Fremont test drive event 6/24

Fremont test drive event 6/24

I received an e-mail invitation to the test drive event in Fremont on 6/24 a couple of weeks ago. When I called Tesla today to inquire about reserving a time I was told that space was limited to 700 and since my res # is 4684 it was unlikely I would get a spot.

I understand that space is limited and it makes sense to offer test drives in order of reservation numbers but why did they bother sending me the invite?

Hurry up and wait.

Maestrokneer | June 12, 2012

Weird. I'm P2821 and I haven't received an invite yet. I live 30 minutes away from Fremont so I definitely plan to go.'s hoping I get one this week.

rd2 | June 12, 2012

I wonder how many of the first 5000 reservations numbers are located in the Bay Area? That would probably determine if I'll get a test drive too (P4157) - probably not. But I think that info is on this forum somewhere. Anyone know where to find it?

JohnEC | June 12, 2012

I'm not so sure that many have gone out yet. I'm sig 527 and also live in the Bay Area (about 42 mi from the plant). I haven't received an invite yet either.

foto | June 13, 2012

I was wondering when they'll start sending out emails for the test drive and how they plan to sort through reservation holders in each neighborhood as well as those that would not mind to fly in. I would imagine that a low reservation holder reserves the right to defer his test drive but be sent an invite irrespective of his location and let it be his prerogative to decide if he'll wait for a test drive at a closer location or decides to fly out.
I, for one would jump at the opportunity to go test drive the Model S today anywhere in the States.

Volker.Berlin | June 13, 2012

We will begin sending out Fremont invites in sequence order to Reservations Holders this week. Several hours after the first invites go out we will send out additional invites, again in sequence order. This will continue until all 700 Fremont test drive slots are filled. Next week we will begin sending out invites for the Los Angeles Get Amped Tour stop. We will send out invites in sequence order again, starting with the lowest number Reservation Holders who have not yet taken a test drive. We will continue to send out more invites until all Los Angeles test drive slots are filled. We will do this same process for each stop on the tour. As a Reservation Holder, you will automatically get an invitation (based upon sequence number) to each test drive tour stop until you reserve a test drive.

William9 | June 13, 2012

Is it just me, or does this test drive reservation system seem a bit unfair? By unfair I mean, how can we plan our lives without knowing in a little more advanced way, when we will be able to test drive. I live in Northern California and have plans both the 23rd and the 24th. I can cancel those plans, but need to know what day to cancel them on. And because my wife is involved, she is less than understanding about this. I promised her that by mid-week we should know something. So far, nada. And my number is P83 so I should be in one of the early waves of invitations. Tesla, PLEASE get on with it before my wife has my head!

Teoatawki | June 13, 2012


Over 1000 people have to be given the chance to select 1 of the 700 spots before you can get your chance. There's probably a fair chance you can get a slot, but you'll be among the last groups notified.

foto | June 13, 2012

I think the issue really for me and I'm also trying to echo Willam9's words: Have the invitations started going out? If yes, how does Tesla plan to quickly filter out those who will not accept the invitation and hence extend the invitation to the next person in line. Would it not be simple to just create a web form and ask everyone to show interest by date and location preference. Then they can apply whatever sequencing they deem fit.

olanmills | June 13, 2012

It seems like it would make sense for reservation holders to self select the test drive location (and perhaps provide a 2nd and 3rd choice if desired), and then assign the reservation times in sequence order by location, only for those who have selected their preferred location(s).

The way it's being done now seems silly. They are holding slots open for people who may never respond because they want to test drive in that location.

Schlermie | June 13, 2012

The SF Bay area gets another chance at test drives on July 14 & 15.

Brian H | June 14, 2012

If the invites go out in "pulses", then first-come first-served sort of works. Dithering is definitely discouraged!

