The Autopilot Upgrade Shell Game

The Autopilot Upgrade Shell Game

So... the Standard-Plus now will have Autopilot as "standard", but by standard they mean they will raise the price of the car I just bought by $2,500 (hint to today's buyers: you just paid $2500 for a standard feature). But if I want Autopilot today, since it wasn't standard a month ago, I will have to pay $3,000? And that price was $3,500 last week?
To summarize: since I was the one who stood in line in person to get a reservation, let Tesla make interest off my $1,000 for three full years, then finally ordered the car even though I have qualms about the management and strategy of the company... for that loyalty I must pay $500 more for Autopilot than the guy who buys the same car tomorrow?
I'm not sure if I'm more offended as a customer wanting prices to reflect real value and consistency, or as a marketing professional who knows that these shenanigans and sharp price and strategy pivots DEFINITELY undermines customer satisfaction and trust that has been really hard for Tesla to build.
Love the car, hate the price flips.

crmedved | 13 avril 2019

I mean, the alternative is, they have localized sales and play cheesy tv commercials locally to advertise them :P

The difference between Tesla and other car manufacturers is with Tesla you actually notice when they change the price of their vehicles. It can be alarming, but other car manufacturers do the exact same thing... they're just more sneaky about it.

Bg1277 | 13 avril 2019

Every other manufacture raises and plays with numbers. Forgot the nightmare of shopping at Stealerships, finance, extnded warranty helll. No one cares about traditional stealerships playing with numbers but for some reason tesla is always in the news. That was the price then, this is the price now, whats so hard about it.

joe.lynn.atp | 13 avril 2019

I’m sure Tesla appreciates the $3.00 in interest you lost out on your $1000.

jjt2122 | 13 avril 2019

If someone is worried about price changes on a product, then they should not buy the product.
Prices change all the time.
Live with it.
I am a day on reservation holder, got my M3 in Aug 2018 for $60K, and I’m as happy as can be with my M3, I don’t care about price changes, this car is amazing and saves me a ton of money in gas and not getting maintenance as often as a ICE.

Hal Fisher | 13 avril 2019

You fool! You purchased now! You are such a fool, go beat yourself up about it! And while you’re at it, laugh at me because I purchased before you and paid $51k for little better than $43 now, AND, I took just as big a hit for selling stocks then compared to what they are worth now. But at least me and you can both laugh at those who bought before us, they are complete fools!!! No, just kidding about the last one, I appreciate them helping to get this market rolling! We are all doing our part and doing the right thing. We are stopping the dumb money flow to the oil cartels, and trying to at least slow this rolling wreck of CO2 emissions down. We did the right thing, and thats never easy or very rewarding (actually it usually winds up costing because no good deed goes unpunished).

gballant4570 | 13 avril 2019

Yes - I paid $60k (plus the $2k for FSD in the shell game last month) but I got $7500 tax credit, and an looking forward to a state $3k rebate. Today my car can configured for $55,500, with $6750 in tax incentives, between Fed and State. So I paid $2750 more than a buyer of the same car would today.

I am not whining. I am grinning.

jjgunn | 13 avril 2019

I do not understand why Tesla changing their pricing structure is such a YOOOOOOGE deal & other manufacturers do the same thing yet nobody cares.

To purchase a Tesla - you go to a website make about 5 clicks & your car is ordered. No negotiating needed. No sitting at some dealership all effing day while a crooked sales person tried to extract as much money as they can out of you. Those days are over.

Yet we have American citizens who want to cry about price changes & get a "refund" & seemingly want an American car company to fail.

If/When Tesla raises their prices then you're going to cut them a check & give them more money...yes?? Can't have it both ways.

Tesla is trying to be profitable. That's what companies do. Make profit. Let's help them be successful, not tear them down.

Bighorn | 13 avril 2019

Please try to live a life that matters. Living in the minutia is for fools.

kevin_rf | 13 avril 2019

+1 jjt2122, gballant4570

Did the same as both of them. When I crunch the numbers, by having the car earlier, getting the full credit, and gas savings, I still came out ahead.

Just wait till Tesla figures out how to cut the price of the batteries in half and can offer a LR AWD for the price of the SR+. Can't wait to see those water works.

sl7vk | 13 avril 2019

I see it differently. Got the SR+ for 37 and don’t have to add autopilot.
I’m on the free trial now. It’s nice but I’m not even sure at 2k it would benefit me and my 8 mile commute.
All depends on how you look at things. :)

Carl Thompson | 13 avril 2019

Even at $39,500 the SR+ is still a great deal.

