Tesla Model 3 bought [Photo by reader AH]
As Tesla continues to scramble to make the Model 3 profitable in time to begin making big debt payments in November, the company hiked the price of the all-wheel drive option on the car.
According to Tesla's online configurator, the price has increased from $5,000 to $6,000.
The change was first reported by Electrek on Monday.
Tesla factory screencap from SF Bay Area CBS video
Buyers interested in the all-wheel-drive Model 3 have been on a pricing roller coaster since the option was announced.
First, Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk announced that it would cost less than the all-wheel-drive option on the Model S: $5,000. When the company began building all-wheel drive versions of the Model 3 in May, the option cost exactly $5,000. Tesla lowered the price to $4,000 in June, and raised it back to $5,000 in August.
On Wednesday, the company also eliminated two of the Model 3's seven color options, Obsidian Black and Metallic Silver, Musk announced in a Tweet. Buyers who want those colors can still special order them at extra cost.
Moving 2 of 7 Tesla colors off menu on Wednesday to simplify manufacturing. Obsidian Black & Metallic Silver will still be available as special request, but at higher price.— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) September 11, 2018
Solid Black is the only color that doesn't cost extra. Other colors add $1,500 to $2,000 to the price of a Model 3.
As the company works to ramp up production to a steady 6,000 Model 3s per week, the paint shop has reportedly been a major and consistent bottleneck on the assembly line.
It has also been a major safety concern in the Tesla factory, with fires reportedly requiring responses from local emergency officials repeatedly early in the summer. Reducing the complexity of color selection can make a major difference in reducing that bottleneck.
So far, Tesla has still not announced when it will offer the short range Model 3 at the car's originally advertised $35,000 base price.