Tesla is finally releasing the long-awaited $35,000 Model 3
Tesla is releasing the long-awaited $35,000 version of its Model 3 sedan.
The $35,000 model is now available for order on Tesla’s website. Delivery for the vehicle will take two to four weeks, the site says.
The $35,000 “standard range” trim has a 220-mile range, a maximum speed of 130 mph, and the ability to accelerate from zero to 60 mph in 5.6 seconds.
Tesla has also made available a “standard range plus” trim, which has a 240-mile range, a maximum speed of 140 mph, and the ability to go from zero to 60 mph in 5.3 seconds. Delivery for the “standard range plus” trim will take two weeks or less, the automaker’s site says.
Trading of Tesla shares was paused by Nasdaq at 4:57 pm for about 43 minutes.
Tesla said in a blog post that it would close many of its retail stores and shift sales online, a move that allowed the automaker able to introduce the new Model 3 trims. Tesla will increase investment in its network of service centers.
Customers will have a seven-day or 1,000-mile trial period within which they can return their vehicle for a full refund, Tesla said, an extension of the automaker’s prior three-day trial period.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk presented the Model 3 as the automaker’s entrance into the mass market, saying the vehicle would begin at $35,000 when it was unveiled in March 2016. The Model 3 received over 400,000 preorders, but until Thursday the least expensive version of the vehicle started at $42,000, before federal and state incentives.
Tesla began producing the Model 3 in 2017, but production was subject to significant delays because of what Musk would call excessive automation at the automaker’s assembly plant in Fremont, California, and its battery factory in Sparks, Nevada. Tesla reached a long-delayed goal of building 5,000 Model 3s in one week in June 2018, and met its production guidance for the vehicle during the fourth quarter of 2018.
Musk would frame the Model 3 as a make-or-break moment for Tesla in a 2018 interview with Bloomberg, in which he said the vehicle would be the last product on which the automaker would have to bet its existence.
“I believe Model 3 is the last bet-the-company situation,” he said.
The Model 3 has received positive reviews from automotive critics and topped Consumer Reports’ 2019 owner-satisfaction ranking for cars, but the vehicle has also been subject to reports of quality issues. Consumer Reports retracted its recommendation of the Model 3 as a result of feedback from subscribers, who cited problems with the Model 3’s door handles, loose interior trim and molding, paint defects, and cracked windows.
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