Model S Delivery Dates and Sequencing

Model S Delivery Dates and Sequencing

Hi everyone,

I know the last few months have been quite frustrating surrounding two issues: Model S delivery dates and the sequence of deliveries. Our communication on these two issues has been weak at best. There are reasons for this, but it will only sound like an excuse if I try to explain them, so I will not.

What you need to know is that we have been intensely, intensely working on these issues. A personal communication will be going out today to all Signature reservation holders that have not received their car (or are scheduled to receive their car in the next few days). This communication will explain at a high level what has happened and what will happen going forward.

For those who have been caught up in this whirlwind of issues, I apologize for the inconvenience. Our first communication to help take care of this will be out soon.

Sincerely, GeorgeB

BYT | October 17, 2012

Thanks George, looking forward to the message, but not nearly as much as I am for my Sig P85 Model S... :)

matthew.johnson | October 17, 2012

Thank you George - I look forward to receiving the communication and appreciate your note. All the Best to you and the Tesla team!

joepruitt | October 17, 2012

Mine is being delivered on Thursday. Wonder if I'll get the email. If anyone does, please share the message...

Scorch | October 17, 2012

Thanks for posting George. So many of us are slaves to this message board, checking in every day for even a small piece of news while we wait!

BYT | October 17, 2012

@Scorch, totally agree! This Model S forum is my home page on all my devices... :)

ronlitvak | October 17, 2012

George, your post epitomizes all that is right about Tesla Motors: accountability that runs through the organization and starts at the very top. You make no excuses about the enormity of the undertaking and transition the company is going through as it brings this new car to market with new people, new machinery, a new plant and a new distribution method. Instead, you just apologize for the snafu and promise that the company will do better. I, for one, am impressed with where Tesla is now and confident that this company will be the very model of forward-thinking, consumer-focused, no-nonsense enterprise for many years to come.

Captain_Zap | October 17, 2012

I'm willing to switch from obeche gloss to obeche matte if it helps!

Thanks for the update.

gopassgas | October 17, 2012

Dear James,

We have been receiving a lot of very specific questions lately regarding the delivery timing of Signature cars. I have received many inquiries personally, and the Delivery Specialists and Ownership Experience teams are both receiving questions regarding this issue on a daily basis. Given our recently modified 2012 production plan and the information we now have, after several weeks of digging into this issue, I thought it would be helpful to send a personal message to all Signature reservation holders who have not yet received their car to give them an update and explain exactly what is going on.

As you probably know, our initial estimate of 5,000 cars by the end of 2012 has been re-estimated to between 2,500 and 3,000 cars. This change was announced several weeks ago and is the result of several factors, including a number of global supplier issues and our own in-house quality expectations. This change does not impact the number of Signature cars that will be built, and we will still produce cars in "series order" as originally planned. This means we will still produce Model S Signature cars first, then move to General Production cars.

The primary impact of this revised production ramp is that early Model S deliveries have been moved out approximately 4 to 6 weeks. For some of you, this change means that the estimated delivery date on your order paperwork has now passed, and you may have had the delivery date of your Model S scheduled and then re-scheduled to a later date. This is very unfortunate and is not something we are happy about or taking lightly. I apologize for this inconvenience. We are now actively resolving the issues that have caused delays, and over the next few weeks you will see a substantial improvement in the accuracy of our projected delivery dates. We know what needs to be done, and we appreciate the patience you have shown as we work through these early-stage growing pains.

There is another issue I'd also like to address briefly that has hit my inbox a few times recently and has surfaced on a few forums. The issue surrounds the sequence in which we are building and delivering Model S. This is an issue we take very seriously. Many Model S reservation holders I have met during the past two years actually introduce themselves by name and then follow their introduction by giving me their Model S Reservation Sequence Number. Their sequence number is something that is very important to them, and is very important to us. That being said, let me explain what has happened during the first three months of production and what is happening now.

