Published: Sat, April 13, 2019
Markets | By Otis Pena

Tesla Model 3 lease program opens door to future ride-hailing network

Tesla Model 3 lease program opens door to future ride-hailing network

The electric auto maker has removed the $35,000 Model 3 from its website for buyers to order and announced the Standard Range is now a "software-limited" variant of the Standard Plus.

"We think including Autopilot is very important because our data strongly indicates that the chance of an accident is much lower when Autopilot is enabled", the company says.

Tesla is restructuring how it sells the Model 3 since the Standard Plus trim option has been selling on average six times more than the base model auto. For example, Autopilot used to cost $3,000 when added to the $37,500 Model 3 Stand Plus, but now it comes as standard for $39,500.

In today's announcement Elon Musk;s ambitious company say customers are now able to 'lease Model 3 for a small down payment and competitive monthly payments.' Leasing customers can select an annual mileage option of 10,000, 12,000, or 15,000 miles. Leasing options were also provided for the newest Tesla.

It's important to highlight that "customers who choose leasing over owning will not have the option to purchase their auto at the end of the lease". According to Tesla's data, the Standard Plus outsold the $35,000 base vehicle by a ratio of 6:1. Instead, Tesla said it wants to use the cars as part of a future ride-hailing network as it works on self-driving cars. However, without the model listed on the website, Tesla is keeping customers in the dark about its availability.

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Given the popularity of the Standard Plus relative to the Standard, we have made the decision to simplify our production operations to better optimize cost, minimize complexity and streamline operations.

Buyers can still order the cheapest Model 3 via a phone order or at a physical Tesla store.

In responding a follower on Twitter encouraged Tesla owners to buy a product that covers up a camera over the rear-view mirror of their cars, Musk, 47, confirmed for the first time that the objective of the camera was to record video when owners put their auto on the network. It will be a software-limited version of the Standard Plus, with 10-percent lower range, no heated seats, disabled music streaming and other downgrades.

What Tesla failed to mention was that the Standard Range Plus was now open for ordering in several new markets in Europe and China.

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