Incredible demand for the electric car puts pressure on Tesla to deliver the goods

The Tesla Model 3 is quickly turning into one of the most in-demand production vehicle in the auto industry. Tesla CEO Elon Musk tweeted that just two days after the Model 3 was officially unveiled, pre-orders for the low-cost five-seater have already reached 276,000. That total came as a complete surprise even to the company founder as Musk subsequently tweeted that Tesla would need to “rethink production planning” in the wake of the incredible demand for the $35,000 electric car.

Granted, the buzz surrounding the Model 3 comes with some caveats, specifically the model’s timetable. Tesla says production for the Model 3 isn’t expected to start until the end of 2017 so those first pre-orders shouldn’t expect to receive their models at least until 2018. Even then, there’s no guarantee that Tesla can hit that schedule. History dictates that there’s going to be some form of delay that could push the start of production to 2018 and deliveries into 2019. That’s going to be a long wait for any car, let alone one that promises to provide the full EV experience at a fraction of the cost compared to its luxurious siblings, the Model S and the Model X.

Still, regardless of the expectation verses reality angle surrounding the Model 3, what’s clear is that the reception of Tesla’s newest ride has been beyond overwhelming. The issues with production and delivery – and there will be issues given how demand has been so great – are problems for another day. Today, Tesla should toast the successful unveiling of its newest model. It probably didn’t expect the demand for the Model 3 to be this high, but now that it’s here, the automaker needs to make sure that all the hype and buzz the model has generated won’t go to waste as the car is being prepared for production.

The pressure’s definitely on Musk and Tesla now. Time to see if the Model 3 really does become the everyday EV of the future.

Continue after the jump to read the full story.

Why it matters

2018 Tesla Model 3 High Resolution Exterior
- image 671349

Make no mistake about it, the overwhelming response behind the Model 3 is a huge development for Tesla. Move past the massive number of pre-orders, because as indicative as that is of the Model 3’s successful unveiling, the real indicator can be found in Tesla’s stock price, which hit its highest numbers in six months on April 1, 2016, the day after the Model 3 made its highly anticipated debut. Not only did those numbers surprise Musk, it also blew away all the investor predictions that came before the Model 3 burst into the scene.

Let’s take a look at that angle for a second. According to Time, a survey conducted by brokerage firm Evercore ISI indicated that investor expectations for the Model 3 amounted to 55,000 pre-orders being placed in the first three days and 117,000 by the end of 2016. Those estimates not only proved to be completely off, but they were rendered irrelevant in less than a day. According to Musk, 115,000 pre-orders of the Model 3 were taken even before seeing the car. That’s 2,000 orders short of the estimate for the entire year. By the end of Saturday, Tesla already had 276,000 pre-orders for the Model 3, blowing just about every expectation set for the car and the company. Consider this other incredible stat: the pre-orders for the Model 3 is close to tripling the total number of models Tesla has sold in its lifetime.

It really is unprecedented, but let’s return our feet into the ground now. Don’t expect that number to continue shooting for the stars, because at some point, the demand will level off now that the reality of the production timetable sets in. If each pre-order of the Model 3 is taken, there’s a reasonable chance that it would take until 2020 or 2021 before some of the cars that were pre-ordered will be delivered to their owners. That’s not even counting the possibility for production delays to happen. That’s happened to the Model S and the Model X so it’s reasonable to think that it could also happen to the Model 3 now that there’s immense pressure on Musk and the company to build a car that can live up to the buzz it has generated.

These expectations are not meant to discredit the electrifying jolt in the arm the Model 3 has given to Tesla. It’s just a reminder that as exciting as the Model 3 is today, the car still hasn’t been built. There’s no telling what shape or form it takes in when it arrives, but rest assured, Tesla will be upping its game to make sure that it comes out with the best product possible. Quite frankly, it’s got no choice now.

Tesla Model 3

2018 Tesla Model 3 High Resolution Exterior
- image 671324

Read our full review on Tesla Model 3 here.

Source: Elon Musk

What do you think?
Show Comments
Car Finder: