Tesla Model 3 reservations swell to nearly 300,000 in just three days, obliterates expectations

By Shawn Knight
Apr 3, 2016
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  1. Tesla Motors currently finds itself in quite the favorable predicament. The electric vehicle company sold its 100,000th Model S this past December, roughly three and a half years after the sedan’s launch.

    This past Thursday, Tesla introduced the Model 3 – the highly anticipated “affordable” four-door compact sedan with a starting price of just $35,000. Most expected the vehicle would generate a fair bit of demand but nobody anticipated the kind of reception the Model 3 has received thus far.

    As of late Saturday, Musk said they’ve received 276,000 Model 3 reservations. That equates to $276 million in pre-order fees and more than $9.6 billion in potential sales generated in just three days (and that’s assuming everyone orders the standard base model). On Friday, Musk said the average selling price with a mix of options is probably closer to $42,000.

    The executive said his team expected maybe 20-30 people would line up at each dealership to reserve a Model 3, not 800. Musk added that early buyers should check their mail for a “token of appreciation.”

    At the unveiling, Musk said production would begin next year with the first batch of owners taking delivery in late 2017. Given the overwhelming reception, Musk has since recommended that people wanting a Model 3 should order soon as the wait time is growing rapidly. He also added that they’re going to definitely rethink production planning.

    Permalink to story.

  2. Rippleman

    Rippleman TS Maniac Posts: 529   +143

    I wonder if this is 300,000 "steals" away from other manufacturers or if its just some people with money buying one to test it out knowing they can resell for the same price if they don't like it? 300,000 cars is A LOT of cars!
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2016
    Reehahs likes this.
  3. mailpup

    mailpup TS Special Forces Posts: 6,964   +355

    I think you mean 100 times 3,000. So yeah, 300,000 is a lot of cars and that can't help but siphon sales away from other manufacturers.
    DaveBG and Reehahs like this.
  4. Eric Koch

    Eric Koch TS Rookie

    I was reading about this on a car site that I frequent, however the deposit is refundable which leads me to believe that many more people would be willing to put their name down than will actually take delivery.

    Not to take away from the fact that 300 000 people have put up a significant interest in a single vehicle model! Impressive all the same.
    ikesmasher likes this.
  5. Rippleman

    Rippleman TS Maniac Posts: 529   +143

    opps... yes, typo corrected... lol
  6. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 11,469   +1,760

    The punchline of this story will likely become, "date of expected delivery of the Model 3, will need to be pushed back to late 2018 or early 2019 because of the increased demand".
    Yeah, the portion of Tesla buyers taking business directly away from General Motors' average of roughly 9,000,000 vehicles per year, will likely push the company to the verge of bankruptcy. (or not).

    That equation would be, 300,000 minus the portion would would have specifically bought GM cars during the same period. One has to assume that of the 300,000 Tesla buyers, the market share they acquire, would be split between all of "the big three", and a host of import manufacturers.

    Taken in those terms, 300,000 doesn't seem like such a big deal. Besides, doesn't Musk still have to wait on those batteries from Toshiba or whoever? Basically, he's hoping another company is going to make good on his promises.
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2016
  7. SirChocula

    SirChocula TS Booster Posts: 59   +46

    Nope, that's what his newly built Gigafactory is for. It's the largest battery production plant in the entire world. It's already up and operational at the time of the Model 3 unveiling.
    Reehahs likes this.
  8. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 11,469   +1,760

    IIRC, he managed to pull in a major Asian manufacturer to make that happen.

    And here's Mr Musk doing what he does best:
    Run his mouth.

    And please refrain from trying to use the future perfect tense as present day proof.

    Musk is into the government for close to $5,000,000,000.00, and Panasonic is fronting him, (ostensibly), a huge chunk of money for this "gigafactory. What does he do, again?
  9. Reehahs

    Reehahs TS Addict Posts: 164   +70

    He has done for electric cars, private space endeavours and possibly solar panels than what the other industries could not do despite their size and age. Just like what Oculus Rift achieved for VR industry.

    Also see:
    H3llion likes this.
  10. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 11,469   +1,760

    Not a valid argument. You can't "fail" by not trying or bothering to do something..

    Musk is great for claiming to "pioneer" something, which others have not done because of situational exigences.

    One glaring example is Space X and his, (supposed to be, but usually aren't) reusable boosters. To save enough fuel to successfully land a booster rocket, you have to sacrifice payload, period.

    NASA knew this decades ago, which is why the Saturn 5 moon launch vehicles were "throwaways". If you tried to land the booster, you simply couldn't put the required payload into orbit. So now, 50 years later Musk is running his yap as though he's made a breakthrough. Bulls***.

    As far as any private space endeavor goes, how much tech has NASA handed you for free? Technology, which I might add, was paid for by US taxpayers. Private space corporations simply can't "waste" the funds our government could in the 70's trying to get it right.

