Tesla Model 3 To Attract Potential Model S/X Buyers?


Tesla Model S Too Big? How 'Bout A Smaller Tesla Like The Radio Flyer Version Or Perhaps A Model 3?

Tesla Model S Too Big? How ‘Bout A Smaller Tesla Like The Radio Flyer Version Or Perhaps A Model 3?


The press will have you believe Model 3’s sole raison d’être is to pull in the great unwashed that cannot afford a Model S/X. TeslaMondo thinks it will pull in lots people who certainly can afford an S/X. But they will order a Model 3 instead because:

  1. They need something smaller. City motoring, especially outside the US, is a game of inches. Don’t be surprised if the top-end Model III pokes into Model S pricing territory. Some people will happily pay MORE for that 20% size reduction. More for less? It happens.
  2. They need something that doesn’t announce wealth. Some people do have humility, you know. Model 3 may offer the right mix of greenness and humbleness for lots of influential people who might otherwise go with a Prius.
  3. They can’t justify spending anywhere near six figures for a car, no matter how much money they have. Cars are bad investments, period. Even Teslas. Tesla stock, however, well that’s another story. Put the money there instead.

*Editor’s Note: This and other Tesla-related posts appear over at TeslaMondo. Check it out here.

Categories: Tesla


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40 Comments on "Tesla Model 3 To Attract Potential Model S/X Buyers?"

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“Model 3 may offer the right mix of greenness and humbleness…”

A car intended to compete with a BMW 3-series is “humble”? Reminds me of the Richie Rich comic in which he visited his “poor” relatives, whose servants were dressed in rather shabby clothing.

Many or perhaps most of my friends and relatives can’t afford to buy a new car, let alone something in the price range of a Beemer. They buy only used cars. And they are rich compared to perhaps the majority of people living in third-world countries.

I think whoever wrote that article doesn’t know what the word “humble” actually means.

‘Humble’, dies not mean ‘Broke’ or even ‘Poor’, but many confuse those characteristics. Many broke people drive cars way more expensive than they should, and that is why they are broke. Ostentatious, is the opposite of Humble, not wealthy.

Many wealthy people also buy used cars, so as to not attract too much attention to themselves, and become a target for extortion, and kidnapping. Not all, or maybe not so many, but it does occur!

I would be more concerned if existing Tesla owners were the default to get there Model 3’s first!

Put me in that category..

Though I could perhaps stretch my budget to purchase a Model S(used?) it would be way too big for just me and the wife and as the article says not a smart investment. I am very interested in the Model 3 though…

Wealthy people can be humble/modest too. It’s all relative.

AddLightness said:

“Wealthy people can be humble/modest too. It’s all relative.”

Yes, it’s relative. I thought I made that point by referring to the Richie Rich comic, but perhaps I didn’t make it clear enough.

You’d have to be pretty rich to consider owning a car with an estimated base price of $35k, and likely an average sale price somewhere around $45k-50k, to be “humble”!

If you deduce the 20000 € gas bill in Europe from a standard gas car the Model 3 at 35000 € would cost only 15000 €, so that is not that much at all anymore. It actually would be cheaper than a BMW 3 series with gas included and even cheaper than a Prius gas included.

Pretty rich? Wow, then most of America is piss poor. Take a drive around ANY suburb in California. Lots of SUVs and Pickup trucks that cost > $35,000. We’re not talking lawyers or doctors here, just simple, ordinary blue collar Joes. Even the ladies working at the Mall stores drive Beemers.

Of course, they might be up to their eyeballs in debt, we won’t know. All I’m saying is they CAN afford it.

Less is More! I would never drive a Big Car like an S,I’d Like much more if it were smaller. But it has to have a Long range got to be a Good all around Car. C Class Size is Ideal!

I have a MS – I am definitely going to reserve a Model 3 because I simply cannot afford 2 Model S (or S / X). My wife has range anxiety with her B-Class electric, which she otherwise loves. No fast charging options for the MBe. So while she likes the X – SUV/CUV styling, it is just not doable math wise.

