August 7, 2017
Tesla Flooded with Model 3 Reservations
Not that long ago the critics insisted Tesla could never make a fully-electric car that was affordable for the middle class … and still good looking and enjoyable to drive. Now, those critics are silent, as Elon Musk’s company is taking orders for more than 1,800 Model 3 cars every single day.
While the company hasn’t said exactly how many names it has on the waiting list, the growth and the popularity of the car is off the charts. Some estimate the total number currently on request tops 500,000, though Tesla officials say it’s really closer to 455,000, which includes canceled orders from customers who had second thoughts.
The question, now, for Tesla is can it keep up with demand, 500,000 or no. Widespread reports of production delays at the company dropped Tesla valuation back beneath General Motors. But that was before Musk’s team put the throttle down, ramping up production to the point where spokesmen now say production will be able to meet demand of its first mass market automobile.
While the first Model 3 had already been delivered, Tesla expects 1,500 to roll off the assembly line in Q3. That number will escalate quickly, to 5,000 per week by year’s end and about 10,000 per week sometime in 2018. Musk didn’t mince words when he talked about the need to ramp up production:
“What we have ahead of us, of course, is an incredibly difficult production ramp…” Musk added there should be no doubt they would hit that 10,000 mark, adding that he felt better than ever about Tesla’s future.
Getting to 10,000 Model 3s a week would be a huge step for Tesla, who produced about 25,000 cars in Q2 of this year, up 40 percent when compared to the same time frame last year. And what will happen with the Model S luxury sedan now that the 3 is rolling out? Tesla still sees great things, saying Model S orders are still growing as well.
There are still some questions as Tesla moves from the luxury category to the mid-size mass market category. It’s one thing to make a limited-edition luxury item for people willing and able to drop six figures on a status symbol. It’s something else entirely to dive into a market dominated by the Honda Accord, Toyota Camry, and Ford Taurus. So far, pre-orders indicate a splash in the market … but time will tell if that trend lasts. To get there, Tesla will have to shift from “new and exciting” to “established and still turning heads.”