Automakers are full of ideas, and most of them tend to pan out, and set new trends. This isn’t always the case, however, and some ideas get canned. Tesla has recently decided to get rid of one of the more popular auto trends in two of its vehicles, and critics are wondering what this means for Tesla’s future.
Goodbye lumbar support
In a strange twist, Tesla has decided that lumbar support will no longer be included as an option in the Tesla Model 3 and Model Y on the passenger side. Given what a popular feature this has become, especially for those with bad backs or anyone who spends a lot of time on the road, this doesn’t quite make sense. It’s a favored feature on luxury cars, after all, so why take it away.
Elon Musk explained his reasoning on Twitter, but it was rather confusing. The conversation started with a tweet from a Twitter user that stated, “I really don’t like the direction @tesla is going raising prices of vehicles but removing features like lumbar for the Model Y. On top of rumors of FSD increase to $14k without any real added features to FSD unless you’re a beta tester.”
Musk was quick to reply with, “Moving lumbar was removed only in front passenger seat of 3/Y (obv not there in rear seats). Logs showed almost no usage. Not worth cost/mass for everyone when almost never used.”
MotorTrend isn’t buying this logic and pointed out that most drivers are going to set their lumbar support once to their own personal needs, and then don’t need to use it again. There’s no need to adjust it every time you get behind the wheel. The same logic could be applied to passengers who set it once and don’t need to do so again. Musk stands behind his decision, however, and future versions of the Model 3 and Model Y will not have the lumbar support on the passenger side.
This isn’t the only feature Tesla has cut
Tesla seems to be slashing features left and right. It wasn’t that long ago that the EV automaker announced it would no longer be using radar for some of its safety features. Instead, it will rely entirely on a camera-based setup.
In another budget-cutting exercise, it was accidentally discovered that Tesla is using fake wood trim for the cooling system. The owner of a Tesla Model Y decided to take apart the front sheet metal, so he could figure out if he could fix the panel fit. That’s when he discovered the wood trim, which is quite shocking on a vehicle that costs $55,000.
What does this mean for Tesla going forward?
While many may disagree about Tesla and its impact on the auto industry, there’s one thing everyone can agree on: Teslas are expensive. With prices ranging anywhere from $39,990 for the Model 3 to $200,000 for the Roadster, which hasn’t hit dealerships yet, Teslas are out of the budget range for many consumers. Given these prices, consumers are expecting a lot. Yet Tesla is continuing to raise prices and slash features.
Given some of the upcoming changes, it appears that older Teslas will have superior features to newer models. This will most likely result in people buying used Teslas, or holding on to the one they have rather than upgrading.
While this doesn’t spell the end for Tesla by any means, it does show there is still a lot of room for growth. Given that we’re still recovering from the pandemic and auto parts are in short supply, consumers may be willing to forgive and forget some of the cuts Tesla is making. How long this will hold true remains to be seen, however.
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