We have been working very hard to build cars in the perfect sequence order while managing our way through a few supplier quality issues and a few key vendor delays. As you may recall, we had quality issues early on with Banana Leaf décor, and moved away from that option to Obeche Wood Matte. Shortly thereafter we added Obeche Wood Gloss to the list of available decors and made a few changes to the Performance Model exterior. All these changes impacted the sequence in which we could send orders to the factory. Another variable that impacts delivery is the length of time customers take to finalize their configuration. Some customers decide on options and sign their paperwork within 24 hours after receiving the invitation to configure. Others take a month or more to finalize paperwork. While this may not affect your delivery timing, it is a variable that has impacted others.

As much as we tried to juggle all the changes with the move away from Banana Leaf, the addition of Obeche Wood Matte, then the addition of Obeche Wood Gloss, and making changes to the Performance Model, we still needed to send orders to the factory every week. In some weeks it meant we had to reach forward in the sequence order to find cars that were not impacted by a particular décor or option, and in some cases the absence of a particular décor or option pushed cars back. We also had to work with how long it took some customers to configure their car. So what does all this mean? It means that when all is said and done, there will be about 26 Model S Signature cars that are built earlier than they should have been (most of which have already been delivered), and about 28 will have been built later than they should have been (all of which are now under a microscope everyday to make sure they get through production immediately and have delivery expedited). I wish we could have provided a more seamless experience, but we tried our best to prioritize weekly production orders while taking into account the quality we insisted upon, the parts we had, and the all-important sequence number.

With all this now taken into account, what should you be expecting next? For most of you (some of you are already beyond this point), two things will be happening very soon. You will be receiving an email to start prepping for your delivery, and you will be receiving a revised target delivery date from the Delivery Experience Team. The email will ask a few questions about where you would like to take delivery, if you plan to finance your Model S, if you have a trade-in, and will confirm your registration information. This email will be coming out soon and is the start of your delivery process.

I hope this helps explain a little about what has happened to date, what is going on now, and what you can expect in the near future. I believe our communication to date on this subject has been weak at best. I'm sure for some of you it has been very frustrating as well. Again, I apologize for any frustration this has caused. I firmly believe we have solutions in sight, and going forward, while we will still not be perfect, we will be better because of what we have learned.

Thank you for your patience.


George Blankenship

Jgdixon | October 17, 2012

What about Canadian Signatures?

bfudge | October 17, 2012

Good for George Blankenship!!

I really appreciated the Memo/Update from George this morning. The memo reassured me Tesla is turning out a quality product and doing the best they can to take care of their customers.

My only concern now is with the 21" performance wheels and tires I originally ordered. I live in Oregon, so it has now started to rain. My S will probably arrive with Performance tires which I will need to immediately change out for winter wheels and tires. Does anyone know if changing the wheels and tires will require realignment?

JoeFee | October 17, 2012


1. It’s a miracle Tesla got this far so fast (vision of the P85 smoking the M5 inserted here)

2. I’m glad it is only 28 (...hope I’m not one :( my window ends the 28th !)

3. Will you notify the 28 Sig’s who are delayed with an individual update beyond this general notice?

4. You may want to revisit the "Sig Tax” since now early delivery for high Sig’s and low GP cars are a matter of days/weeks not months.

Joe (fee) Fiorelli
S-1092 was P469

Epley | October 17, 2012

I agree with this fully: "George, your post epitomizes all that is right about Tesla Motors: accountability that runs through the organization and starts at the very top. You make no excuses about the enormity of the undertaking and transition the company is going through as it brings this new car to market with new people, new machinery, a new plant and a new distribution method. Instead, you just apologize for the snafu and promise that the company will do better. I, for one, am impressed with where Tesla is now and confident that this company will be the very model of forward-thinking, consumer-focused, no-nonsense enterprise for many years to come."
Well said!

I was also concerned about the rain being in water-logged Washington. The DW in the Continental tires we are getting stands for "dry wet," and Consumer Reports has reported that the wet performance of these tires is above average, so I'm going to see how it goes before I buy another set of 19" all-seasons...

Epley | October 17, 2012

And thanks so much to George!

pilotSteve | October 17, 2012

Thanks George, this really helps keep us from hyperventilating (too much) while waiting!

