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In a recent article, Simon-Kutcher & Partners questions Tesla’s pricing strategy for the Cybertruck.

They off 5 suggestions on how the Cybertruck lineup and pricing can be improved. I agree with the first two suggestions, I was surprised they didn't offer a 2WD versions. But the other 3 I'm not so sure about, especially the idea of Tesla entering the super premium segment.

1. Should Tesla have offered the $40k 2WD base model truck?
Based on our longstanding observations of the US pickup market, we believe that Tesla should fully recognize the Cybertruck as a luxury vehicle and not a workman’s truck. As such, we feel Tesla could have been better off not offering the base model in its current form. We do not believe that this variant provides the right value to the workman AND we can see it hindering Tesla’s ability to command premium prices on the higher-tier trims, particularly given that styling is the same across the lineup.

With the 2WD model out of the way, we believe that the $50,000 dual-motor Cybertruck could have served as the base model, as it is still affordable yet aspirational for a premium buyer, with performance that justifies its price tag.

2. Should Tesla have introduced a truck between the dual- and tri-motor models?
If the dual-motor Cybertruck were to serve as the model’s base trim, we question if Tesla could have still filled the gap with a mid-tier model that slots below the tri-motor world-beater. Tesla could have de-tuned the tri-motor truck to do zero to 60 in 3.5 seconds and tow 12,000 lbs., thus creating a clear hierarchy. This mid-range truck could have been priced around 65,000 US dollars, placing it as a price competitor to sporty SUVs such as the BMW X6 and Porsche Cayenne. However, the Tesla variant would have vastly outperformed its luxury competition at this price level, thus maintaining the “more for less” value proposition.

3. Should Tesla have increased the price of their top-tier Cybertruck to monetize the willingness-to-pay of super-SUV buyers?
We view the tri-motor variant as a performance Goliath, and without a low price anchor holding it back, we believe that Tesla could have extracted more value out of their top-tier truck. Following our first two lines of thinking and pricing the halo Cybertruck at 85,000 dollars, Tesla would be left with 3 models, priced at 50,000, 65,000, and 85,000 dollars, all of which provide “more for less” compared to their competitors.

A price point of 85,000 US dollars is historically reserved for high-end luxury or even lower-end exotic vehicles. Still, compared to challengers ranging from the BMW X5M to the Lamborghini Urus, this amount of money is a downright bargain for the level of performance offered by the Cybertruck. In our experience, customers seeking the attention and performance levels offered by the top-tier Cybertruck are more than willing to venture into that pricing territory.

4. Should Tesla tackle the super-premium segment?
If Tesla were to fully position the Cybertruck as a luxury vehicle, then why should they stop at even 85,000 dollars, when their competition is so much more expensive? Our experience leads us to believe that setting a price anchor above the psychological pricing threshold of 100,000 dollars would have the dual effect of solidifying the Cybertruck as an aspirational vehicle, while making the less-expensive trims look like a good deal by comparison.

Tesla could set this price anchor either by building and marketing an even higher-performance model, or adding differentiated features to an existing model and marketing it as “exclusive” by creating scarcity (e.g. a “launch edition” model). Regardless, if Tesla were to go this route, we would suggest building the most expensive models first, so that the public first sees the Cybertruck driven by the best-connected trend setters. After all, 85,000 dollars can seem like a deal when people first notice Cybertruck variants priced at more than 100,000 dollars parked alongside Ferraris outside of Nobu.

5. Should the premium trims of the Cybertruck be sold with built-in community perks?
Tesla, like other high-end automotive manufacturers, has fostered a community of enthusiasts who view their vehicles as a part of their lifestyle and identity. Tesla already is able to monetize their fan base through their referral program, but we wonder if they could capitalize even more by offering additional “community perks” with higher-end trims of the Cybertruck. These perks could include exclusive off-road events in the desert, advanced access to new features via software updates, or even prioritized status on new-vehicle waiting lists. Regardless, by offering their fans experiences and perks that set them apart in the community, Tesla would enhance the value proposition of their highest-tier vehicles.

Tesla Cybertruck Pricing
 
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