- REUTERS/Joe White/File Photo
Tesla is still actively trying to avoid misperceptions about its long-awaited Model 3 as it inches closer to production.
The electric-car maker has designed a webpage clarifying that the Model 3 is not a next-generation Model S.
“Model 3 is designed and built as a mass-market, affordable electric vehicle,” the page says. “Although it will be our newest vehicle, Model 3 is not ‘Version 3’ or the most advanced Tesla.”
Tesla is so concerned that people are misinterpreting the Model 3 that it wrote about the need to temper expectations in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing in early May. Tesla CEO Elon Musk made similar comments on Twitter in March.
“Moving past Q2, particularly as Model 3 becomes available, one of our challenges will be to eliminate any misperception about the differences between Model S and Model 3,” the filing said.
The Model 3 is Tesla’s first mass-market sedan, priced at $35,000. Production is expected to begin in July, putting pressure on Tesla to clear up any marketing confusion in the next several weeks.
Musk said the Model 3 name has led to confusion among buyers who think it’s a next-generation Tesla that’s better than the Model S.
Tesla initially planned to dub the car the Model E to have a lineup that spelled out “sexy,” but Ford filed for the Model E trademark before Tesla, leading Musk to opt for the Model 3.
Musk says the confusion has affected Model S sales.
“We’re going to be a broken record on this front,” Musk said earlier this month. “But we really have to be emphatic for an error that I, unfortunately, take full responsibility in naming something that inherently would cause confusion in marketing.”