VolkerP | June 14, 2012

I think the OP mentioned an email announcing the test drives. The real invitations will follow, as Brian H mentioned, in pulses.
It is just fair to inform your customers of the planned procedure ahead. Not all of them visit the forums.

prash.saka | June 14, 2012

I was wondering, because both my wife and I would want to test drive the car, whether we would need two reservation slots or would just one suffice?

I don't expect my number to come up anytime soon. But, I am just curious to know.

~ Prash.

jbherman | June 14, 2012

I've made it clear to my Tesla sales rep that I need to attend the LA event. My 30 days are up July 6th and I will not sign my final paperwork (which I still haven't received 1 week following submission of my configuration) until I lay eyes on and drive the car. I'm flying in from KC and need to make airline and hotel reservations. 2 weeks notice (as of tomorrow) is not a lot to ask, particularly for those of us that are willing to take the time and spend the money to fly in. I am Sig #576, so according to their reported protocol, I should be in with no problem (if they, in fact, provide slots based on reservation order). However, they will not guarantee me a slot at this time, which makes me wonder if there is uncertainty within Tesla as to how they will handle the invitation process. I'm coming in with a friend of mine (#578). It's a little frustrating when they can't be more forthcoming with what amounts to upwards of $220K worth of orders (for the 2 of us). Just needed to vent after a few days of fruitless communications with TM!

nvjx | June 14, 2012

My reservation number is 3199. If we don't get to drive the car and get to look at colors and optionsby the time our turn comes up, we'll cancel. There is no way we are going to spend $100000.00 without a test drive!

rd2 | June 14, 2012

That's kind of silly. You don't have to cancel your reservation if you haven't had a test drive when your first configuration date arrives. Tesla has made it abundantly clear that you can elect to use a one-time DEFERRAL of your configuration date to a date of your choosing (re: after you finally get to test drive it), and I would suggest doing that instead, as your deposit is still 100% refundable. Don't give up so easily!

rd2 | June 14, 2012

btw - does anyone know if the email invitations have started yet?

BYT | June 14, 2012

@rd2, I have heard from the grape vine that they will go out very VERY soon. :)

jbherman | June 14, 2012

My rep just said they are out. I'm not sure if it's a mass email or rolling email.

Brian H | June 14, 2012

You get to carry along any 3 passengers of your choice on your test drive. I think a TM "handler" sits in the co-pilot's seat, tho'.

Teoatawki | June 14, 2012

Yes, your co-pilot is a Tesla specialist who will "make sure all your questions are answered and you get the most out of your time behind the wheel."

Brian H | June 14, 2012

"... and that you don't drive into any lampposts or mess up the bumper with pedestrian blood."

Brian H | June 14, 2012

"... and that you don't make a break for it and light out for the Mexican border."

bhs1 | June 14, 2012


I am in the same boat as you. I am Sig #550 so my decision is due within 3 weeks now. I am trying to get an invite to the LA event. With numbers as low as ours, I can believe that we won't get a chance to test drive one, but I need to make some plane reservations soon! Plus, I am not ordering a $100k car without driving it first. I agree with you that it is quite frustrating since I was told when I upgraded to a Signature from a P that it would be "no trouble getting a test drive before ordering" the car.

My TM rep told me that he passed my info on to the Customer Experience Dept. (I think that is the name of it), and that someone would contact me by next Monday regarding the L.A. event. Still haven't heard anything yet though.

I have already come to grips with the fact that I may have to drop down to a Production model rather than a Signature just so I can drive one before committing to it. At least I will save a few $$$$ by leaving off the options I don't want. Plus, I should still be able to get the car before the end of the year - although that may depend on whether the gray leather really comes in by November. I was thinking of Blue exterior / Gray interior.

Let's hope that they get things worked out so that "cautious" people like us can drive the car before we finalize our orders!

foto | June 14, 2012

@Brian, I bet if you decided to "leg it" TM would be able to shut you down remotely. BTW, that would be a nice feature to have and it'll help reduce insurance cost.

foto | June 14, 2012

@bhs1, do you also have a regular P reservation or would you drop to the end of the line?

