Tesla Slashes Full Self Driving System’s Price, Levelling EV Market


In a move that may send shockwaves through the electric vehicle (EV) market, Tesla Inc. has slashed its Full Self Driving (FSD) system’s price by an astounding one-third. The autonomous driving suite, famous for its advanced, almost futuristic capabilities, yet paradoxically requiring human supervision, will now retail at $8,000, a substantial dip from its previous $12,000.

Known for his audacious pledges and moonshot ideas, Elon Musk, Tesla’s billionaire CEO, had in 2019 assured the world of an imposing robotaxi fleet cruising down the streets by 2020. Despite the year having come and gone, these self-driving taxicabs continue to be an unfulfilled promise. The FSD system, while boasting advanced driver-assist features, continues to need a human driver behind the wheel, ready to shoulder control at a moment’s notice.

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The price drop for the FSD system was ushered in on a Saturday, corroborating with Tesla’s strategy to cut prices across its electric vehicle lineup. Adding to a string of interesting maneuvers, Tesla lopped $2,000 off the sticker prices of three out of its five models on a late Friday evening. This is consistent with the difficulties the company faces in consolidating its market position amidst other auto companies turning towards electric mobility.

The trio of Tesla’s cost-trimming crusade comprises the Model Y, Model X, and the Model S. The Model Y, a compact SUV which takes the crown for being Tesla’s star model, is also the reigning champion of EV sales in the U.S. Despite the company shaving off dollars from the Model Y, along with its older, pricier counterparts, the Model X and Model S, the prices for the world-famous Model 3 sedan and the highly anticipated Cybertruck held firm.

Interestingly, this strategic move came in the wake of Tesla’s stock price sinking to perilously low levels. The day preceding the announcement saw share prices plunge under the $150 mark, stripping Tesla of any year-on-year gains. The company, headquartered in Austin, Texas, has watched its stock plummet nearly 40% this year, a decline triggered by dwindling sales and the mounting pressure of competition in the EV market.

Resorting to discounted sticker prices, Tesla hopes to woo and lure more prospective buyers into the world of silent, emission-free driving that its electric cars promise. In doing so, the automaker broadly aims to stand its ground in a rapidly evolving industry marred by intense competition and shifting consumer preferences. Only time will tell whether these pricing strategies will indeed electrify Tesla’s market positioning, or if they’ll simply run out of charge.