    EDIT: All of the foregoing fails to acknowledge the fact that people believe Musk has done so much, simply by virtue of the fact he's been so very busy telling you he has.
    BMfan and Skidmarksdeluxe like this.
  11. espenjames

    espenjames TS Rookie

    I was wondering if tesla motors is one of the biggest ponzi schemes in history. it seems that they promise deliveries but always push them off but have no problem taking orders vehicles that aren't even designed yet. I don't think any of the photos in this article are actually model 3's. I don't think they have even delivered half of the previous orders. If anyone of notoriety points this out they cancel their order, refund and then start bad mouthing that person. It just seems like a long running scam. Bernie Madoff manage to run his scam for decades by showing just enough returns to the right people while bilking the rest of all their money.
    ajac63 and captaincranky like this.
  12. MilwaukeeMike

    MilwaukeeMike TS Evangelist Posts: 2,732   +1,097

    It's not a big deal in the overall car market, it's a big deal for Tesla because 300k cars is like twice as much as they've ever sold.

    They promised them to start in the end of 2017, so we can't really call them on not delivering yet. As for the other models... I've seen them around, of all the things of heard of Tesla's financial situation, pozni scheme has never been mentioned.
  13. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 11,469   +1,760

    Which is most likely why Musk is the only one crowing about it. (Other than the "Muskolytes here). Besides, while this isn't 2017, those cars aren't "sold" either. The future perfect tense keeps creeping into these discussions, if only inadvertently.

    Isn't this how "Kickstarter" works? They take your money for a promise of something which will eventually become available? Accordingly, you won't find me at either Tesla's or Kickstarter's website.
    No, "Ponzi" scheme hasn't been mentioned, but it certainly is a component of Musk's marketing strategy. Now that he's managed to suck Panasonic into his web of intrigue, that should take a bit of the stink off that aspect of the business. That assumes of course, they continue to hang in there.

    Oh, and don't forget to check your mailbox for a "token of Musk's esteem". I don't want to ruin any surprises, but it's probably a key ring in the shape of a model 3.
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2016
  14. Reehahs

    Reehahs TS Addict Posts: 164   +70

    You already fail if you did not try in first place.

    NASA priority at the time was get to the moon and they had a budget permitting them to build new ones instead of spending resources and limited man power on perfecting reuse technology. NASA parachuted the auxiliary boosters but not the main rocket. The difference here is that perfecting the technology took many attempts and now not one but two companies (Blue Origin) got it right and found it worth investing in.

    With NASA's restricted budget and the size of private investments, no company can afford to throwaway multi-million dollar vehicles.

    Without Tesla going mainstream it would have been unlikely if the big car manufacturers would have bothered with electric vehicles to the same extent. Tesla is forcing them to invest and compete because they know if Tesla gets scaling right then they will struggle to capture the electric car market share. With model 3, Tesla already blows away the Nissan Leaf (pun intended!).
  15. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 11,469   +1,760

    This might work if I had the slightest faith or interest in listening to the crap which comes out of motivational speaker's mouths. We already know how to get rich in real estate. That would be to sell enough fools your course on "how to get rich in real estate".

    Yeah OK. The Saturn 5 booster weighed about a half million pounds. Oh, baby, baby, I'd love to see that parachute, or the gas bill for parking one.

    Musk has "thrown away" at least 3 out of 4 which I can remember. In fact his last attempt, finally managed to put a payload in orbit where it was suposed to be, and then the booster crashed. Prior to that, the Russians had to take payload to the ISS, because Space X couldn't.

    How on earth do you figure Tesla is "mainstream"? Particularly the imaginary "model 3" .At least the "Leaf" exists, the model 3 doesn't. Quit summarily yanking pages off your calendar, and talk about what is, now.
  16. DaveBG

    DaveBG TS Addict Posts: 218   +72

    They currently make some of the best cars in the world and on top of that are EVs. I wish them luck!
    9Nails likes this.
  17. 9Nails

    9Nails TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,212   +174

    I read somewhere that the #2 best selling car was the Ford Focus at somewhere around 200,000 sales in the US. So Tesla's topping 300,000 is quite a big number. At this point it's just a reservation and customers are able to back out if they feel like it. It's another year before they start shipping cars, and things change in that time.

    I wasn't a fan of the look of the interior, but beyond interior aesthetics it's a car that I could see myself owning.
  18. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 11,469   +1,760

    Well, you won't be buying it today, nor driving it tomorrow. That's a certainty.

    So far, we've heard about Musk starting colonies on Mars, building "energy saving" for batteries for house, (Which BTW, he's having a hard time delivering and don't save energy. I think he chalked that up to, unexpected demand as well). At this point, if those batteries do get delivered, we'll know it's because Musk weaseled the money out of Panasonic to build them along with his factory.

