Tesla's informed customers who've placed $50,000 deposits down for their Roadsters, the price of options they ordered has gone up. Now they need to fork over more money or lose a shot at owning one.
Tesla's early adopters essentially invested their deposits into the company. For it, they were promised a car with a base price of just $92,000 for 2008 model year vehicles, a $17,000 value over the now-higher-in-price 2009 model. The approximately 600 people who ordered cars were asked to "lock in" their options by last November. Tesla has now "unlocked" those prices, upping the cost and forcing customers to re-select their options, or they'll lose their spot to buy one. By how much has Tesla bumped up the price?
According to Tom Saxton, a Tesla enthusiast, formerly "included" options like the SolarPlus Windshield, High Power Connecter and Forged Alloy Tesla Wheels now will cost you $6,700 combined. Other options have seen prices double, or more, from the original cost. This means the cost for a fully-loaded Tesla Roadster has increased by $9,350 for people who already ordered their cars. While it's possible to get a Tesla for the $92,000 originally agreed to, you'd have to go without some important features.
The reason? A Tesla spokesperson told us the idea was to make the car's margins healthy enough to appeal to the next round of investors — be they shareholders, venture capitalists or the government. Though they'd have preferred to do it later, the reality is they've already sold the cars they plan to make through October and thus have to make the changes now if they want to reach a point of profitability by the summer and assure the company stays around long enough to continue to build and service them.
Waiting customers are obviously not going to be pleased by this news considering everything else associated with being an early-adopter of the technology but they don't have much choice. Owners can take a full refund and give up their place in line if they wish. However, after waiting so long and fronting so much money for the car we imagine few will give up over $6,700. According to Tesla, no one has yet to demand a refund.