VolleyballNE1 | 13 avril 2019

With regards to price changes, the ONLY people who have a legitimate grip are those who bought FSD before FSD was restructured. They bought vaporware, so when it was offered for $2K, If they paid more for it before that, then yeah, they should be able to price match on request since they never got anything for the price they paid for it yet. That would have been a good PR move. For all other prices changes, you actually got what you paid for. Transaction completed!! Bye bye. Have a nice day. Life is all about timing especially when it comes to prices. I don't know about you, but supply/demand curves were taught in seller owes you anything after a purchase transaction is completed.
Oh, also those who purchased a car that didn't get delivered yet. They too should be able to get a price match on request. That's just good optics. Some people don't care to request, so that saves Tesla money too with that policy. All good.
I know Tesla has not done things correctly with regards to customer service; hopefully they improve on that front.

jjgunn | 13 avril 2019

Carl Thompson | April 13, 2019
Even at $39,500 the SR+ is still a great deal.
Especially with tax credit ($3,750 through June 30) & state/utility rebates

jimglas | 13 avril 2019

and another $5k tax credit if you live in CO. makes the car around $31k, quite a deal in my opinion.
I would pull the triggerif I didnt already have 2 Teslas

Carl Thompson | 13 avril 2019

To put more succinctly I paid $55,000 for my car (others paid $60,000 for the same car). Are the extra options I have vs. the SR+ really worth an extra $15,500? (Red paint, FSD, LR, streaming media, heated rear seats, satellite view.)

Josh | 13 avril 2019

Wow, nice to see the Tesla Fanboys and trolls are still out and about. It's a good reminder to stick with TMC forums, not much room for discussion at this site when you purposely only see issues as "Tesla's right" or "Tesla's wrong." It's also irrelevant to discuss "this car's a great deal," or "this car's not a great deal," that has nothing to do with software pricing.
I would never call anyone a fool for buying early and I do not have an existential complaint about the car. My point was that products cannot change price from week to week... especially software. I buy software from the major companies... Adobe, Microsoft, etc. The price may go up 0-15% year to year when they make the software BETTER with more features. But they will not change the price by hundreds of dollars depending on their marketing plan of the month. They plan these step-ups years in advance, giving businesses who buy their software plenty of time to make procurement plans for themselves and not have to worry about volatility or timing. That planning is what successful companies do... and don't we all want Tesla to be a successful company for decades instead of it being a footnote of history in a Wikipedia entry for the years 2010-2025? Judging from the posts above, I guess not... or you are choosing willful ignorance of best business practices.
To head off the predictable posts that will come after this: simplistic arguments like, "If ya don't like it, don't buy it", or "life is all about timing," or "all carmakers do the same thing", or "quit crying" are not even worth engaging with. They don't speak to the idea of how Tesla should do business in the next five years to ensure long-term success. Those of you who think Tesla already has longevity in the bag are suffering from Chronic Overconfidence.
But since someone did say it: all carmakers definitely do not switch prices ON SOFTWARE indiscriminately. No other carmaker today is even close to selling what Tesla is, except maybe Nissan and a couple others still in development. The current practice is to make the software standard, not try to monetize every feature.
OK, have fun with your target practice guys, I'm out on this one.

jjgunn | 13 avril 2019

@Josh - I buy software from the major companies... Adobe, Microsoft, etc. The price may go up 0-15% year to year when they make the software BETTER with more features. But they will not change the price by hundreds of dollars depending on their marketing plan of the month.
That isn't how it worked in the 90's when MSFT was a fledgling company.

Think of TSLA like MSFT in the 90's - Prices change.

The people on this forum are every bit as good as TMC, AAMOF most here are on both. Only thing TMC has better is forum software

FYI - Link

Also it looks like FSD will INCREASE in price on May 1

HummerMan3 | 13 avril 2019

@Josh, Ignore the noise. I'm with you on this one. I love my LEMR, but definitely wish I had stuck it out for an SR or SR+. While I am a bit miffed about being misled (it was 1 month to the day when EM mentioned that SR was "4-6 months out, as a guess" to Tesla unveiling the SR), I'm more upset with the games they're playing with AP. Had I taken delivery 4 weeks later than I did (12/5), or if I didn't configure with EAP, I would have FSD for $5K. I paid $5K for EAP and now Tesla has the gall to offer FSD at $5K on top of that (to someone who purchased a MR 3 months before a $7K price reduction, no less)? As EAP is more advanced than basic AP currently offered, the $5K upcharge from AP should be less for EAP purchasers looking to upgrade. I'm generally a pretty chill person, but this really ruffles my feathers. I'm not a lawyer and generally stay well away from the legal system, but does anyone in that field care to weigh in on whether this is something that is "class-action" status for a suit? It certainly feels that way to me. Again, LOVE the car, just getting mad about the constant price changes.

kalalp | 13 avril 2019

I believe Tesla would be better served if it played a more traditional pricing plan, to include "rebates" that change day to day for the traditional companies. It is not unusual to log into a car companies' website and receive a "PCO" (personal cash offer) a few days later for as much as $3k good towards a purchase. I know I have received one and used it on a new F150 along with all of the other rebates available, as much as $12k.

