of company Tesla is. If the intention is to inform buyers about potential savings, that shouldn’t involve making the actual price less visible and displaying a lower price more prominently. This does not create the best customers experience. Therefore it should be changed. In addition, the total price is not actually $45,000 either because the $1,200 Destination & doc fee is missing and needs to be added. In this example, the total price is $46,200.