If a sig reservation did NOT have the Obeche/Banana Leaf or Carbon fiber issue (my config is Piano Black non-pert) and was configured/approved within 24 hours of notification is it likely to be affected by the delay you mention?

(fingers crossed)

DouglasR | October 17, 2012

Thank you George, this is extremely helpful and informative.

For a number of reasons, primarily tax-related, I would like to make an educated guess as to whether my vehicle (P983) will be delivered before the end of 2012. It would be very helpful if you or someone could clarify the formula for determining whether a particular sequence number will fall within the 2,500 - 3,000 vehicles to be produced (and delivered?) this year. What is the formula, and what are the inputs to that formula?

Here is a start:

T2012 = F + SSL + S + CS + R + P2012 - C = ~2,500-3,000~

where T2012 = total vehicles delivered in 2012
F = Founders
SSL = Special Signature
S = Signature
CS = Canadian Signature
R = Roadster Friends and Family
P2012 = Production vehicles delivered in 2012
C = Cancellations and deferrals
~2,500-3,000 = somewhere between 2,500 and 3,000

There are a number of parts to this formula that I am uncertain about: is the 2,500 - 3,000 number an estimate of vehicles produced or vehicles delivered? Are the Canadian Signatures produced before the Rs or Ps? And most important, what are the numbers for each variable?

I'm not asking for precision, but rather a guide to help me decide, for example, whether I need to shift income to 2013 in order to take advantage of the $7,500 tax credit. If anybody who can shed some light on this process/formula, I would be most grateful.

Volker.Berlin | October 17, 2012

You may want to revisit the "Sig Tax” since now early delivery for high Sig’s and low GP cars are a matter of days/weeks not months. (joefiorelli)

Apples to apples. It was clear all along that the first P would immediately follow the last Sig -- if nothing else, they need the queue filled and close as many sales as possible, obviously. How many P reservations were there when the Sigs sold out? Ten thousand? Like, half a year worth of production? That's apples to apples. The last Sig reservation holder jumped the queue by approximately six months. Not too bad!

sergiyz | October 17, 2012

So I've received the personal communication from George twice in my mailbox, but still not a word from my delivery specialist, and my window expires this coming Friday...
The message implies that it's coming, but it also mentions 4-6 weeks delay.
Is that in addition to the previous delay or is it 4-6 weeks overall ?

mrspaghetti | October 17, 2012


Have you called/emailed your delivery specialist?

sergiyz | October 17, 2012

I have about a week ago, they didn't provide a new date, but did give me the VIN, and mentioned something about final inspection.
I've assumed they are still on track up until I've received this message from George.

Beaker | October 17, 2012

@DouglasR "SSL + S" can be simplified to 1000, We know that all US Sigs are sold out.

T2012 = F + 1000 + CS + R + P2012 - C = 2,500 to 3,000
F + CS + R + P2012 - C = 1,500 to 2,000

Mel. | October 17, 2012

Joe. +1

bnwdon | October 17, 2012

The level of frustration S owners, like myself #261, are going through is no match to the level of frustration management at TMC is going through. If I had thousands of customers wanting my product and couldn't supply it in a timely manner it would send me through the roof. To all TMC mangers, the day will come when the S and X are streaming off the line.
In the meantime I still can't wait to receive my car! :)

CraigT | October 17, 2012

Even worse are thousands of customers emailing/calling staff every day asking for an update on the status of their cars.

George says that they are 4-6 weeks behind so if everyone takes a breather for a while and lets Tesla sort things out then we will all be better off in the long run.

Personally I would rather wait the time and make sure that I get a quality vehicle then rush smething through only to be unhappy about a fit and finish or part issue down the road.

DouglasR | October 17, 2012


I thought the report from michiganmodels' thread considers S and SSL as separate lists, i.e., there is an SSL-4 and an S-4? Or are you saying that, after cancellations and deferrals from the SSL and S pools, the total will be 1,000? If so, then the "C" in my formula would need to be redefined to mean cancellations and deferrals only from the CS, R, and P pools. I suppose you could also back out around 200 CS vehicles, except we really don't know whether they will be delivered before the Rs and Ps.

jd3tm | October 17, 2012

I am one of the Sigs who may or may not be one of the 28 (I am getting a Perf w/CF so I might be). My "window" was oct 5-19. I have been in constant contact with my delivery specialist, Tim Chung. George's letter is the first time I have gotten a clear, understandable, response that made any sense. Thanks George. Please educate your delivery specialists with this info so they don't look so uninformed to their customer.