    Every project Musk undertakes is financed by tax credits, deposits, and investors. At one time, he paid off a government loan with investor's money, then turned around and started to crow about how, "I paid the government off early". Before so many people fell under the spell of Musk's carnival patter, we used to call that, "robbing Peter to pay Paul".

    If the cars come in 2017 fine. If he sold more cars in a day than Ford sells Focuses in a year, that's fine too.

    But at the end of that same day, those people are driving the focuses they bought, and Musk is still nothing more than a charismatic windbag, final answer.
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2016
    Reehahs likes this.
  19. Reehahs

    Reehahs TS Addict Posts: 164   +70

    Fact is simple, Tesla achieved 300000 pre-orders in few hours while it took Nissan leaf 5 years to get past 200000 sales. You get more car for less money if you buy Tesla compared to Leaf. See the conversion rate of deposits to full sales, Tesla holds the highest.
  20. So, 300,000 cars ordered in a few days all running on batteries. At this rate you're looking at 8,400,000+ cars ordered in the first three months. The oil barons are not going to like this.:eek:
  21. MilwaukeeMike

    MilwaukeeMike TS Evangelist Posts: 2,732   +1,097

    You can trash him all you want, but if you bought Tesla stock at the end of Jan when it was being hammered because of low oil prices you would have paid $140/share. It was an easy buy because it had been around $230 for like a year, but crashed when oil did. (why buy electric when gas is so cheap was the idea). But today gas is still cheap and that stock is selling for $264. You could have made like an 80% profit in a couple months. And when oil goes back up and the battery factory starts cranking out batteries that stock will be $320 or higher.

    You can tell us how dumb he is or you can get on the money train.
  22. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 11,469   +1,760

    Well, I have no idea why you're running your yap saying, "I think Musk is dumb". Quite the contrary, I think he's the master manipulator.

    Then too, in pretty much every other political thread here, Wall Street, it's brokers and bankers are being trashed as "people who should have been or should be, put in jail.

    So, as that goes, the stock market runs on hysteria, if you're winning at the moment, good for you. I expect I could have, at some point in time, have bought Apple stock cheap also. The sad, or happy fact is, I'm neither an "iSheep, or an "iWolf", and so Apple goes on without me.

    I really wish you wouldn't quote me, if you haven't the vaguest idea what I'm saying.:oops:

    EDIT: See this Wiki page:

    While I don't think Musk rises to this level, he is talking someone else out of the money to build the Model 3's, (and the factory to make the batteries), while he is talking the public out of the money to, (ostensibly), buy one. Meh.
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2016
  23. MilwaukeeMike

    MilwaukeeMike TS Evangelist Posts: 2,732   +1,097

    Well, maybe I misinterpreted it, but your post has a strong theme of 'Musk doesn't know what he's doing' and he's succeeding only because tax credit and tricking people into giving him money.

    I think he does know what he's doing. Perhaps he is overconfident - I've read the fastest way to get fired from one of his companies is to say 'It can't be done.' It's a guy who gets stuff done. He landed a rocket safely after delivering a payload to the space station. That's not only crazy hard to do, it's also never been done before. He's running a car company that's leading a revolution in the automobile. GM, Toyota, Audi, BMW, or Ford don't have a few hundred thousand pre-orders for their electric cars.
    Either he's a master manipulator, or he's the real deal. So far he's been the latter.
  24. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 11,469   +1,760

    No, I simply don't believe he has the skills you accredit to him.

    Which actually serves to substantiate what I'm saying. We just have a different slant on it. My interpretation is, "if you can't cash the checks my mouth is writing, you're fired.

    We must have been watching different news casts. The channel I've seen said, "Space X was finally able to get a payload to the ISS, but was unable to land the booster". (Remember, the Russians had to take supplies to the ISS, when the Space X rocket blew up on the pad. (Very similar to those nasty, useless, "Vanguard" rockets of the 50's. (Watching those things blow up was one of the great spectator sports of my childhood).

    Either way, Musk comes off as a person who spouts other people's dreams as though they were his own, while simultaneously broadcasting them and bullying his workers. Stupid, hardly. He's one of the best spokespersons around. Someday, his press releases might be copyrighted. MLK's, "I have a Dream" speech certainly is, and his family is still making money off it.(y)

    As near as I can tell, Musk uses the full court press on his electric cars, since they're his only product. I'm not about to engage the fossil fuel vs, electric debate here. What I will speculate is the public at large doesn't trust the auto industry, and goes running to Musk thinking he's their savior. That explains the disparity of numbers of cars sold, (at least to me), satisfactorily.
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2016
  25. MilwaukeeMike

    MilwaukeeMike TS Evangelist Posts: 2,732   +1,097

    I'm not going to sit here and tell you your opinion's wrong, but regarding the booster landing - yes, they crashed. Then they crashed again. Then they landed it.

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