The 2022 Chevy Bolt and Bolt EUV debuted this week, and a big part of Chevy’s sell on both cars was price. The Bolt will start at $31,995, while the Bolt EUV will start at $33,995, each several thousand dollars less than their Tesla Model 3 and Model Y competitors. Except now Tesla is cutting its prices (again).
The price cuts are on the Model 3 and Model Y base models, which were slashed by $1,000 and $2,000 respectively, according to Reuters. The base Model 3 now starts at $36,990 while the base Model Y now starts at $39,990.
Tesla simultaneously increased the cost of the Performance versions of those cars by $1,000. The Tesla Model 3 Performance now starts at $55,990 and the Tesla Model Y Performance is up to $60,990.
Reuters says that this is part of an effort by Tesla to stimulate volume. That is probably true, though you will never convince me that it isn’t also an effort to take some of the wind out of the new Bolt and Bolt EUV, given the timing.
Still, the U.S. wasn’t the only place Tesla cut prices, and it was small here compared with what it did in Japan, where it cut Model 3 prices by as much as 24 percent, according to Bloomberg.
The base price of the standard model was cut to 4.29 million yen ($40,500) from 5.11 million yen on Thursday, while the long-range version saw an even steeper drop of 1.56 million yen to 4.99 million yen. The performance sedan remained at 7.17 million yen.
The reduction of almost a quarter off the cost of its mid-level Model 3 is the Palo Alto, California-based carmaker’s latest attempt to stimulate sales in Japan. A little over six years ago, CEO Elon Musk was eyeing Japan as one of Tesla’s most important global markets. But as of last year, the automaker sold less than 2,000 units in the country, up just slightly from the year before.
I guess I didn’t realize (or more likely: probably forgot) Tesla was doing so poorly in Japan, though that makes sense given kei car culture there and, according to Bloomberg last year, a lack of brand recognition (and general distrust). Here, I am at least glad that the Bolt and Bolt EUV are finally giving Tesla some competition, or at least something to think about. Tesla will have a lot more to think about once everyone else ramps up their EV plans.
I emailed Tesla and will update this post if they respond.