Tesla crushed expectations with the formal introduction of its Model 3 sedan in early 2016. Within days of the announcement, the automaker had secured nearly 300,000 reservations for its mainstream electric vehicle.
During Tesla’s recent quarterly earnings report, founder and CEO Elon Musk provided a rare update on the Model 3’s pre-order count.
As Business Insider highlights, reservations for the highly-anticipated EV have dropped to around 455,000 from an apparent high of 518,000. Musk didn’t seem too concerned, however, as he said they’ve added an average of about 1,800 reservations per day since Friday when the first 30 vehicles were handed over to early adopters (Tesla employees that got to skip the line) as part of a ceremony streamed live over the Internet.
Deliveries to ordinary customers will begin sometime this fall.
Musk suggested Tesla could easily drive up pre-order numbers even higher although doing so would be counterproductive.
He compared it to the fast-food industry – "It's like if you're a restaurant and you're serving hamburgers and there's like an hour-and-a-half wait for hamburgers — do you really want to encourage more people to order more hamburgers?"
Considering the current backlog of reservations and Tesla’s comparatively low production rate, most estimate that those who pre-order now won’t receive their vehicles until the end of 2018. Given the long wait, it’s no surprise that 63,000 people have canceled their reservations.