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What's with this $100k crap?

What's with this $100k crap?

Everything I read or hear about the S says;
"It still faces challenges though, since its Model S sells for about $100,000...". Today's SF Chronicle.
You can drive a basic S-60 for $62,000 after tax rebate and have one of the best cars on the road with little or NO range anxiety. It has everything any car owner could ask for without the "ego" options that bring it to the cost mostly promoted by the media. Many, many people are being mislead by the constant use of this price point and I wish more effort was made to correct the narrative.

Pettifogger.ca.us | March 31, 2014

"... sells for about $100,000 ..." is a fair statement, with the "about". It may even be the average/median selling price of a Model S, with options. I have personal knowledge of a Model S that recently went out the door, with quite a few ego-options, for substantially more than $100,000. That was before the rebate and tax credit, but also before sales tax and registration fees.

Don't fret too much about how the media may or may not be overstating the price of a Model S, as the company still seems to be selling all they can make.

NOLEK SUM | March 31, 2014

It is an $88,988.20 car, before tax. 2013 sales: 22,450 vehicles. 2013 Revenue: $1,997,786. Do the math.

Sales tax will push that over %95 k in many locales.

Tax credit? You may or may not be able to use it, but that is really not part of the argument as it probably is not why people buy the car, and it will go away anyway.

renwo S alset | March 31, 2014

Basic fact, S-60 starts at $62,400 before tax rebate (please go to "buy" at testlmotors.com). Go long, what do you find confusing about that statement?

thranx | March 31, 2014

I have to agree with VIN20353 here. I have a 60 with nearly every option except the HPWC and it priced out at around $83,000 (not including tax & lic.). Nearly everyone I speak with who asks about the price of the car is surprised when I mention it starts at $69k, because all they hear in the media is this drumbeat about the model S being a hundred grand car.

Sure the company is selling everything they can make...now. But why turn off potential future customers with generalized overstated cost estimates? Bad media!

Rocky_H | March 31, 2014

There are kind of two things: (1)What can you pay? (2)What do people usually pay? I had a discussion (semi-argument) with someone on Tesla's Facebook page, where he was complaining about the price, and he said, "It's $100K to get one worth getting." I said that's ridiculous because I was planning to get a fairly base S85, but then decided to add several pricey options, and it still came out to just under $90K upfront price before any tax credit. He indignantly replied with the link to his configuration from the Tesla website. I looked through it, and he had over $10K worth of fancy color/texture/rims/appearance upgrades, plus the $2,250 air suspension, which I don't think are necessities just to get a car "worth getting".

So that does bring up the 1 and 2 points. Average selling price is going to be a lot higher than the base price because for a car in this price bracket, people are planning to get something really nice and exactly what they want. Also, the majority of people who are OK with spending that much for a car are probably in an income category where they don't mind throwing in another 5, 10, 20K for some other fancy options.

carlk | March 31, 2014

I agree with op. Not saying MS is cheap or affordable in any way but the way the sentence was structured does give readers the impression you need to spend around $100K to get the car.

renwo S alset | March 31, 2014

Go long. you really aren't worth it.

Rocky_H | March 31, 2014

@VIN20353, you said, "Basic fact, S-60 starts at $62,400 before tax rebate (please go to "buy" at testlmotors.com). Go long, what do you find confusing about that statement?"

Here's what's so confusing about that statement: it's incorrect. I'm looking at that page right now, and that price is actually AFTER taking the $7,500 tax rebate off. See where it says $63,570 and then in tiny font just below it it says, "Price with $7,500 Federal Tax Credit"? I think that confusion is a little bit purposeful on Tesla's part to try make the price you see look more reasonable. NO WHERE do they ever show you the initial price that you will be paying before that tax credit. You just have to remember to add that $7,500 when you're thinking about the purchase price or the amount you'll have to finance.

renwo S alset | March 31, 2014

Rocky. You are correct and I apologize for the misstatement. However, the basis for my post is still the same, "about $100K isn't even in the horseshoe realm of being close. And yes Pettifogger, they can't keep up with demand, but that also is not my point.

tes-s | March 31, 2014

Why does it really matter?

