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Is the base Model 3 a Tesla Unicorn?

Is the base Model 3 a Tesla Unicorn?

I contacted a Tesla service adviser earlier today to ask some basic questions about my Model 3 reservation. The call was less than encouraging. Beside answering every question with "I don't know", I got the distinct impression that base model buyers "need not apply".

After learning that I'm waiting for the standard range model, he quickly advised me that my $1000 deposit is fully refundable. Wait, what? I didn't ask about canceling my order? That's weird. I asked approximately when the standard range model might be available.

"2019."

"Early, mid, or late 2019?"

"I don't know."

After Elon's tweet this morning, I'm becoming more and more skeptical that the standard range car will ever see the light of day. In case you haven't read it, here it is.

"With production, 1st you need achieve target rate & then smooth out flow to achieve target cost. Shipping min cost Model 3 right away wd cause Tesla to lose money & die. Need 3 to 6 months after 5k/wk to ship $35k Tesla & live."

I don't know about you, but when the CEO of a car company starts talking about the company dying if it makes a product, I get a bit worried.

I have a feeling IF the base model does make it into the hands of actual owners, it will be a software limited version of the long range battery - and very, very short lived. Get 'em while (if) you can!

johnyen | May 21, 2018

Deeply pessimistic if this is ELon best case scenario speak: "Shipping min cost Model 3 right away wd cause Tesla to lose money & die. Need 3 to 6 months after 5k/wk to ship $35k Tesla & live."

carlk | May 21, 2018

It will come when Tesla has finished ramping up production and has enough margin for the lower priced models. Before that there is little reason for it to waste resources to produce low or negative margin models. On the other hand if demand of higher price models continue to outstrip supply, which I kind of doubt that will be the case for very long, then you could be out of luck. Like it or not that's how the capitalist system works.

When your contact says I don't know he likely does not know.

stevenmaifert | May 21, 2018

Hard to tell, but it sure looks like Tesla is going down the same road they did with the MS40 base Model S. They focused on the higher margin versions of the car for so long that by the time they got to taking base model orders, there was insufficient interest left so they cancelled that model after making only a few that were actually software limited MS60s.

Tyme Traveller | May 21, 2018

January 2019 is the target (aspirational) date for STARTING to build standard range (SR) Model 3’s. There are thousands of reservation holders, like you, who want those lower priced options. Many of them have been waiting since April 2016. I can appreciate your concern.

It can be quite frustrating not having definitive information. Sometimes, that can be perceived as deception or even outright dishonesty. However, the manufacturing process is dynamic and evolving. By that I mean they have short term goals that have to be reached before they can move on. While the demand is high Tesla wants to maximize its income. Over time, just like with Model S & X all options will be available to order with a 4-6 week delivery schedule.

finman100 | May 21, 2018

how are those other 35K, long range EVs coming along? you know those that have a fully vetted long range national (nay, world-wide!) charging network? and robust battery systems/packs? unbridled acceleration/performance/looks (u get to pick any two of these)?

Okay then. perspective. give those other EVs a chance why don't you. Come back and let us know how Tesla failed and "others" are doing great things. no, really.

Bighorn | May 21, 2018

The master plan is a big charade to make Elon rich. Right. Back to the flat earth forum.

carlk | May 21, 2018

"Hard to tell, but it sure looks like Tesla is going down the same road they did with the MS40 base Model S."

The reason Tesla discontinued MS40 was there's little demand for that model.

christian | May 21, 2018

How do people not get this? Tesla is completely transparent with their business model, which has been to sell more expensive vehicles with higher profit margins first to help subsidize the vehicles that have a lower profit margin. In order for Tesla to be selling Model 3s for $35k, they need to be selling plenty of Model 3s at a higher cost to balance out the profit margin and make the company profitable (which should be important to everyone considering a Tesla). I thank the Roadster, Model S, and Model X purchasers who made the Model 3 possible. If you're waiting for a $35k Model 3, it'll be along in a while and you can thank everyone who purchased the aforementioned vehicles and the LR Model 3 for making the SR Model 3 possible.

cfscott | May 21, 2018

No, not a unicorn - just a baby whose time has not come just yet. They will build them as soon as the pipeline for the higher margin versions is not sufficient to eat all production capacity. That just makes sense. I know it sucks to wait.

spuzzz123 | May 21, 2018

If you want to ask someone who definitively knows the answer to that question, ask Shock. He'll tell you for sure the answer and leave you with no doubts.

Carlk has it right. I wouldn't be surprised if they depleted demand for the LR and AWD versions and then started up with SR model. But if by that time margins are still zero or negative, then it is a unicorn.

ksalberta | May 21, 2018

I believe so, at this point. Elon is trying to let us all down gently. They may produce an SR version for 40K, but I don't believe the 35K car can ever be built in any quantities - and I doubt that they can afford to sell many at the 40K point next year.

Anyone who thinks he is just "trying to get rich" should go to ir.tesla.com, click on the SEC filings, and read their financials. It's do or die time for Tesla. He's not kidding.

This makes me respect him more, not less. Unless build quality can become much, much better, servicing/warranty costs are never going to be viable for a car much below 50K.

As for depreciation, a lot of the equipment costs are being amortized by car - so there is no huge sudden burst of profitability for cranking out 20K a quarter versus 8K a quarter. There will be some improvement, but it won't be stunning. Tesla is a heavily debt-loaded company, which means that interest costs will increase this year and the next by a significant margin.

Tesla has, quite literally, the worst balance sheet I have ever seen for a non-bankrupt company. Tesla has the need to spend a lot more on infrastructure relating to delivery/service if it is going to be pushing out Model 3s at rates above 80K a year. There just isn't any margin for the econo-version.

Q1 was so bad that even if Tesla had spent not one penny on R&D, they still would have reported a net loss. Their accounts payable was about equal to their cash on hand. Really, people should read these and realize that Tesla is coping with a lot right now, and cut them some slack.

KP in NPT | May 21, 2018

Tesla needs to become profitable before they sell their lower margin car. It's really not that hard to understand.

Elon has said in quarterly calls and in that tweet - 5K sustained is what will get Tesla profitable. It makes total sense that will determine when they'll sell the 35K car. Based on his words and actions, Elon seems pretty confident they will indeed hit their numbers starting in July.

As for the sales folks, they can only go by what they've been told - which is 2019. That's a long way off and things can change between now in then. If tesla indeed starts 5K a week in July and is profitable Q3 and 4, then they very well could start selling the SR in Q1 2019. But like everyone else, you'l have to be patient.

Software limited SR battery would be dumb. That's a lot of extra cells to put into a car and not get paid for. I don't see it happening.

I think that not only will the SR come to market, but it will be extremely popular. Unlike the S40, which is why it was discontinued.

ReD eXiLe ms us | May 21, 2018

"After Elon's tweet this morning, I'm becoming more and more skeptical that the standard range car will ever see the light of day."

~*sigh*~

Oh, really?

Will you post another thread to give your absolute amazement when it does...?

Damn.

95dawg | May 21, 2018

Agree with KP: $35k M3 will be popular. The $30K segment for car buyers is huge. Consider all the Accord/Camry buyers who could reach for a base M3. As an example, Accord EXL MSRP is $30K.
Reduce cost of goods sold through technology improvements and manufacturing efficiency, hopefully then Tesla will have enough margin to sell base M3s.

jordanrichard | May 21, 2018

Right from the beginning Elon said that the fully optioned cars would be sold/available first.

TranzNDance | May 21, 2018

A huge car buyer segment doesn't do Tesla much good *right now* if is unable to meet the demand for an even more expensive car.

Gregg Ray | May 21, 2018

As soon as they get the ball rolling, smooth out the kinks, costs will start coming down, it will become a popular car!

mos6507 | May 21, 2018

"This makes me respect him more, not less."

For doing what? Most of the mistakes Tesla made were wholly avoidable, not unforseen acts of God. He gets an A for effort and his intentions are good but CEOs need to perform otherwise they shouldn't be where they are.

It seems to me, in retrospect, that the entire Model 3 project should have been delayed at least 2-3 years so that Tesla could have stabilized its finances by continuing to pursue the luxury market. They could have used the gigafactory solely for S and X packs and refreshed S and X with the new cells.