Being transparent in pricing, as I think Tesla is trying to be, has its drawbacks.

Josh | 13 avril 2019

joe.lynn.atp | April 13, 2019
I’m sure Tesla appreciates the $3.00 in interest you lost out on your $1000.
$3 in interest on $1,000 for 3 years? Remedial math class needed, Joe, kind of embarrassing for you.
$1,000 at an 8% annual rate of return (at least, probably more) for Tesla is $80, times 3 years = $240 profit for Tesla.
Now let's do the math for the whole reservation list: 400,000 X $240 made during that 3-year span = $96 million Tesla made just by holding our money while we waited for the promised price. That estimate is conservative... even as people fell off the initial list, more were added, keeping those interest numbers afloat.

Wormtown Kris | 14 avril 2019

I was so annoyed at the grocery store. Last week Milk was on sale for $2.99/ gallon. But this week when I needed it, it's back at $3.99 per gallon. Ripoff! To make matters worse, I looked at the online flyer for next week, and on Friday, this SAME gallon of milk is going to be $2.99 again! I'm getting screwed!

jjgunn | 14 avril 2019


gordon_r_benson | 14 avril 2019

Wormtown, you are getting cheated. Take the half empty milk carton back to the store and demand the store give you the new milk pricing!!! The nerve! | 14 avril 2019

@Josh - Current Wells Fargo high-yield savings account interest has gone up qutie a bit in the last three years - now it's all of 0.06% (nowhere near 8%). So $1000 * 0.0006 * 3 years = $1.80 ! So you would have lost less than $2. So your math may be right, but you're not going to see 8% interest anytime soon except on paper from Bernie Madoff a few years ago.

Bighorn | 14 avril 2019

Ally has 2.2% on savings but it wasn’t this high for the bulk of the last three years.

jjgunn | 14 avril 2019

Maybe Tesla put all the reservation money in TSLA stock, then sold at $380 a share when "funding secured" tweet happened.

bpaul | 14 avril 2019

Look, it's completely fair and totally understandable for people to be frustrated with Tesla's wild swings in pricing, particularly for the FSD pre-order. (Why more FSD pre-purchasers aren't ranting on here about how FSD's definition got dumbed-down tells me a fair amount, too.)

When they announced the February price drop, Elon himself intervened to say the price should be $2K, not $3K, for those who purchased EAP. Then he reverses himself days later, and sends the price to $5K whether you have EAP or AP, which seems difficult to justify. And two months later he's so sure the technology's near-term success he's hinting it'll cost $8K? Where was that information when he thought $2K was the right price?

No. Just no.

I love what the company has created, and I love my car. But I'm not playing this FSD-expectations-versus-pricing game. If he releases a product worth $8K to me and asks $8K for it I'll pay for it then.

gballant4570 | 14 avril 2019

I recently opened a 2.25% interest savings account, and like Bighorn says a rate that high has not been available very long. My mixed index funds accounts have average a slight bit under 10.5% over the past 3 years. So it all depends on where your $1k might have spent its time otherwise.

And Josh, I am sure that most of us want Tesla to be successful. There are a few trolls around these forum though, as I'm sure you have noticed. Today, Tesla cannot go back to being a footnote on a wiki page, no matter the hopes and dreams of shorts and trolls. The reason that Elon Musk started making Tesla cars has been achieved, and Tesla will forever be the company that turned human transport away from fossil fuels.

bpaul | 14 avril 2019

The "interest-free" loan stuff regarding the $1,000 reservation deposit is pretty much moot at this point, because any bank interest you could have earned would be far surpassed by the strategy of putting that grand in your mattress and keeping it there until nine months past the first deliveries, and ordering your M3 then. ;)

Carl Thompson | 14 avril 2019

"Why more FSD pre-purchasers aren't ranting on here about how FSD's definition got dumbed-down ..."

I for one (and some others too) _did_ rant about that here on this forum. I intend to hold Tesla to the definition they were using when they sold me the car.