If you don’t mind the risk with used, discontinued EV, Rav4EV with JDemo ($3K) might be an option. Total would come to about $30K ($27K for used Rav4EV). That’s pretty good for 120 miles range, as quick (or quicker) than SparkEV (also i3REx) in 0-60MPH and small SUV form.

In case you didn’t know JDemo allows Rav4EV to use Chademo quick charger from this company. In case link doesn’t show, search for JDemo.


Could a given percent of Model S and Model X sales get poached from the Model 3 … of course it can and will.
This is an issue for Tesla to position around. Is there a theory on why this is of special concern?

Well said.

It’s not like Tesla didn’t realize that selling a less expensive car would “poach” some Model S/X sales. I think the Teslamondo article is trying to create a conflict where none exists, by saying “The press will have you believe…” otherwise.

Assuming the Model ≡ is as compelling as we hope, then it will “poach” a heck of a lot more sales from gasmobiles than it will from Model S/X sales! Which of course, is what Tesla plans.

However, if someone decided to drop down from the S to the 3, that would open up a lot of cash to load up the 3 with accessories. So he might go for a higher performance version, etc.

I could technically afford a Model-S. Probably a base-model. But it would drain every last dollar from our budget. There’d be no money left over for savings or for anything else discretionary.

I’m a bit more practical than that. As such, I drive a used 2013 Volt with a car payment of $300 a month and a gas bill of $0 per month. That might otherwise translate to a $200 car payment for other people. However, I may be tempted to splurge when the 2017 Volt comes to Texas. and my wife is insisting on the Bolt EV.

I can also sympathize with the issue of the Model-S’s size. It is really too large for my tastes. In fact, if both cars were equal priced, I’d probably rather have a BMW i3 Rex than a model-S.

Yes, I think so. Probably a lot of people are really stretching their budgets to afford a model S, many of these would rather buy a 3 if it was available.

I prefer a Model S to a Model 3 and a Model 3 to an i3 even if all three had the exact same range not to announce my wealth but because of safety.

As well engineered cars have become a larger car is still safer than a smaller car if for no other reason than bigger crumple zones.

If a 2016 S-Class was in a head-on collision with a 2016 C-Class I would rather be inside the S-Class.

I want to increase my odds of avoiding accidents, so I have always chosen smaller, more nimble cars. Added bonuses are that they are easier to drive and park in congested cities and tend to be less expensive to buy, operate, and maintain.

I might put a deposit on a Model 3, but I will likely keep our i3 instead of buying a Model 3 because I expect it to be lighter, smaller, and more nimble than a Model 3, and I don’t need the additional range of a Model 3 and don’t want to drag around the extra weight of a larger battery pack than we need. If the Model 3 has a steel body, I won’t even consider it.

It is said that will have a steel body.

After 2 years Model S/X will be cheaper, more luxury and with range above 300 miles.

What? No way that the model S will be cheaper than the model 3!

Insane Electric Torque

Cheaper than now

Up to now starting from the Model S 40 KWh, the Model S has been improving but since the lower models are eliminated the entry price has been ever increasing, not decreasing. Yet again with the unexpected removal of RWD and replacement by all AWD at an extra expense coming on top of the former entry price. A possible next move is forced migration to self drive when we don’t actually want it especially when it will put yet another extra increase on the entry level price. To the extreme let’s hope they never set golden wheels as a next standard since that would move the entry price to 10 millions.

The S90 and S70 are both available in RWD. It was the X that was changed to AWD only, and that was about a year ago, long before launch or pricing references.

What they did to keep the X only $5k more than a comparably-equipped S was to make the 3rd row an option.

I think I fit in that category of buyers that could afford a Model S if they really really pushed it. Instead I’ve opted for a Leaf for now and I’m ready to put give Tesla that $1000 USD interest free loan.
Had a leased a model S, I still would consider the model 3.

Our household also fits in that same category of car buyers. While we can afford a well-optioned S70(D), I’d rather put the money toward paying off my mortgage first.

