Tesla’s ‘mass market’ $35k electric car ready to order, online

Tesla said Thursday that its Model 3 sedan heralded as an electric car for the masses was available for order at a price of $35,000, with delivery promised within a month.(AFP / SAUL LOEB)
Updated 01 March 2019

Tesla’s ‘mass market’ $35k electric car ready to order, online

SAN FRANCISCO, US: Tesla said Thursday its Model 3 — heralded as an electric car for the masses — is available for order online only at a price of $35,000, with delivery promised within a month.
The announcement fulfills a vision of Tesla founder and chief Elon Musk, who has touted a more affordable electric car as part of his vision of weaning drivers from gasoline-powered vehicles.
The Model 3 was to be priced at $35,000 when Tesla first began taking orders in 2016, but the cheapest version before today was about $10,000 more expensive despite price cuts that followed reductions in the US federal tax credit for vehicles not burning fossil fuels.
Musk described the Model 3 early on as “the final step in the master plan: a mass market, affordable car.”
With Model 3, Tesla aimed to show it can appeal to the general public and produce cars en masse.
Not long after Tesla was founded in 2003, Musk said the plan was to use money from high-end electric vehicles to create more affordable offerings to make the technology the new automotive norm.
As it launched its least expensive Tesla, the company said it would sell only via the Internet.
“To achieve these prices while remaining financially sustainable, Tesla is shifting sales worldwide to online only,” Tesla said in a statement.
The “standard” Model 3 has a smaller range before recharging, of 220 miles (350 kilometers).
Its specifications include a top speed of 130 miles per hour (208 kilometers per hour) and 0-60 mph acceleration of 5.6 seconds.
“Although lower in cost, it is built to achieve the same perfect 5-star safety rating as the longer-ranged version,” Tesla said.
Tesla also introduced a Model 3 Standard Range Plus, which offers 240 miles of range, a more powerful drivetrain and premium interior features at a price of $37,000.
Tesla shares that closed the formal trading day up slightly slid 3.3 percent to $309.38 in after-market trades that followed release of the news.
“The bears will focus on this news as a sign that lower profitability and demand are catalyzing this move and strategic pivot, which we strongly disagree with,” Wedbush analyst Daniel Ives said in a note about Tesla to investors.
“We believe this strategic shift was the right move at the right time for Tesla, although the stock will be a ‘prove me’ name for the next 6-9 months.”


RDIF chief praises Saudi reforms, says Bezos hacking story is ‘Fake News’

Updated 25 January 2020

RDIF chief praises Saudi reforms, says Bezos hacking story is ‘Fake News’

  • Kirill Dmitriev: Investors interested in business opportunities presented by tourism, improved position of women and youth demographic in Kingdom

DAVOS: One of Saudi Arabia’s biggest investment partners has reassured the global community about doing business in the Kingdom and ridiculed the Jeff Bezos accusations of phone hacking.
Speaking on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum (WEF) annual meeting in Davos, Kirill Dmitriev, CEO of the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), told Arab News that stories about the apparent hacking of Amazon boss Jeff Bezos’ phone did “not look plausible at all.
“We in Russia have some experience of phone hacking and this has all the signs of being fake news put about by enemies of the Kingdom.”
Dmitriev, whose organization has channeled investment into Saudi Arabia and partnered with the Kingdom on billions of dollars-worth of joint ventures, said the people he had spoken to in Davos remained in favor of the opportunities presented by Riyadh’s Vision 2030 strategy.
“Lots of people here are positive about the changes going on in Saudi Arabia, both from the West and Asia. They are interested in the business opportunities presented by tourism, the improved position of women and the youth demographic. I’m surprised the Western press does not give the full picture about what is happening in Saudi Arabia,” he added.
While in Switzerland, the RDIF announced a deal to invest in an online tourism platform that would benefit from increased Russian tourism, especially by members of Russia’s big Muslim minority, as well as other potential visitors to Saudi Arabia.
The Bezos allegations, which have been dismissed by Saudi officials as “absolutely silly,” were a hot topic of conversation at the WEF meeting.
A Western executive at a leading Gulf energy company, who declined to be named, said: “Phone hacking and cyber-security is a growing problem in the business world and is not confined to any one country.
“You have to take it all with a pinch of salt. If you’re going to do business in Saudi Arabia you will look at all the pros and cons, and this (the Bezos allegation) is not likely to deter you.”