If the 3 came out when the Y probably will then Tesla would have been in a far better situation. Also, if not for rushing the 3, I'm not sure the competition would be gunning for them as they now are, so they probably could have extended their lead better than having tipped their hand with the 3 and then wasted most of its lead-time via production-hell.

The competition is simply in a whole other state now vs. when the 3 was announced two years ago. Even if the ramp were going well Tesla would need to factor in the competition on the near horizon.

pierpont | May 21, 2018

Everyone should read Elon Musk' biography written by Ashlee Vance. You'd see how he took Zip2, Paypal, SpaceX, Tesla and Boring Company from near failure to successful multi-million dollar businesses.
he built all 5 of these from the ground up. If you want an electric car that's ready and cheap- go buy a LEAF. if you want a good electric car that's amazing and affordable, be patient. he will deliver. if it was easy, every other car company would be doing it.

Nova Scotia - Canada | May 21, 2018

"Right from the beginning Elon said that the fully optioned cars would be sold/available first."

Actually, have is what Elon said "right from the beginning":

And then in terms of price, it will be $35,000. And I want to emphasise that even if
you buy no options at all, this will still be an amazing car. You will not be able to
buy a better car at $35,000 or even close even if you get no options. So it’s a really
good car even with no options.

This is from a transcript of the unveiling event. There were lots of promises made that night, and lots of people who placed deposits based on those promises. More than two years have passed, and we're almost one year into production. Right now, that $35,000 car feels further away then it's ever been. I really hope I'm wrong, but I'm beginning to feel like I was made a fool.

Atoms | May 21, 2018

The base model will become available once the demand for the higher end models drops off. Simply have to pay off those bonds which come due in November. Bond holders must be paid back. Simple fact of business.

stevenmaifert | May 21, 2018

"The reason Tesla discontinued MS40 was there's little demand for that model.".

I think I said that. By the time Tesla made the base model available, folks were so tired of waiting they had either stretched their budget and gone for the more expensive M60 or they cancelled their reservation. Either way, little demand for the model by then. Will history repeat itself with the M3?

keydiver | May 21, 2018

"but I'm beginning to feel like I was made a fool."

The people who are fools are the ones who are paying too much attention to all the FUD being circulated. As many have already stated, someone has finally talked some sense into Elon, to shut up some of the analysts who keeping harping on Tesla's losses, so IMO he is being 100% truthful when he admits that building the $35,000 model now would be a BIG mistake. The base model is coming, and it will be EXTREMELY popular. I know I will be driving one.

ReD eXiLe ms us | May 21, 2018

stevenmaifert: Nope. When the very first Model S cars were Delivered, Tesla had sbout 10,000 outstanding Reservations for it. Over the next six months they sold about 2,500 cars. In January 2013 they had 13,000 Reservations. Even when the lead time from placing new orders decreased to only three months lead time Model S Reservations continued to climb. By mid-2013 even with more and more Reservations coming in people kept ordering the Model S 85 and Model S 60, while Reservations for the Model S 40 never climbed above 5%.

Tesla's mistake at the time was presuming people mostly were concerned about price point. That wasn't the case at all. People mostly wanted Range and Performance. Their buying patterns bore that out. So the Model S 85 sold better than Tesla had expected the Model S 40 to sell. And Tesla wisely chose to give the people what they wanted -- a 200+ mile Real World range from then on.

That is why the Model 3 Standard Range will succeed where the Model S 40 failed. Its base range is greater than that of the original (and the later updated version of) Model S 60 while costing much less than the Model S 40, even without incentives or options. That is a winning combination that a base BMW 320i or AUDI A4 or Mercedes-Benz C300 or Cadilac ATS or Acura TX or Infiniti Q50 or Lexus IS or Jaguar XE or Alfa Romeo Giulia and anything else in the price range has no hope of matching or surpassing. Yet the base cars from those manufacturers have managed to exist for several years.

Oh, and... [FOUL] phil.

