The long-awaited US$35,000 Tesla Model 3 has been pulled from the company's online configurator and sales site, after just six weeks on sale.
According to Tesla, it noticed the slightly pricier Standard Plus variant (with 386km range) was selling at over six times the rate of the Standard Range model, and therefore decided to "simplify our production operations to better optimise cost, minimise complexity and streamline operations".
Despite coming to that conclusion in such a short space of time, Tesla says it will continue to offer the Standard Range as a special order product, available by phoning the company or visiting one of its showrooms.
The company adds anyone who decides to software-limit a Standard Range Plus to Standard Range specification can do so (at any time) and receive a refund for the difference in costs.
Opting for the Standard Range Model 3 via software limitation also disables various features including the onboard music streaming service navigation with live traffic, and heated seats.
Further changes include the fitment of the Autopilot package as standard equipment, though the changes see the price of the Model 3 Standard Plus rise by US$2000 to US$39,500 ($55,365.18) – previously the Autopilot option came at a $3000 premium.
The Model 3 Long Range rear-wheel drive version has also been pulled from the online configurator to "further simplify our line-up", according to Tesla, though it can still be ordered via phone or visiting a dealer.
From 11 April, the Model 3 leasing program launched in the US, too, allowing customers to lease a Model 3 through monthly payments in addition to an initial down payment.
However, unlike other leasing programs, Model 3 customers will not be able to buy their vehicle following the conclusion of the leasing term, as Tesla plans to use these vehicles in its upcoming ride-hailing network in conjunction with full autonomy.
It's unclear how this week's changes will affect Australian-bound Model 3s, given the entry-level EV hasn't even arrived Down Under yet.
Tesla has previously indicated a mid-2019 launch for the Model 3 in Australia, though that will likely be pricier high-spec Performance variants.
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