Cost is $70 to $130k, so what is wrong with saying $100,000 "nicely equipped"?

Pettifogger.ca.us | March 31, 2014

+1 tes-s.

This thread is generating a lot of heat and very little light, and to no apparent point.

lolachampcar | March 31, 2014

Part of it may be related to just about every write up or review the car uses a performance edition. It is not unreasonable to call that car a $100K car.

Has Tesla ever provided a cloth interior 60 with no tech or sound (or pano for that matter) as a press car?

renwo S alset | March 31, 2014

tes-s. I don't think the quote included "nicely equipped".

tes-s | March 31, 2014

Did it include "stripped down"?

renwo S alset | March 31, 2014

tes-s. What part of an S-60 do you find stripped down? No leather? No $6500 wheels? No Tech Package? No Pano? Please list the options you find necessary to make it a "good buy" for the majority of $45,000 car owners?

PK Duluth | March 31, 2014

This is not just a MS issue. As I wait impatiently for my electrician and my delivery date at the end of May, I can tell you that looked at lots of 'dream cars'. Every Youtube or print review would be the same, "Base price 62K, as tested 87K" or something like this. My S85 will be over 90K, after the tax break and before Minnesota gets their share. So my bill will be over 100K, a typical cost for a Model S.

Neech | March 31, 2014

@ tes-s.

The problem with the blanket statement that leads people to believe $100,000 is the typical price means people like me have to deal with snarky comments at work. I got the 60 with a couple of options before any of the price increases. I cannot afford a $100,000 car and paid closer to $75,000. Big difference for those of us not in the 1% club and I saved up for several years. I had to deal with bitchy attitudes again today because everyone thinks I have this uber expensive car. Granted $75,000 is still a lot, but it's my business if I prefer to spend my hard earned money on a great car.

Rocky_H | March 31, 2014

VIN20353, I do agree with your initial premise, so don't get me wrong there. It's still a very nice car in the 70-90 range, so that has irked me a little to always hear 100. Most other cars are usually referred to at or near the base price, not the over-the-top "loaded" price. But yes, the review cars are always loaded up, so the car magazine write-ups are going to have the impression that it's over 100.

Sudre_ | March 31, 2014

Every time I talk to someone about my car they ask me how I could afford a 100K car.
You can't take taxes and licensing into the equation because every car has to pay those fees.

If we are going to round everything up as fully loaded, include taxes licensing and insurance then a Leaf costs 50K. I did pretty good getting a Tesla at 75K (including taxes, licensing and insurance) instead of that Leaf.

The only reason the AVERAGE Tesla cost so much is because people are expecting to pay that much. The others will not even go look at the car. They have already concluded that a 100K car is out of their price range so why bother.

VIN20353 makes a perfectly valid point. Stop scaring away all the buyers with false high costs.

Pungoteague_Dave | March 31, 2014

The blanket statement is correct. Last year the average ticket price for Model S deliveries was about $95k. In the fourth quarter of 2013 it was $102k BEFORE TAXES, etc. There was a substantial interim price increase last year, reflected in the increasing quarterly average delivered price. So yes, the average Models S on the road today is a $100k car. For purposes of the 60 Minutes piece, their car was closer to $130k (P+). A fully equipped S85, with a sattelite-capable stereo, tech package, highest level charging options, paint protection, light and cold package (most stuff standard on a $30k Prius) and without gewgaws like red calipers, alcantara, spoiler or rear seats, comes to over $100k before taxes.

