PALO ALTO -- Tesla Motors (TSLA) announced Thursday it is raising the price on all versions of its Model S sedan by $2,500 effective Jan. 1 for new reservation holders. That will lift the base price from $57,400 to $59,900 before federal tax credits.
The coveted red multicoat exterior paint, which some reservation holders have been waiting for, will be available to order for the first time. After the price change, all vehicles will include 12-way adjustable, heated front seats as standard equipment at no charge; previously, this had not been a standard feature.
George Blankenship, Tesla's vice president of worldwide sales, said in a company blog post that the price increase is the first since the Model S was unveiled in March 2009 and said increasing prices on an annual basis is "standard practice in the automobile industry."
The price hike will not apply to anyone who already has reserved a Model S or who does so before the close of business Dec. 31. In its latest earnings call Nov. 5, Tesla said it had 13,200 reservations for cars not yet delivered.
"They want to make sure they have a price increase in place for 2013, and they had to announce it now," said Andrea James, a senior research analyst at Dougherty & Co.
The Model S offers three battery-pack options that offer different
Contact Dana Hull at 408-920-2706. Follow her at Twitter.com/danahull.