Tesla has told customers via its monthly newsletter that it will hike the base Model S 60 price by $2,000 on November 22nd. The new $68,000 price is still luxury car money, so we doubt the increase will dissuade many potential buyers. However, it gives them even less of a reason to choose the 60 kWh, 215-mile-range Model S, since the 75 kWh Model S 75 is just $6,500 more and has 259 miles of range.
Tesla re-launched the Model S 60 and 60D to boost sales by giving buyers a lower-priced option. The move no doubt had an impact, as Tesla made a profit for the first time in two years last quarter and increased sales by 59 percent over last quarter.
While the lower-priced model may be helping drive sales, another recent Tesla move has likely increased costs. Each vehicle, including the upcoming Model 3, will be manufactured with the eight cameras and 12 sensors needed for fully autonomous self-driving capability. (Prior to that, customers had to order the feature or the hardware wouldn’t be installed.) If buyers don’t pay up to $8,000 to activate autonomous features, the hardware will just sit there doing nothing.