Volker.Berlin | June 15, 2012

jbherman, bhs1,

If you pull your one-time deferral option, you sure don't drop to the end of the line. Actually I expect that you even keep your Signature slot, rather than being downgraded to "P". Check with your contact at TM to make sure.

In any case, I cannot see what your complaint is about. You can either have one of the first cars off the line, which is a remarkable privilege and which inherently implies that you cannot have a test drive, because there are no cars for test drives, because the first cars off the line go to people like you! Or you can choose to have a test drive before committing to your reservation, in which case you have to wait until the people that are willing to trade their test drive for getting the first cars off the line, have their cars.

Seems that Tesla actually offers all imaginable options in that regard, but too much choice seems to be tough for some. Of course you want to have your cake and eat it too, who doesn't?

Brian H | June 15, 2012

Prezakt and logical. I get the impression many people don't understand the "have your cake and eat it, too" adage. It refers to the desire to still have the cake there and waiting to be eaten after you already ate it, of course.

In this case, it comes down to:

1. Have a well-vetted product
2. Be among the first to try the product.

Pick one.

jbherman | June 15, 2012

Volker. Berlin,

If I pull my one-time deferral option, I drop into the P6000s, according to my rep. I would not still be able to get a Signature.

My complaint, as you so call it, is that the test drive events are planned, there is a reported protocol for invitation, my #576 falls within the range of invitations, and unlike your portrayal, there are cars available for testing. There is no inherent implication to the contrary, as you put it. Yet they will not confirm that I will be invited. That's all I ask. This isn't Germany where you can hop on a train and be anywhere in the country within a couple of hours for a reasonable amount of money. I live 1400 miles from the event. Even with air travel, each leg is a half day experience, at minimum. I have to miss a day of work, be away from my family for a weekend, book a flight, and reserve a hotel. Airline prices notoriously increase within 1-2 weeks of the travel date. The fact that I'm willing to travel, demonstrates my personal commitment and leap of faith for this car. For what it's worth, I have already booked travel and hotel, without an invitation.

While it may be a "privilege" to get one of the first cars, spending $110K on a leap of faith is foolish. Although I can afford this car, with all the options I'd like, I don't throw my money away sight unseen. That would be irresponsible. While you provide a wealth of information to this board, I'm not sure why you feel it necessary or your right/responsibility to opine on every one else's situation or beliefs. Whether you intend it, or not, it comes off as arrogant. It'll work out for me in the end, whether you approve of my opinion or not.

jbherman | June 15, 2012

And to you too Brian H ;^P

Volker.Berlin | June 15, 2012

jbherman, thank you for getting back with more detail. Again, I feel the necessity to opine on your situation, and I hope you don't mind. If you do, please skip this post. I won't insist.

If I pull my one-time deferral option, I drop into the P6000s, according to my rep. I would not still be able to get a Signature.

Ouch. That's tough, I understand that it makes the decision harder.

[...] the test drive events are planned, there is a reported protocol for invitation, my #576 falls within the range of invitations, and unlike your portrayal, there are cars available for testing. [...] Yet they will not confirm that I will be invited. That's all I ask.

I apologize for having typed in my little rant too quickly. Your argument is completely sound to me and if I were in your position I would certainly expect Tesla to confirm their own protocol the same way you do. Also, I do understand the necessity for you to plan and book in advance.

So why don't they reserve your test drive slot in advance since by their own protocol you are bound to get one anyway? Or why don't they run the darn protocol, but run it a couple weeks earlier? Well, I guess they would love to if they could, but they are probably a little tight on resources at the moment. That's hardly an excuse, but it's an attempt of an explanation.

While it may be a "privilege" to get one of the first cars, spending $110K on a leap of faith is foolish. Although I can afford this car, with all the options I'd like, I don't throw my money away sight unseen. That would be irresponsible.

