Production Cars Arriving in April

Production Cars Arriving in April

I hope I did not mishear and am going to get this wrong, but I believe I heard a Tesla sales rep say today that the DC store expects to have a production Model S on permanent display starting in April. Test drives start in June with priority for reservation holders. I was in such a hurry due to work and sitting in the white Beta had me pretty distracted. Hopefully someone can confirm (or quash quickly, so we do not get our hopes up).

Discoducky | March 5, 2012

I heard the same thing at the Bellevue store last week so I'd say that's two sources with the same information.

To put more of a finer point on the topic I don't see a reason that Sig holder #1 won't get called after the options and pricing page is fully lit up.

Ohms.Law | March 6, 2012

Confirm. I heard "April" and "production model" in the same sentence, yesterday in the DC store.

Timo | March 6, 2012

There was a poll-thread about who guess the start of production right. Anybody remember the headline? I think my guess was somewhere April 2012, and I was considered optimistic :-). Now that becomes quite relevant thread, it's closing to time to check the results.

David M. | March 6, 2012

I believe these will be the "production intent" cars that TM mentioned previously. I'm also pretty sure that reservation holders won't be able to drive these cars prior to June, but it would be good to see the actual production car on permanent display. The timeframe makes sense given that we are only 4 months from July 2012 (start of production?).

Soflauthor | March 6, 2012

@Timo: I was the keeper of the unofficial poll. It polled on the first production car delivered to an actual customer. The average guess was 7 June 2012 and the mean was 23 June. The last guess was in October, I think.

Here are all guesses:

BruceR | March 6, 2012

I asked this exact question when talking with the customer rep from Tesla via email the other day. He concurred that production intent cars would be available to see this spring, but was adament that actual test drives can't happen until every certification for sale is complete. His estimate was early summer for test rides. So I think the estimate of April show cars and June test drives sounds very plausible. July 1 for fist delivery??

brianman | March 6, 2012

@Soflauthor - Having your axes like that warps my brain.

Maybe it's better if I lie down...

brianman | March 6, 2012

...nope, doesn't help. Because the (perceived) X axis is still backwards.

jackhub | March 6, 2012

This probably tracks with what I was told at the Santana Row Store this past Saturday. There will be an exciting announcement in April. It will be for reservation only. The Santana Row store will be the first to start. Considering the above comments, I suspecct test rides will be rolled out at the Tesla stores using the production intent vehicles.

I was also told test drives would await certification and would probably begin this summer.

gjunky | March 6, 2012

I assume test drives at the Tesla facility could technically occur once the production cars are ready as it is not a public road....

Soflauthor | March 6, 2012

@Brianman: You can sit up nice and straight. As I'm sure you realize, the horizontal axis is just a count, since the only variable that I recorded was the estimated delivery date.The data points were entered as they were posted. I figured that the representation I presented would give a feel for the dispersion of guesses. Maybe not. Not sure what other variable would be relevant.

brianman | March 6, 2012

Swap the x,y axes and reverse the (new) x axis.

Count ^
---> date

As you should be able to see, it's not a bar graph of votes over time.

That's the way I would normally expect to consume your data.

As originally rendered it reads something like... distance in the future of vote, as vote count increases... which hurts my brain.

brianman | March 6, 2012

"now* a bar graph" argh editing

Volker.Berlin | March 7, 2012

brianman, it's not cumulative. The data points are raw data. The numbers on the current x-axis are ordinals, not cardinals.

I had my brain warped as well and I agree that the current representation isn't much better than a plain data table. I tried to come up with an adequate representation but it's not as easy as it seems. First of all, you need a meaningful way to accumulate the raw data. Only then can you start drawing a meaningful graph.

brianman | March 7, 2012

I can see how you would interpret "as vote count increases" as cumulative, but I wasn't meaning it as such.

Anyway, it is what it is.

Volker.Berlin | March 7, 2012

My assumption was based on you mentioning bars. Longer bars usually means more of the same thing, but that's not the case here. Therefore, as long as we plot the raw data, plotting data points/markers instead of bars is adequate IMO.

I apologize. I'm totally into that kind of stuff. It's how I earn my living...

brianman | March 7, 2012

No need to apologize. ;)

I started the nitpicking with my comment about sofl's contribution (which, to be clear, is appreciated regardless of format - thanks!).

Brian H | March 7, 2012

I think I'm vote #16, but can't remember for sure. But if so, "tolja so!".
And for TomA, wherever he is: :P

As for the "not before certification", that could mean anytime. And there may be a dozen or so at the factory for "indoors" drives. I seem to recall all this as oral info from a video, but don't know which it was.

Jason S | March 7, 2012

lol, the most meaningful representation would be a calendar with the target dates highlighted. A tooltip showing who had that guess would be a bonus.

Soflauthor | March 7, 2012

@Brian H, @VB: Glad we now have the graphing issue resolved :)

Based on current events and progress, I thing that both the average and the mean are overly optimistic, but we'll see.