My last contact with Tim was 48 hours ago and his only response was - "I think your car is in final assembly but not sure, you are probably 1-2 weeks away from possible delivery, will let you know".

Given that Tesla is trying to correct the 28 mistakes, I assume that's impacting other deliveries, ok, fine!

I can only hope that the next communication from Tim includes an accurate delivery window.

Yep, I'm probably showing some frustration so let me end with this thought: Tesla is still within 30 days of their stated delivery date given to me 12 months ago!!!! As long as they deliver in October!!!


Sig 692

prash.saka | October 17, 2012

Good good good communication from Tesla. Very much appreciated.

~ Prash.

Mel. | October 17, 2012

Thousands of people emailing\calling every day. Really!

George says 4-6 weeks delay. ..really?

Fit and finish may not be the problem, and I really do not think you can blame the reservation holder

timdorr | October 17, 2012

The 4-6 week delay is the delay for SSL owners. Many of their MVPA's said a September delivery date and they have gotten theirs in early October.

This is not a 4-6 week delay from today. There has been a delay recently due to a parts problem, but that only resulted in a 1-2 week delay. That was only a part of the overall situation.

They are likely to have all the Signatures delivered by mid-November. They were originally planning a late-September/early October finishing date. That's the 4-6 week delay he's talking about.

sergiyz | October 17, 2012

Here's where the communication break-down is: the delivery team only gets an update from the manufacturing once the car is ready for delivery.
That means your delivery specialist won't be able to tell you anything unless they walk to the floor, find the car with your VIN and see where it is in the process.
I don't see how they can be proactive with customer notifications if they are not a part of the process and can't monitor production themselves.

adufort | October 17, 2012

Hi George

Any news for the Canadian reservation holders ?


Can Sig 126

mrspaghetti | October 17, 2012

Thousands of people emailing\calling every day. Really!

Your point?

George says 4-6 weeks delay. ..really?

No, he's lying. It's a communist conspiracy.

Fit and finish may not be the problem, and I really do not think you can blame the reservation holder

I don't see how you're reading that he's blaming the reservation holder in that message.

mrspaghetti | October 17, 2012


Did you really need to call out your delivery specialist by name? Good way to get someone fired, knowing George B and other big shots @ TM read these forums.

portia | October 17, 2012

I took delivery of my car yesterday from the delivery specialist mentioned earlier. He did a great job, taking us on a tour of the factory, explaining how the car works. And before delivery, he answered my email on weekends, and always got back to me within a day. So there! You may not get a precise answer of your delivery date before it is ready, that's the nature of the beast. It is hard to wait, but it is certainly a great car worth waiting for. Take a deep breath if you have to, you will love this car.

sergiyz | October 17, 2012

I don't think specialists are at fault there at all.
They are doing the best they can with the information available to them.
It's up to execs to adjust the process where they don't put them on the spot for something they have no control over.

Beaker | October 17, 2012

My delivery windows Sig 915 was moved from Oct 14-28 to October 28-November 11.

Got a nice email from my delivery specialist, while mine is not one of the problem children from George's email, I do get an adjusted and more accurate delivery window.

Thanked him for the update on the altered dates, letting him know that news, even if it was pushing out my delivery date, is better than no news at all.

The Froq | October 18, 2012

Hi George,

In The Netherlands we say : if you want to eat an elefant, just take small bites.
I'm sure there is a lof of work going on at Telsa at the moment. I love to see a documentary of the production of the first 1000 Model S cars.

I'm glad you take car of the Sig reservationholders in the US. In Holland we still know nothing, prices, deliverytime, charging...mayby if you got a spare moment?

mrspaghetti | October 18, 2012

@The Froq

Keep in mind that selling a product internationally adds another level of complexity due to government interference regulation. Whatever delays are experienced in the US will probably be magnified for everyone else.

