Tesla changes U.S. prices for fourth time in two months

(Reuters) – Tesla has changed prices for one version of each of its Model 3 sedan and Model Y crossover, the fourth price adjustment by the electric vehicle maker since the start of the year.

Tesla increased the price of its Model Y performance crossover by $1,000 to $58,990, its website showed. It cut the price of the rear-wheel drive Model 3 sedan, its cheapest model, by $500 to $42,990, the website showed.

Both vehicles qualify for $7,500 in federal tax credits.

Tesla rolled out sweeping price cuts in January across its line-up and in all of its major markets.

The company has been adjusting prices online since with a cadence that is unusual in an industry where the benchmark is still described as a “sticker prices” on the window of a vehicle in inventory.

After the recent changes, the performance version of the Model Y, which has a higher top speed and a lower suspension, is still about 16% cheaper than it was in early January for U.S. customers.

The rear-wheel-drive Model 3 is about 9% cheaper.

Prices for the other two versions of the Model 3 and the Model Y on sale in the United States were unchanged on Tuesday.

Tesla raised the price of its Model Y Long Range earlier this month in the U.S. market after the government raised the ceiling on the price of crossover electric vehicles eligible for the income tax incentive.

Chief Executive Elon Musk said last month that vehicle orders were roughly double the company’s output in January after the first round of price cuts.

Musk said strong demand had prompted the company to make its first small price increase to the Model Y and that the company would focus on price to drive demand with the economy headed toward what he believes will be a recession.

Tesla’s deep price cuts in January prompted protests in China from Tesla buyers who had bought earlier and missed out on the savings.

Some owners of Tesla’s in the United States had complained that the price cuts also eroded the resale value of their vehicles.

Tesla’s price cuts this year came after nearly two years when it had been pushing prices higher and could not keep up with demand.

(Reporting by Zhang Yan in Shanghai and Kevin Krolicki in Singapore; Editing by Mark Potter)

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