Tesla Model Y price cuts have brought costs below U.S. average

Tesla’s most recent round of price cuts to the Model Y have brought the vehicle’s introductory trim level to a starting price below that of the average new car or truck in the United States.

Last week, Tesla initiated its fifth price cut to the Model Y, offering discounts on all three currently offered configurations of the all-electric crossover. Its entry-level trim, the Model Y All-Wheel-Drive, now costs $46,990 before federal incentives or localized discounts that vary depending on the state.

Even without the rebates, the Model Y All-Wheel-Drive has undercut the starting price of the average car or truck in the United States, data from Bloomberg shows.

Data from March 2023 put the average transaction price for a new car or truck in the U.S. at $47,749, $759 more than the cost of the introductory Model Y.

It’s a major win for Tesla and its CEO Elon Musk, who have worked hard to dispel the perception of electric vehicles and their affordability.

While Tesla does not offer the most affordable and cheapest EVs on the market, the automaker does offer a combination of affordability and world-class tech, which leads the industry and has since the overwhelming adoption of EVs through the past few years.

The long-standing notion that EVs are for the ultra-wealthy and rich is long gone. Over 750,000 EVs were bought by Americans last year, and 5.7 percent of automotive sales were electric, up from 3.2 percent in 2021.

Tesla led sales figures by an overwhelming margin, and the Model Y, despite not being as affordable as the Model 3, has been the company’s most popular vehicle.

Even still, the discounted prices of the Model Y and Model 3 have kept analysts at bay in terms of Tesla’s financial outlook. Wedbush analyst Dan Ives said the price cuts are “keeping investors up at night” as margins have come into focus.

Adam Jonas of Morgan Stanley said in a note earlier this year that “EV price cuts are not a fad, but a trend” and that Tesla would set the tone for the market moving forward.

And they have. Competitors in all markets have been forced to respond to Tesla’s pricing adjustments to keep themselves in the EV conversation. Ford, for example, cut prices on the Mustang Mach-E after Tesla threw discounts out earlier this year. Meanwhile, other automakers refused to respond in the form of monetary adjustment.

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