Tesla Makes a Price Hike to “Guarantee Viability”

Customers waiting for their 2008 Roadsters will receive further disappointing news. No the orders aren’t further postponed, this time Tesla Motors is letting its 400 waiting customers know that it intends to charge for options supposedly included when they locked in their orders.

A retroactive price hike is a risky move for a new company, but Tesla assures its customersthat the price change is necessary to “guarantee viability” for the future. The company was hit hard by the credit crunch and despite its attempts to cut costs and trim its workforce; it is running out of money.

Tesla, in the meantime, has let customers know that it will be changing the prices of options and destination, but has otherwise kept its patrons in the dark. It recently announced that it will meet with customers to discuss the price changes at two town hall meetings in Northern and Southern California next week.

The major pricing change is the $3,000 “high-power connector” which returns a full charge in about three hours. With out it, charging can take as long as 37 hours to recharge a dead battery. Another high priced option is the forged alloy wheels which will now cost an additional $2,300. The price of the freight is also up $1,000 from the price that customers locked in when they ordered.

Hiking up the price of the cars after customers have locked in their purchases has disappointed the 400 customers affected, but so far none have canceled their orders. The original base price of the 2008 Roadster ranged from $92,000 to $98,000 depending on when the order was placed. The cost of the 2009 Roadster already reflects the higher cost of the options and starts at $109,000.

Source: Wired