Agreed. ("Approved", as you call it ;-)

Brian H | June 15, 2012

yeah, you are in a dilemma. TM does need to try and expedite things for you. Perhaps posting here will twig them to do so.

BUT -- it remains true that there is a trade-off between being early in line and getting "comfort" about your choice in advance. Good luck! Hope you get your drive. Keep us posted!

bsimoes | June 15, 2012

I wonder about the whole test-drive event. The 22nd and 23rd are marked for this, but why won't test drives just continue on from this point? It would seem like this is the kick-off event, and that they ought to just continue scheduling from that point forward. It has never made sense to me that it's this weekend or nothing. It could be very true that I am missing the obvious here; I live too far away and my number is too far down the list to pay very close attention, but wouldn't it make sense to just keep scheduling them as demand required? I think that people would rather get a test drive on the first weekend of July rather than not get one at all.

steven.maes | June 15, 2012

jbherman, I understand what you are going through. Spending $110K on a leap of faith is indeed foolish. I hope you get your drive.

Good luck !

Than again, forums are to give opinions and learn from them. The writen answers lack the 70% of non-verbal communication. How one interpretes an answer is not always the same as the writer intended it to be.
It is only my opinion but I think both Volker.Berlin and BrianH should keep doing what they do best on this forum. Feel free to become their counterbalance.

So BrianH, I diliberatly didn't do a spelling check :-)

jbherman | June 15, 2012

Thanks all...didn't mean to jump on anyone. We are all emotionally invested in this car. I'm on this forum and TMC for hours every day...eating up every bit of information I can find. It's been a series of highs and lows (mostly highs). It's helpful for a "new" company to hear the negatives. When I "complain," it is intended to be a kick in the pants for TM, for what they "should" be doing. That's how companies improve. As a business owner, I know that to be the case. Aside from designing and building my home, I've never been like this before. Honestly, I'm not that concerned with the actual test drive. I know that will be spectacular. I really want to see the paint and interior options on a real production vehicle, in order to be certain that I'm getting what is best for me. I fully intend to purchase my Signature edition unless, on the off chance, it thoroughly disappoints me when seen in person. From what I've read and seen online, I don't expect that to be the case.

I think TM is doing a great job, given the obstacles against them and the current circumstances. That being said, they aren't perfect and they know that. They need to hear from us, currently their greatest advocates, in order to make the car and purchasing experience the best it can be. They are aware of my situation and have attempted to be accommodating. One of the reasons why I posted on this issue was to urge others to be more vocal, as well.

cosmomusic | June 15, 2012

I am from Marin County (40 miles N of Fremont) S507 and I have configured a Performance Sig. I was told to expect email for test drive, but has not received it as of yet.

Remember folks, not all Sig owners are from Bay Area. So the traveling show should hit every Sig owner and more throughout North America.

Volker.Berlin | June 15, 2012

I wonder about the whole test-drive event. The 22nd and 23rd are marked for this, but why won't test drives just continue on from this point? It would seem like this is the kick-off event, and that they ought to just continue scheduling from that point forward. It has never made sense to me that it's this weekend or nothing. It could be very true that I am missing the obvious here [...] (bsimoes)

Yes, seems like you're missing something. They are actually doing test drives every weekend until August, and every weekend in another city across the US. I guess they need the five days in between to ship the cars, prepare the location, determine the test course and setup the slots with drivers:

bsimoes | June 15, 2012

I knew that they would have a "traveling show" but why don't they spare a car per city/store, so that people could drive them at times other than just for the one weekend allotted? It seems to me that this would sell many more vehicles, bringing in more profit than the initial cost to Tesla. These could then be used for leasing...

steven.maes | June 15, 2012

Probably so you can see all options and colors, etc ...

BYT | June 15, 2012

No need to sell more right now. Sold out beyond Q1, 2013 and once free car reviews are out, maybe much further then that even?