And just like you, I will without a doubt, put the $1k deposit for a Model 3 and will simply consider it a small interest free loan to Tesla – a company I like and want to support. They can keep it indefinitely.

I happily own a Model S 85D, but if the 3 isn’t too small and they give me the same level of equipment and range, I would probably buy a performance Model 3 instead of a Model S in a few years.

Of course the Model 3 will attract some MS or MX buyers. Just like the 3 Series attracts some 5 Series buyers, and C Class attracts some E Class buyers, and the iPad Mini some iPad buyers, etc. This is normal for any company trying to offer a full line if products. Let’s not overanalyze it. Tesla will make plenty of money on the Model 3. Profit margins will be high on all the upgrades people will choose (Dual motor, supercharger access, navigation, paint, etc). Not to mention the fortune they’ll eventually make on out of warranty car service and maintenance down the road. Oh yeah and the CPO program will be a huge moneymaker in 5 to 7 years.

Agree with this, and I also get the impression a number of Model S buyers reeeeeaaaallly stretched to get into a Model S. Indeed, you see folks posting stuff like “my most expensive car before the S was a Civic”, etc. I seriously doubt these folks were cash rich and just “humble” going with those Civics, especially in the land of “I WANT WHAT I WANT!” ‘Merica.

Chris said:

“I also get the impression a number of Model S buyers reeeeeaaaallly stretched to get into a Model S. Indeed, you see folks posting stuff like ‘my most expensive car before the S was a Civic’…”

Indeed. I’ve been surprised at how many people posting to the Tesla Motors Club forum said that when they bought a Model S, it was far more expensive than any other car they had ever considered buying before. So certainly there will be some buyers who will downgrade to a M≡ when it’s available.

But as has been said, this will merely make Tesla more like BMW, with different models in different price ranges. I don’t think it’s a reason to worry that there will be a mass exodus from people buying the Model S… altho I’m sure the Tesla short-sellers want us to think so! >:-/

Model 3 would be the perfect lease car for work here in the Netherlands. It has enough range and will fit many employee’s lease budgets.

Me and my colleagues travel around 200km at least 2-3 times a week. While Model S was probibitly expensive compared to diesel cars, the Model 3 will be actually be a cost safer.

I’m looking forward to finding out the Model 3’s pricing for NL.

As an existing S owner (very much a once in a lifetime purchase with what turned out to be a spare dollop of cash originally earmarked for something else that never happened), I would very seriously consider trading in the S for the much newer 3 (with all its new tech – hopefully) when my S’ used value matches the cost of the new 3. Should be a couple of years which will be about right… maybe! MW

“Don’t be surprised if the top-end Model III pokes into Model S pricing territory.”

I had no idea you could get a Model S for $35K!

top-end=with all optional extras

I could afford a model S but it is way too big for me. C-class is the max I desire. I don’t live in the city and I have a kid but I wouldn’t consider S/X unless I have no less than 3 kids.

This was the same argument made for model X, the reality is that Model 3 will generate even more interest in Model S/X and their sales will increase (just like the model X increases Model S sales!

I think the size will really matter in Europe. Even for rich people.

Look at the Côte d’Azur in France. Lot’s of money, but most people that own it live in villas in and around small hill villages with narrow streets and roads full of hairpins to get there.

And down in the city the parking lots are often shorter then a S or X.

The sourced article says nothing about poaching from S/X.

Yes, of course the Model 3 will poach some buyers from the Model S and X. Everyone, including Tesla, already knows that. But, if they don’t execute on the Model 3, the Bolt and other longer range mid-size EVs will be poaching some of those S/X buyers.

I have never wanted a car as big or as expensive as a Model S or X, even though I could probably stretch to afford it. But, I am definitely interested in a Bolt, a Model 3 or a 200-mile i3.

Model 3 will offer a option, but those wanting the best Tesla has to offer will choose the S or X.

I expect right after the Model 3, Tesla will offer a sub-X suv riding on the 3 platform.

Besides, the larger platform S and X should always have the larger battery pack and longer range.