Tesla’s store closures plan could accelerate industry-wide shift online

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In addition, the company is offering firmware upgrades for new and existing customers. Tesla's goal was to debut a Model 3 at that USA starting price, and now it's finally a reality, two years later.

The company also introduced the Model 3 Standard Range Plus, with slightly better figures across the board.

The Tesla Model 3 is now available for order in North America, with the vehicle arriving in more regions soon, including the United Kingdom in the second half of 2019. It's worth noting that while the range and speed look excellent compared to, say, competitors like the Nissan Leaf 2.0, the standard range model does lack some niceties such as power seats. The vehicle's range is 386km.

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For Canadian Tesla fans, the new Rear-Wheel Drive base model with Standard Range is listed on Tesla's website starting at $35,900 CAD, after gas savings ($6,700 CAD) and incentives. Previously, the cheapest Model 3 was $42,900 (around £32,300, AU$60,400). The Long-Range Premium Interior model costs $58,400. But none of them have the cache of the Model 3.

"Customers have to go to the dealership to pick up the auto and there they have the chance to sell a service plan, accessories and the dealership receives the full margin". For example, Quebec residents can get around $8,000 in rebates, while British Columbians can get $5,000. Once there is greater infrastructure for electric vehicles, other customers will feel comfortable buying them, knowing that the infrastructure, like charging stations, is there to support their investment. Then, to make this a bit more confusing, it also changed a feature's name.

The new full self-driving capability (it includes the above and Summon, Autopark, Navigate on Autopilot and future self-driving capabilities) will cost $5,000 before delivery and $7,000 after delivery.

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"With a target of a 900% increase in EV sales over the coming three years across the industry, most other vehicle brands will have to follow Tesla to remain competitive. The difference in Tesla's case is it remains unclear if Tesla can make money on a US$35,000 Model 3".

"We see the switch to online sales as a sign the company has been unsuccessful in reducing the production costs of the Model 3 enough to profitably produce it at a US$35,000 price, and the plan as a "Hail Mary" in the face of a largely exhausted USA demand for higher priced variants".

While Tesla Australia is not able to comment on if any Australian showrooms will remain open, the EV maker does say it will be increasing its commitment to a service system that is focused on same-day, if not same-hour, service, and the guarantee that this service will be available in any country where Tesla EVs are available for sale.

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While demand for the Model 3 was never an issue, numerous folks with outstanding reservations were hoping to get their hands on a $35,000 model. Once trading resumed after hours, Tesla shares were down 4% at $306.80 a share following news of the store closings.

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