A Used Tesla Model 3 Price Won't Follow Tradition


If you really want a Tesla Model 3, but remain skeptical or the $35,000 base price, you’re probably waiting for used models to hit the market.

Chances are, you’re going to be in for a surprise. Adam Jonas, lead auto analyst with Morgan Stanley, said in a CNBC interview Monday that he thinks the Model 3 used car price won’t play by current rules, which in turn will affect new car pricing.

The problem is all to do with Tesla’s in-house Autopilot system, which currently uses sensors to drive vehicles down the street. Powered by an Nvidia Drive PX 2 platform, the system collects data that can be used for the company’s forthcoming software update that will enable fully autonomous cross-country road trips.

“Tesla’s cars can get better because they can learn,” Jonas said. “They put in that equipment so that the vehicle five years from now is much more superhuman and much better than the one that’s just learning and watching now.”

Analysts currently consider the used car market in a totally different way. Generally, when you buy a car, you don’t expect it to improve after it’s left the showroom. Jonas’ team is running scenarios where used car values over the next five years are off by as much as 50 percent.

“Our work on the used cars values more focuses on the technological obsolescence of the 255 million cars on the road, the $2 trillion worth of cars in the United States,” Jonas said.

This, coupled with the fact that Tesla has less of a used car market to worry about than other automakers, means the company faces different pressures when it comes to choosing the Model 3’s price.

Fortunately, you may not even have to pay the upfront cost to ride in a Model 3. Jonas said that Tesla may look like a car company today, but in the future, it will merge into offering transportation as a service.

“We think that Tesla is more of a transportation company, using vehicles sold today as a machine to become something much much bigger,” Jonas said.

With Elon Musk outlining plans for high-density urban passenger transport in his second master plan last July, it may not be long before you can call a self-driving Model 3 to pick you up Uber-style.

Watch Jonas’ appearance here: