Elon Musk has announced that Tesla is cutting the price of its flagship Model S to $69,420.
Musk’s price change is in reference to two things: the first is that American electric car maker Lucid Motors said that its new electric car, the Lucid Air, would cost $77,400 minus a $7,500 tax credit.
As Techcrunch reports, most buyers qualify for this tax credit, thereby lowering the car’s price to $69,900 and taking it below the price of the Model S.
“The gauntlet has been thrown down! The prophecy will be fulfilled,” Musk tweeted.
The Model S price’s second reference is a joke; the number “69” is a reference to a sexual position, while “420” is a reference to cannabis culture.
Musk has made similar jokes with Tesla products, and stock, before.
In 2018, the CEO tweeted that he was “considering taking Tesla private at $420”.
The price had no basis, according to regulators, and caused market fluctuations – raising shares in the company by 11 per cent, but also resulting in a $20m (£15.5m) fine by the US Securities and Exchange Commissions, which Musk said was “worth it”.
This year, Tesla also launched a pair of expensive shorts as a means for CEO Elon Musk to taunt short-sellers, priced at $69.420.
The Lucid Air poses strong competition to the Model S. It has 480 horsepower and the potential to travel 653 kilometers (406 miles) on a single charge – approximately six kilometres (four miles) longer than the Model S Long Range Plus, according to the Verge.
However, that vehicle will not be available until 2022.
Musk had criticised the Lucid Air on Twitter, saying that former lead engineer on the Model S and current Lucid Motors CEO Peter Rawlinson “didn’t design Model S.”
“Prototype was done before he joined & he left us in the lurch just as things got tough, which was not cool. He did make some contributions to body/chassis engineering, but not to powertrain, battery, electronics or software”, Musk tweeted.
Tesla’s Model S cars have been reduced in price for some time, as well as experiencing lower sales.
Electrek reports that the Tesla Model S Long Range Plus decreased in price from $79,990 to $74,990 in May, and was decreased again more recently to its current price of $71,990.
Similarly, the Tesla Model S Performance’s price dropped from $94,990 to $91,990.
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