MySin_AZ | May 21, 2018

I to am disappointed with the latest on the base model...and here is what is odd, you order a base model TODAY, and the updated wait time no says 6 -12 months. I ordered mine on 4/1 (yes, April fools day) in 2016, and my delivery is early 2019, which is 8-10 months away...splain that to me?

mos6507 | May 21, 2018

[The base model will become available once the demand for the higher end models drops off. Simply have to pay off those bonds which come due in November. Bond holders must be paid back. Simple fact of business.]

That simple fact of business was not conveyed to people two years ago who lined up around the country in the hopes of obtaining a Tesla for the masses.

There's a very good chance that the majority of early reservists who thought they were going to get a base car will cancel. What that does to Tesla's bottom-line I don't know but it does, curiously, seem to link up to the question in the earning's call that caused Musk to get so grouchy.

The longer early reservists wait, the more attrition there will be, and anybody who waits 2+ years only to throw their hands up and walk away is not likely to ever be a future customer let alone fanboi/evangelist.

When people decide to show their enthusiasm by getting up early and camping out and waiting in line they expect to be given priority over others. Instead, we've seen the line metaphor erode to the point where it's effectively useless. If you want the base car it doesn't matter when you got in line because you'll just wait an indefinite amount of time while Tesla sells upscale models. It's a very tantalus sort of experience.

doelcm | May 21, 2018

@mcwbike: "I to am disappointed with the latest on the base model...and here is what is odd, you order a base model TODAY, and the updated wait time no says 6 -12 months. I ordered mine on 4/1 (yes, April fools day) in 2016, and my delivery is early 2019, which is 8-10 months away...splain that to me?"

Unless you cancel, you will get yours before someone who makes a reservation today.

I think Tesla will sell the base Model 3 even if it's a break-even sale for them. The reason is the potential for a base Model 3 owner to upgrade later to EAP ($6000) or even FSD ($6000 + $4000).

And I don't see a reason for them to discontinue the base Model 3 even if most customers configure with the Premium Upgrade Package, EAP, or even just a $1000 paint upgrade from black. Demand for the SR model is there.

Even if it turns out very few people are willing to settle for (or are *happy* to purchase) the Model 3 with absolutely no upgrades, the $35,000 base price stands (absent inflation).

ReD eXiLe ms us | May 21, 2018

mos666: You are hereby cordially invited to throw your hands up and walk away never to be a Tesla Customer. Please. Do have the courage of your convictions and go away. You can bide your time waiting for Tesla to go under, since you are so certain they will declare bankruptcy or fire Elon Musk 'any day now'. Then you can come back in the closing days and tell us all how right you were and bask in the glory of your premonitions come true! In the meantime, you can spend your time cheerleading on a BMW Forum somewhere, begging patrons to stick with ICE. You can also console the people whose cars have spontaneously combusted from time-to-time. Surely your outlook will be welcome, somewhere ELSE on the internet. Here, I'll help...

http://www.bmwblog.com/2018/05/21/bmw-uses-tesla-example-to-explain-long...

greg | May 21, 2018

@mcwbike

Why the projected lead time for a new Model 3 reservation is lower than your current estimated wait time to go for yours, some 2+ years after you reserved?

Simple That quoted new reservation wait time of 6.12 months is actually/really the time AFTER the Federal tax credit has gone to nothing at the end of 2019 before a reservation made today will get delivered.

Which means in effect a new reservation made now will not get delivered until mid to late 2020.
Likely some 18 months after your one is.

And why am I so sure of that? Well Musk said that not too many months after the reveal in 2016 that all chances of getting a tax credit for any new reservations made from that point on were basically zero.
That point where sufficient demand was already backlogged to ensure that would happen, was some 21 months ago.

So the "order queue" behind you has quite some time to go to be cleared before anyone who reserves today will take delivery. You can rest assured you're not gonna lose out to some latecomers.

Happy[ier] now?

odub | May 22, 2018

I'm thinking a SR with PUP will be the first SR models offered. Probably software limited while they try to reduce inventory of inventory cars (both RWD and AWD).

If profit is still a concern, they should sell to those willing to purchase FSD first, then EAP before sellling to those who just want the car. FSD and EAP are essentially pure profit as the research and development of these are essentially a sunk costs.

nwfan | May 22, 2018

I believe the SR Model 3 will be produced. I know many are inpatient. I waited 4 years for my Model S
2012 to 2016. Settled for a Chevy Volt until I could afford a Model S. Glad I did. The wait was worth it IMHO.

