Tesla cut the price for its Long Range Model S vehicle twice in the past three days — and the latest discount is based on jokes about sex and pot.
A 4 percent cut on Tuesday brought the electric car’s price tag down to $71,990, while a subsequent cut now has it selling for $69,420. The latest and lowest price is a reference to jokes about a sex position and marijuana that frequently pop up in the Twitter feed of chief executive Elon Musk.
“The gauntlet has been thrown down! The prophecy will be fulfilled,” Musk wrote in a tweet announcing the price change.
Indeed, the latest price is exactly a thousand times that of a pair of red satin shorts that Tesla started selling in July for “$69.420” to poke fun at the company’s naysayers. Musk likewise got into hot water with securities regulators in 2018 when he tweeted that he was “considering taking Tesla private at $420.”
Tesla introduced its Model S in 2012, but in recent years the car has faced competition from its less expensive Model 3 sedan, which currently starts at $37,990. The Model S makes up only around 5 percent of Tesla’s unit volume, a Credit Suisse analyst said in a note to investors.
The analyst said the Model S price reduction was likely in response to price cuts by electric vehicle startup Lucid Motors, which sells its luxury sedan Air model at a starting price of $69,900. That includes a $7,500 US government electric vehicle tax credit that Tesla vehicles are no longer eligible for.
Shares of Tesla were down 1.6 percent Thursday morning, at $453.78.