Volker.Berlin | June 15, 2012

As far as I understand, they have exactly ten cars dedicated for test drives, one for each exterior color and showing different combinations of interiors and options. At this time, it may be added value for the lucky test drivers/Signature reservation holders to have the opportunity and compare all colors and options in real life, side by side.

Maybe they also think that the "this weekend or nothing" approach helps to stir the buzz around the Model S launch. In any case, it will only be weeks until dedicated vehicles are sent to the stores and become available for test drives for everybody, and on weekdays.

BYT | June 15, 2012

What V.B said as well... :)

bsimoes | June 15, 2012

"In any case, it will only be weeks until dedicated vehicles are sent to the stores and become available for test drives for everybody, and on weekdays."

This is what I wanted to hear. If this is the case, then everyone can rest assured that they will be able to drive the car prior to purchase. In the grand scheme of things, a few weeks...even a few months, is quite doable.

Brian H | June 15, 2012


20 stores, growing to 30, probably a few cars each, could approach 50-100 cars fairly soon. There's a bit of a trade-off with customer deliveries, up front.

Be interesting to see how soon stores/TM put demos up for sale, and at what prices, as they update/replace them. I wonder if that will happen before 2013.

Jason S | June 15, 2012

Well, I'll approach this from the other angle: I've already "foolishly" committed to the car and have also committed to providing a test ride for an interested party. I also have a sub 600 Signature number, but do not own a Tesla yet (not on the special list). Why should jbherman get preferential treatment over me? (Well... his number is lower than mine so therefore he is ahead of me in queue. That's a good reason!)

There is a Sig waiting list, the car is going to be sold regardless. Seems that I, being an actual committed customer, should get the preferential treatment.

... I'm just teasing a little here. Try to look at it from other angles. Tesla is gonna piss off somebody regardless of the direction they take and being completely bonkers over the car I think we all wish the test drive slots would've been settled with the original 'configure your car' contacts/emails/calls.

I expect when the emails go out jbherman and I will have our chances since we're both motivated to go to the event. And I hope to see him there!

If either of us do not get an invite then I'll be extremely surprised but, granted, jbherman has more at stake for this than I do.

jbherman | June 15, 2012


I'm going to LA whether they like it or not! (If I don't get the invite, I'll be the guy kicking and screaming as security tosses me to the curb!--Just kidding Tesla mods!). Actually, a friend of mine is 2 spots below me (at #578), so we're making a guys weekend out of it. I think the wives are happy about the thought of getting the "Tesla talk" out of the house for a couple of days! He insists on driving the car before purchasing, while I'm really more interested in seeing the car live and sitting in it for a few minutes. I know you're teasing, but I'm not looking for special treatment. If I was 500, 1000, or 5000 slots lower, I wouldn't be in such a hurry to take a look and kick the tires.

So, hope to see you there, as well. First round of drinks are on me (or hopefully my friend!)...

Exciting times!

BYT | June 15, 2012

LOL@Tesla Mods, do they exist? i think Tesla Mods are like Santa Clause or the Easter Bunny. Sorry kids! :D

Maybe there are Mods actually, they just can never post is my understanding, just read and respond to themselves, kinds like God when I pray for a raise to pay for my Model S.

Jason S | June 15, 2012

I'm looking at the Fremont event since that's only 2-3 hours drive from me, so I'll just need to report back as soon as possible for folks. I won't be in LA area, so you guys will just hafta have those drinks without me!

I'm sure there will be tons of reports from the Fremont event.

No pressure, Tesla! ;-)

BYT | June 15, 2012

I said "Santa Clause", must be his lawyer! Need...edit...badly! ;)

JohnEC | June 15, 2012

Jason, I think I know how you feel. I’m sig#527, already committed, and live in the Bay Area (maybe 40 min from the plant). I really want a test drive too and would hate to miss out on the Fremont event because too many others willing to fly for it filled up all the slots first. All I can do is hope TM can work out a fair way to handle this. BTW, if it does all work out, I’ll buy that drink.