A few assembly line issues to address at both Fremont and Sparks. Figure the mix between automation and human.
Ironing out quality control and software patches. By this time 2019 35 to 40k model 3 will be the most popular car
sold in America. Dusted off my crystal ball for these predictions. Beginning families and recent graduates will flood the market. Flip in Congress will bring back tax credit. Corporations shouldn't be the only ones to benefit from the govt? Tesla pickup will be selling 2021.
Model 3 and Model Y will be produced in China and shipped to the rest of the world.
For those wondering where increase production will come from look no farther than the Far East.
Pickup will take over factory line from Model 3 when all lines of Model 3 production moves to China.
Tesla builds electric unit for use in the Railroad industry. Benefits non-electrified lines throughout the
world. Demand for electric semi's far exceed production.
NW passage becomes a dream as winter returns in 10 years thanks to electric transportation and
new power generation using renewable energy.

Those of you on the fence better jump into TSLA. 2023 stock will be trading over 1500 a share.
50 year olds will be able to retire in 2023 living off the profits you just made.
EM becomes number 1 in wealth throughout the world.

Well time to retire my gypsy fortune teller predictions.

Nova Scotia - Canada | May 22, 2018

For those who wonder why some reservation holders just don't shut up and order the higher spec vehicle, here is some perspective on price. The out-of-pocket price for the car varies depending on where you live. A lot.

I live in Canada, in a province with a zero electric vehicle rebate and a high sales tax (15%). The selling price is also higher in Canada than it is in the US. Which means the least expensive configuration that I can currently order is $64,100. Add shipping and sales tax, and the grand total starts at $75210. Hardly "mass market" territory.

For perspective, a Mercedes C Class starts at a grand total of $51405. For the price of the Model 3, I could buy a C Class AND a Honda Civic with money left over. This is simply out of reach for a lot of people.

For me, it's EXTREMELY frustrating to watch videos of new Model 3 owners who are adding the car to their fleet of other Teslas and luxury vehicles, only to watch them abuse them for kicks.

Meanwhile, the masses, who the car was supposedly built for, are eagerly waiting for any news of when the affordable Tesla they were promised will be built. A bit of a "let them eat cake" moment for many....

mos6507 | May 22, 2018

The $9 hit for extra range few need invalidates the advantage of the tax credits. It's just a better deal to opt for SR even without the tax credits. I was just counting on the tax credits to subsidize AWD/Air which has more utility to me.

ReD eXiLe ms us | May 22, 2018

Nova Scotia - Canada: What Tesla means by 'mass market' refers to Production Volume, not Price Point. It is Tesla's detractors that keep misquoting them saying the Model 3 is 'car for the masses' when the company itself says it is a 'mass market car'. Those phrases mean different things.

The Tesla Model 3 was conceived as a direct competitor to the BMW 3-Series, a car that has been renowned for decades as the best example of automotive excellence among ICE vehicles. For several years, decades even, the BMW 3-Series outsold numerous cars that cost less than half as much, both in the U.S. and worldwide. The 3-Series is a mass market car and consistently sold in excess of 350,000 units annually worldwide for many years, until the introduction/unveiling of the Tesla Model 3 in early 2016.

Even so, the 3-Series still managed over 250,000 units sold during 2017. None of the top 100 vehicles sold worldwide in 2017 sold less than 225,000 units, regardless of price point. In 2017 two vehicles sold over 1,000,000 units, three sold over 900,000 units, five sold at least 800,000 units, seven sold 700,000 units or more, 14 found 600,000 buyers or more, and only 19 had totals of over 500,000 units sold, per Focus2Move. The 3-Series came in at #59 worldwide in 2017, while the Mercedes-Benz C-Class enjoyed a #37 spot with over 350,000 units sold worldwide.

Yes, the C-Class outsold cars like the Chevrolet CRUZE, Nissan Sentra, and Honda FIT last year, worldwide. So, while it may not be 'for the masses', it most certainly is a 'mass market car'. The same applies to Tesla Model 3, whether you like it or not.

