I see your point, but I already considered all that beforehand. And I still can't understand it.
1) Not everybody wants, needs or can afford every feature.
It's open for debate, but my view is everybody DOES want every feature they can have. Society is known for wanting more than they need. Not everybody needs them indeed. And the cost factor I already addressed - base price covers most extra BoM, R&D and then some. The only problem associated to cost is company-side: they know certain base features will atract purchase, while some extras which 99% of people will add to certain models are just their way of saying "thanks dude, we knew you'd buy that yet we keep it off stock because FU"
Automakers can sell more cars if they offer them at a range of prices
Different ranges will cater to different markets (more revenue), but not necessarily more profit. That's their choice because they insist on a production line that is greedy enough to want all market segments. There are profitable ways to make a car and not have 20 variants of the same model (e.g. Ferrari, Hyundai, Land Rover target very narrow market scopes, some of them keep niche products for marketing purposes only). And finally, the market of a Model S is indeed different, but the point is they didn't follow a useless segmented extra-centric strategy and focused on user experience, satisfaction and overall quality with the added perk of performance and environment-friendly engine. There are brands already segmenting their electric offer, and the thing is you don't see them selling so well, at least on units shipped vs actual units sold.
People like to customize their vehicles because having something a little unique is valued.
No. Most cars aren't works of art, because art is one of the few "industries" where uniqueness is key. Save for some limited-edition, luxury cars, that point is moot. Extras rarely value a car, age and exclusivity do.
Bundling options keeps complexity down to a manageable level and if done right improves profits for the manufacturer.
Shipping full extras also keeps complexity to a manageable level, and if done right, greatly increases profit through brand recognition for having a complete car instead of one that is missing just that little extra.
If people start gravitating with their dollars towards that business model then that is what will happen.
Indeed, although I can see why most american would fear this business model, because it sounds oh-so-much like some weird form of communism applied to automotive. There is no reason to fear standardization here. Same for healthcare. Same for education. NOT the same for salary ceilings or price capping, because that is real communism. Embrace the fact that uniqueness you seek only applies in your neighborhood - someone, elsewhere will most likely have the exact same model and extras as you.