Tesla unveils $35,000 standard Model 3, shifts worldwide sales to online-only

Tesla is so sure its electric vehicles will meet expectations - the Model 3 has after all has been named the auto that "brings the most joy" - that it says customers purchasing online will be also able to to return the auto within 7 days for a full refund.

The Tesla and SpaceX boss also posted a poll about making 'the Mars Technocracy real'.

Tesla's plan to close many of its physical retail stores as it shifts towards an all-online sales model "will force the whole industry to accelerate the move to online vehicle sales", it has been claimed.

Chief Executive Elon Musk on a conference call said the company would not turn a profit in the first quarter but would return to profitability in the second, CNBC reported.

Tesla's biggest rival in developing self-driving cars, Google's Waymo self-driving division, announced this week that its cars can recognize and respond to traffic cops and hand signals.

The news comes three days after renewed tensions between Musk and US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Musk's electric vehicle company Tesla halted orders on its website Thursday ahead of a planned announcement.

"There's a bit of a leap of faith that's required to have confidence that the moving from a physical distribution model to an online distribution model will succeed", Tom Vandeventer, portfolio manager with Tocqueville Opportunity Fund, said in a telephone interview. In 2018, the company reported $3.69 billion in unrestricted cash and equivalents, if the company's cash level is at a similar level, a $920 million hit will take up a significant amount of Tesla's resources. Its Partial Premium Interior adds heated 12-way power front seats, a "premium" seat material and interior trim, upgraded audio with "immersive sound", and docking for two smartphones, which we assume is wireless charging.

Finally, Tesla announced two Autopilot self-driving packages for the Model S, Model X, and Model 3.

However, Musk pointed out in the email that 78 percent of all Model 3 orders were placed online and 82 percent of customers bought such models without ever taking a test drive.

Shifting all sales online, combined with other ongoing cost efficiencies, will enable us to lower all vehicle prices by about 6% on average, allowing us to achieve the $35,000 Model 3 price point earlier than we expected.

"Given its seeming abruptness, it does not appear that yesterday's announcement was made from a position of strength".

"Cutting prices is more often a sign of weakness unless you are Amazon", he said.

Meanwhile, U.S. dealers remain sanguine about their position in the sales chain.

The CEO doubled down on his defense against the SEC's claims by reiterating comments he made on a January 30 earnings call that Tesla would sell as many as 500,000 Model 3s this year. "The vast majority of consumers want to do some combination of both online and traditional shopping for new vehicles".

Here's a look at the bare bones Standard Model 3 specs.

The cheapest Model 3 that could be ordered before Thursday started at $42,900.

The lower price could expand the Model 3 market by about 600,000 cars in the United States alone, based on historical sales figures for similarly priced sedans, Baird analyst Ben Kalo wrote in a note to clients.