JoeFee | March 7, 2012

The original thread was

If the June 23rd sticks then the Design Studio needs to be done soon and calls to order a month or so latter.

If you are among the lucky 1st orders please post to

jd3tm | March 7, 2012

I got the following update during my visit to the Santana Row Tesla showroom a couple days ago:

1. Showroom will get complete re-do for Saturday March 24th unveiling of interiors, packages, paints, etc. for Model S

2. Invites will go out to Sigs before then (week of 19th March) to come see new, production-intent, Model S and all of the other new things in the showroom.

3. Founders have already configured their production vehicles so have seen all of the options/packages available to them (may be a subset of Sig options???). Not sure if this means they have driven a production-intent vehicle or not but the implication was that they got to do whatever was needed to make their final decision on car configuration.

4. Design Studio will be updated at that time or maybe a little before!

This conversation was the most specific and detailed I have had with any of the SR team. They know they have been hammered by everyone and have been a bit cautious until day before yesterday!

So, maybe it really is "just 2 weeks" away!


Sig 692

Crow | March 7, 2012

If the founders had to configure their cars, that would imply that the founders are 3 months from delivery, wouldn't it?

Jason S | March 7, 2012

At least 3 months. Could be longer.

Discoducky | March 7, 2012

If Founders have configured already with final options then TM is ahead of schedule for their ramp.

That is very good news indeed. Things could start happening very quickly from here on out. Design Studio, Sigs getting called, Production intent cars in stores, Test Drives, First deliveries...all in the next 2 to 3 months.

jcadman22 | March 7, 2012

I went to the DC showroom today and they were saying they would have a 'release candidate' (software speak for Production intent) on the floor full-time starting sometime next month. They also said they will be closing down next week, after the Beta leaves, for remodeling. They're basically switching the store over from Roadster centric to Model S. The Roadster color samples will come off the wall and the Model S color samples will go up. They should also have interior samples available for comparison.

brianman | March 7, 2012

March 7, 2012 + 14 days ("two weeks") = March 21ish

Sounds about like the "right" answer for the next 3 days at least.


Brian H | March 8, 2012

Yeah, sounds like they bounced off the "don't overpromise" barrier and are a bit bruised. Of course, it's against the fundamental instincts of every marketing or sales type to not push and overstep that line; it's where they live, love, and laugh through life! Offer them your sympathy the next time you have a chance.

;) ;p

ManuVince | March 8, 2012

Now I'm just waiting to see them "discretely" remove the "coming this winter" mentioned on the design studio ;-)

Timo | March 8, 2012

If I understood the US definition of winter correctly end of winter is still nearly two weeks ahead. If it goes past that then they can "discretely remove" that mention.

DerekM | March 9, 2012

Just received an email from TM that they will have all four Model S Signature colors on display in Santana Row on March 17th and 18th. They said that all of the Signature paint lines are up and running. They also said that the new Design Studio will be unveiled at that time. Exciting stuff! I'm S566.

PS: Not sure whether these will be the production ready cars since they said that they are in the process of painting more Betas. But they must be getting close.

BYT | March 9, 2012

I got the same email and plan on checking it out!

brianman | March 9, 2012

"that they will have all four Model S Signature colors on display"
Did they say cars or colors?

Meaning they could bring (portions of) car doors rather than full vehicles.

TikiMan | March 9, 2012

I was told first deliveries in July, here in Newport Beach.

BYT | March 9, 2012

The email had a photo of the grey, black, sig red and I forgot what the 4th was

BYT | March 9, 2012

4th was pearl white I believe

BYT | March 9, 2012


Join us March 17th & 18th as we bring together all four Model S Signature colors for the very first time. To celebrate, Tesla Santana Row will unveil our new Model S Design Studio, so bring a friend to help design your Model S. 

Not only is this a historic moment for Tesla Santana Row, but it's a HUGE milestone for the Tesla Factory. The Signature paint lines are up and running! Our robots are hard at work painting more Betas and perfecting the process before production starts.

Deliveries are just around the corner and we can't wait to share the excitement with you. Stop by anytime. You won't want to miss this event - and there might even be a few extra surprises."

No word on cars or just color swatches

ggr | March 9, 2012

In the note BYT posted, the "x" in "extra surprises" was in red... hmmm...

Teoatawki | March 9, 2012

A Tesla person in the Bellevue store confirmed that the Santana Row event would have 4 Sig Model S vehicles. The presence of the X was neither confirmed nor denied. Proof it was a Tesla person. Have to keep us guessing about something, right?

gagliardilou | March 10, 2012

That would be great to see all 4 sig colors together. For me, that would be the way to pick the color I wanted.

Liz G | March 12, 2012

I plan on being there. Driving in all the way from Missouri. Major road trip,but planning on being there Sunday. Hope to see some of my fellow reservation holders, finally.