Elon Musk's defense of his Tesla tweet will get SEC response

Tesla Should Not Have Lowered the Price of Autopilot Says Musk

The constant fire drill that is Tesla's business model continued for yet another day as Elon Musk has now admitted that Tesla made a mistake in announcing it would slash the prices of some of its higher-end vehicles about two weeks ago.

However, the US-firm has since announced plans to reverse the decision that would close the majority of its 378 stores globally.

Lawyers for Elon Musk have issued a defense of the Tesla CEO's tweet on February 19th, 2019 against the SEC complaint that the tweet violated the terms of Musk's earlier settlement with the regulator. The price cuts averaged 6% across vehicles. He also said that Autopilot prices would "revert to normal on Monday" (via Business Insider). In addition, The Daily Mail reported that angry owners had reached out to the company after purchasing Autopilot software for $5000, soon before the prices were discounted.

On February 28, Tesla lowered the prices of its vehicles and Autopilot, while shifting some Autopilot features into an upgrade package.

First and foremost, the Model Y will be based on the same platform as the Model 3 sedan.

"I also want to emphasize that we are making this hard decision now so that we never have to do this again", Musk said at the time. "Detailed specs & pricing will be provided", said Musk on March 3.

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The price reductions were offset in part when Tesla said on Sunday that it would raise by 3% the prices for all vehicles aside from the $35,000 base version of the Model 3.

If recent moves from Tesla have taught us anything, it's that the auto manufacturer likes to initially start construction of range-topping variants before making more affordable alternatives available - and we have no reason to believe they will change their practice with the Model Y. As a result, initial dual-motor versions should cost a touch over $50,000, although it's still unknown what form the entry-level SUV will take, as it seems unlikely Tesla will sell the vehicle in single-motor, rear-wheel drive guise like the $35,000 Model 3.

Tesla looks set to reduce the number of brick and mortar retail stores that will close over the following months, in a move that will see the prices of its electric vehicles (EVs) increase by 3%. Robert Taubman, chief executive officer of Taubman Centers Inc., is quoted as saying at the Citi 2019 Global Property CEO conference: "Tesla is a company with a viable balance sheet that is going to owe a lot of landlords a lot of money". Investors, therefore, will be watching the event closely.

While the Model Y's official launch will take place in a few hours, production won't get under way until next year.

Stated simply, Tesla has now gone back on all of the major business model changes it made just about two weeks ago, further exposing a company that can only be described as in the midst of anarchy.

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