Tesla CEO Elon Musk is (still) not averse to making shock business announcements by Tweet.
In a surprise move, he announced via Twitter Thursday morning (Australian time) that Tesla would be dropping the 75D (75kWh battery) versions of the Model S and Model X.
Last orders for these variants were taken as of noon on Sunday 13th January, Pacific Standard Time. After that, only 100D versions will be available.
Starting on Monday, Tesla will no longer be taking orders for the 75 kWh version of the Model S & X. If you’d like that version, please order by Sunday night at https://t.co/46TXqRJ3C1
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) January 9, 2019
As a consequence, the price of a Model S or X is effectively being increased by around AU$25,000 – potentially pushing some buyers of S or X Teslas into looking at the new Jaguar I Pace EV.
The reasoning behind the changes are hard to guess at, but may be linked to moving the Models S and X into a more premium segment of the market to differentiate them from the Model 3. (Premium versions of the Model 3 currently cost very little less than a base 75D Model S).
A second possible reason is that potential buyers of lower spec 75D Models S or X may be pushed into considering a high spec Model 3 instead at a time when orders for the high spec Model 3 are falling.
Some pundits are surmising this is because the still remaining reservation holders in the US who have not completed their Model 3 orders are waiting for the promised – but yet to be built – $35,000 base version.
A third possible reason proposed is that it is being done to smooth a manufacturing bottleneck at Tesla’s Freemont factory by allowing the reconfiguration of the 75kWh battery manufacturing line, necessitating the temporary dropping of the 75D option. (Potentially to be replaced with a different, and likely better, version later).
Whatever the reasoning, if you did want a 75D Model S or X it’s just too late now, as new orders for fully tailored vehicles closed this weekend (or 7am Monday morning, AEDT time).