I doubt George can give you any meaningful predictions about prices and delivery times for Holland since many of the factors that affect those things are uncertain and beyond the control of Tesla. It's bad enough having to figure out the federal, state and local requirements in one country - it must be a nightmare to do it when multiple countries are involved.

sbern18 | October 18, 2012

How does this impact general production cars? Did recent (sept) delivery projections account for the delay? Thanks! Great update btw!

Res. 2348

dpann | October 18, 2012

I emailed my delivery specialist and he said my delivery window changed from 10/14 to 10/28 to 10/24 to 11/7. Performance Sig #1063

Norbert.Vienna | October 18, 2012

yesterday I had a conversation with European marketing and they told me that prices will be announced in the next month
beta models will be available (not for driving but to look at in the stores) in December ,test drives in Feb or March
delivery for signartures is planned for March and general production April May
the production will run in paralell to the US production

Thumper | October 18, 2012

It would be helpful if the Betas could have a spruce-up at the factory before going to Europe. The headliner in particular is somewhat shabby and not at all representative of production cars. There may be other trim bits that would benefit from updating. We only get one chance to make a first impression.

weeandthewads | October 18, 2012

It would be really nice if the website could depict which reservation numbers are being delivered each week. No more speculation and a straight forward way of determining volumes and estimated delivery date.

JoeFee | October 18, 2012

" | OCTOBER 18, 2012
It would be really nice if the website could depict which reservation numbers are being delivered each week. No more speculation and a straight forward way of determining volumes and estimated delivery date.”

You can see an updated list of delivery info posted by owners at:

see the “results” spreadsheet:

Baltimore Tesla | October 18, 2012

After seeing the email from GB on the "4-6 week delay" I emailed my delivery specialist to determine if this delay was in addition to the delays already announced.

My delivery window was pushed out last week to October 19-November 2. Today I received a reply that in part said:

"There is a delay in the production of your Model S, and with existing conditions, it could possibly be as long as 4-6 weeks from the end of your current stated delivery window (October 19-November 2). I certainly hope that the full delay won’t come to pass for your Model S!"

That means that my window is now November 30-December 14. This doesn't square with other posts I have seen on this and the TLC forums but I wonder if others are seeing this as well. Anyone else get this response?


scottssp | October 18, 2012

Just talked to my delivery guy. I was in a 10/8 to 10/21 window, it has been moved out to 10/24 to 11/4 so two weeks or so. hopefully thats the end of the bumbs in the road. Sig #652 Performance, sig red, black 21", pano roof in Orange, CA

Captain_Zap | October 18, 2012


I think that your specialist may have misunderstood something when he got notification. I'd ask him to verify and double check that information.

It appears that the 4-6 week situation was related to the earliest deliveries that were expected back in July, August and Early September. This is because of the mention of the obeche wood and changes to the performance model and other details mentioned in Mr. Blankenship's letter.

I think that we are now looking at a potential delay of a couple weeks, more or less, with the exception of a few outliers. We are supposed to be getting notices with revised dates in the near future.

mark | October 18, 2012

We got a call that our black on black, performance Sig 359, vin 422, will be ready for pick up tomorrow @ 1:00 pm!!!! Cannot wait, seems like they are implementing solutions quickly! this will over time improve the deleivery outlook for the sig holders! YAY!!! Have to thank Walter, and Pwelch and even our delivery specialist Matthew Alcorn for this!!! (I previously complained about Matt, ya sorry about that) THANKS!!!

KBF | October 18, 2012

Note to everyone: the only time anyone seems to know when a car will be delivered is when it's on the truck. Also, you may as well treat anything an individual "specialist" says to be on par with rumors on this forum: there is still conflicting information coming from employees. Hopefully Tesla will get its messaging back on track.

KBF | October 18, 2012

Yes, I'm snarky today :P Apparently Canadian Signatures aren't considered to be "Signature reservation holders that have not received their car". I'll be happy if I get my car this year, though.

stuberman | October 18, 2012

Hi George,

I really appreciate your status updates.


Stu B