It's not usual to see a newly launched version of a car be removed several weeks later, after a noticeable price change, especially since the SR RWD version seemed to be popular. Now, the closest Model Y version is much more expensive.
Why is that? Let's try to think about it, based on a short analysis released by Andy Slye.
There might be one or a combination of multiple reasons behind the decision. Excluding a rather out-of-this-world explanation, like a bug/mistake, it might be related to:
- The expected launch of an all-new federal tax credit for EVs, which once again would make Tesla (and GM) cars eligible. In this theory, Tesla would be getting ready ahead of time and sell more expensive cars, because after imposing a new $7,000 federal tax credit, it would be similarly expensive as the previous entry-level version. But does it make any sense to act ahead of time, especially since nothing is sure yet?
- Too high demand is another option. Tesla might not be content that the Model Y sales mix drifts too much towards the lower end of the lineup, which affects margins.
- Too low of demand would make the SR RWD version an unnecessary complication on the production line (a different battery pack and powertrain than LR AWD versions).
- Production simplification not related to demand? But if it would be necessary, then Tesla should've known it several weeks ago when it added the car to the offer right?
- The Model Y SR RWD will be replaced by another version, like Long Range RWD.
- There needs to be space for a completely new car like the Tesla Model 2?!
Well, if all of that is still not the answer, maybe we should search for something simple. Tesla's Elon Musk recently figured out that the company is offering a car with less than 250 miles of estimated EPA range and he reached for the phone...
We know that such a range happens to be "unacceptably low":
The Model Y SR RWD was expected to achieve 244 miles (393 km) of EPA combined range.
Anyway, we would not be too worried about that. We are just entering a new week and new prices or new versions might happen in a blink of an eye.
After all, Tesla should have some crossover/SUVs closer (in terms of prices) to the new competitors, like Ford Mustang Mach-E or Volkswagen ID.4.