An equivalent competitive car from Mercedes or BMW would also be right there. If you add the service and warranty plans , the average price is well over $100k for a well equipped standard Model S WITHOUT going into the high performance models. So yeah, $100k is the number. Do lots of people get cars well below that price? Yes They have to wait a couple months longer in the order queue, so TM already treats them like second class citizens. Even a standard S shows an order time of 1-2 months longer than a P. Kind of surprising that a company like TM builds in a class system for pricing levels - not just features, but status in line.

renwo S alset | March 31, 2014

Go long. Where did I reference 60 Minutes in my post or are you hallucinating?

Rheumboy | March 31, 2014

Wait, I paid $141,867 but I bought at a New Jersey dealership! I did buy the 20 year warranty and the undercoating.

NOLEK SUM | March 31, 2014

Vin

Mea Culpa and apologies. They said the same on 60 minutes. Probably 50 times as many people saw it. And of course saying it costs $100k on 60 is completely different from saying it in the Chronicle. HUGE point. I stand corrected.

redacted | March 31, 2014

From the configure page, the basic Model S 60kW is $63,750 with $7500 federal tax credit. It's a $71,250 car.

amitb00 | March 31, 2014

Proper way to say should be the range. Say from 63k to 130k. If you have to say one number 100k seems more realistic and most persons will be paying closer ton100 rather than 63. I doubt if many persons go for 60 kWh without any options. You may want super charger taking it up by 2k. In fact 85kwh and tech pkg is basic minimum which folks will add taking the price to 75k. Add tax, cost of installing power outlet etc and you are looking at 82k.
Btw informed folks will adjust for gas, maintainance etc while comparing tesla price with its competitors.

renwo S alset | March 31, 2014

Let me clarify my post. It has been repeatedly stated that the future of electric vehicles (and Tesla) depends on the success of GenIII and most people admit to the virtues of BEV vehicles for all the various reasons. My point is that at $63,750 (which is WHAT you pay because the tax credit applies to ALL vehicles purchased in the US) there is a very large segment of the market which can currently afford an S-60 and be immediately contributing to all those virtues we know so well. Using the spread sheet in the thread just below this one, it becomes clear that the S is affordable to far more people than probably realize it. Waiting for GENIII because everyone thinks the S is a $100K vehicle is slowing that progress. Talking about 0 to 60 performance or it's "luxury" appointments does a disservice to a far faster adoption of BEV technology. Let's not repeat foreign oil, air pollution, sustainability, etc. because, if those are not considerations, then you shouldn't be looking at (or talking about) an S.

tes-s | March 31, 2014

@vin - a base 60 is missing many of the things one would expect to find in a $70,000 car:
- navigation
- satellite radio
- parking sensors
- folding mirrors
- rear cup holders :)

It also has limited range and no supercharging, two key marketing points of the MS - supercharging and 85 range are always quoted.

@ambit00 - is there a $63,000 model? I thought the lowest cost was $70,000.

amitb00 | March 31, 2014

You are right. In theory one can get it. Can one here come forward and tell us if they bought the cheapest possible Tesla? I really doubt. These are teaser rates and no one buys them.
If you add few grands, car becomes so much more usable.

tes-s | March 31, 2014

@vin - no $7,500 credit for me. Just finished my taxes - $1,350.

bigd | March 31, 2014

Wow I would not expect a heated argument on this topic in here LOL. Who cares if the price is $70G or $100G in the papers. People that are going to spend $70G on a car can usually go to 100 with out much difficulty IMHO. Besides, I would much rather go online and expect to pay 100G and find out I can get one a lot less. On the other hand, id be upset thinking I can get one for 70 and finding out the basic "necessity's" push it to $100. Much rather know the higher end and be pleasantly surprised I can get it for less. Of course, this is just one mans opinion :-)

renwo S alset | March 31, 2014

tes-s. I don't know how I have lived with out those items, you are obviously an aficionado of fine driving vehicles. Let's see, I have 210 miles when I need it, 190 miles daily charge which covers 100% of my driving needs, so I must be a poor, suffering BEV owner. BTW, S-60 comes with slacker, tune-in and bluetooth conectivity for everything else.

amitb00 | March 31, 2014

Tes-s : too bad you are not getting full credit. This seems lame that not all are getting the credit.

amitb00 | March 31, 2014

Tes: about 63k I just went with vin numbers. I am assuming he deducted tax rebate from the price taking it to 63 k cost.

amitb00 | March 31, 2014

@vin: r u saying that you have the absolute base S60 model? If yes, then you have answered my question and these rates are real. Thanks and cheers, Amit

Iowa92x | March 31, 2014

Average selling price is $90k, so article stating $100k is more accurate than $65k.

A person that can't afford a $100k car likely can't afford $65k.

Gen III looks to be a better value. Many people buy on cost/benefit, not just "can I afford it."

bigd | March 31, 2014

@Iowa92x +1
Of topic I know but going to be in Iowa on the 20th of Apr, any good place near Grinnel to go look at Teslas ?

renwo S alset | March 31, 2014

Lets see, I have a flawless black S with black interior, 19" aluminum spoke wheels, electric everything, voice command, auto on lights and wipers, internet, navigation (not voice, though), Slacker, Tune-in, Bluetooth, the same LED exterior trim as all S models, an excellent audio system, 210 miles max range, 190 daily, amazing performance and handling and yes, it's a basic base model S. It's my company car, so all choices are based on what I want, not what I can afford.

amitb00 | March 31, 2014

Nice vin. Glad you are enjoying and indeed Tesla has a big range. Most expensive is double the cost of least expensive. I believe other brands also have big ranges. I wonder what they use. For instance Mercedes S class is from 95k to god knows where (200+ I guess w/o searching) and not sure what price they use to advertise.

tes-s | March 31, 2014

@vin - Do your own the car, or does your company? Curious if you got the $7,500 tax credit.

P85D | March 31, 2014

What I find amusing is the assumption is that everyone gets the $7500 federal tax credit. I only qualified for $4900.

tes-s | March 31, 2014

+1 @lessor. $1,350 for me.

amitb00 | March 31, 2014

What do you guys do to give away precious tax credit? Can't you just take money out of IRA or 401k to increase tax in one year and utilize all the credit? I find it unfair

renwo S alset | March 31, 2014

In that I own the company, yes I still get the tax credit. Lessor and tes-s, do you live somewhere other than the US?

P85D | March 31, 2014

Damnit never thought about the 401, oh well there's always next year when the AWD version is released!

carlk | March 31, 2014

I don't get it. It's tax "credit" not tax "deduction". How could one not getting the full amount?

P85D | March 31, 2014

Not everyone has a tax liability that high. I didn't anyway. Why is that do hard to understand?

tes-s | March 31, 2014

@vin - The $7,500 credit is not available to businesses, or to business use of personal vehicles. It is only available to individuals.

I use my MS for business, and therefore I can deduct expenses and depreciation, but I don't get a credit for the business use portion - at least the way I read the form.

That is why I asked - do you own the car or does your business? Do you claim it as a business expense? Do you get the full $7,500 personal tax credit?

I want to know if I am doing something wrong.

renwo S alset | March 31, 2014

tes-s. talk to your accountant about the best way to structure your business and your personal expenses.

carlk | March 31, 2014

You do not have even $7500 tax liability and you could afford a Model S? Wow..... you're better than even Romney.

Rocky_H | March 31, 2014

I see how people could miss some of the credit, but it would be a little unusual, I would think. Basically, you have to have an amount of taxes owed for the year of at least $7,500. Now that generally wouldn't be that hard--let's say 25% rate of a $30,000 gross income. However, with various other credits and deductions--child credits, mortgage interest deductions, charitable giving, etc. your amount of federal tax liability gets less.

So that wouldn't be that unusual for someone in a $30K to $50K income range to not have $7,500 worth of federal tax that they could get wiped out by that credit it's just that there's not generally much overlap of people in those income brackets buying $70K to $100K cars.

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