SamO | May 22, 2018

ha ha ha this thread gets more unhinged as the poor-me trolls see the end of their use.

Once Tesla hits 5,000 cars per week, Tesla's profitability is guaranteed.

The crying babies can go back to whatever they were doing before they decided they'd try and screw Tesla.

It didn't work in 2009. It didn't work in 2012. And now, it is revealed, it will NEVER work.

Tesla has succeeded. Your efforts have failed.

tom8959 | May 22, 2018

No unicorns here. When the time is right for the business of Tesla, the base M3 will be available.

hoffmannjames | May 22, 2018

I remain very optimistic that the base model will be produced. For one simple reason: Tesla's vision is all about accelerating the transition to EVs which requires an affordable mass market EV. It's just taking longer than expected because of the production issues and because of economics. Tesla's plan was to start with the "1st production" model, ramp up production in a few short months and then offer the other options like standard battery and dual motor. Unfortunately, the production ramp up took a lot longer than expected. The fact is that Tesla needs to make a profit on the Model 3 which means they need to ramp up production on the higher profit margins first as Musk explained in his tweet. That's just good business. So yeah, Tesla will only be able to produce the base model when it is economically feasible to do which is taking longer than expected. But I think Tesla is committed to producing an affordable mass market EV.

I do wonder why Tesla abandoned the idea of software limiting the battery. On the surface, it would seem like a good way to simplify production and offer the standard range sooner.

pierpont | May 22, 2018

I agree.. I think @mos659 offers some good points, but at the same time....let's face it. people want what they can't have and right now they can't have a $35k Tesla. I think they're complaining because they can't get it. the desire is there, underpinned by the emotional rejection they're experiencing. they will resurface once it's available to them is my thought. this isn't a spurned once and they forget about Tesla forever.

phil | May 22, 2018

hoffmannjames | May 22, 2018 "I do wonder why Tesla abandoned the idea of software limiting the battery. On the surface, it would seem like a good way to simplify production and offer the standard range sooner."

Mr. Musk explained this just yesterday. If they offered standard range sooner, Tesla would "die".

hoffmannjames | May 22, 2018

@phil I guess I wasn't really connecting the dots. The software limited battery would still be the bigger physical battery and therefore be more expensive to produce which is why Tesla can't do it just yet. Right?

Nova Scotia - Canada | May 22, 2018

I can assure you I am definitely not a troll. I've been a Tesla fan and electric car advocate from the beginning. I sing the praises of electric vehicles and Tesla to literally anyone who will listen. I've owned an electric car (Ford Focus Electric) for five years. I believe in the technology and what Tesla has done to advance electric cars.

That doesn't mean that Tesla shouldn't be expected to deliver on promises made when it accepted deposits. I am a Tesla fan, but that doesn't mean the company is beyond criticism. In fact, fair criticism has made the cars and the company better, not worse. The braking issue is a recent example.

Rocky_H | May 22, 2018

Quote: “I have a feeling IF the base model does make it into the hands of actual owners, it will be a software limited version of the long range battery”

Heh—that’s definitely not going to happen. The battery cells are one of the most expensive parts of the car. For any kind of large volume, they are NOT going to giving away extra expensive parts in the car that are unused and not being paid for. Building and selling only two battery sizes is plenty cost effective enough.

Comparisons to the Model S 40 are weird, because it’s the total opposite of that situation.

@christian +1
Yeah, obviously it is unpleasant if you’re the people having to wait, but to think it’s an insidious conspiracy is just odd. There are very known and sensible reasons why they are prioritizing as they are, which benefit their continued operations.

@Nova Scotia, Quote: “I really hope I'm wrong, but I'm beginning to feel like I was made a fool.”

…because you are not willing to understand. Building a car manufacturing company from scratch is ridiculously expensive. Starting off with high volume, cheap, mass market, no margin cars is a sure path to corporate suicide. Things come in time. Your quote about what was said at the initial Model 3 event is true in its substance, but I don’t see a promised date there, do you? Today is May 22. Tomorrow will probably come and the day after that. Time has not come to an end, so there is still time for them to get to the $35K base version. Irrational impatience is driving people to all kinds of strange behaviors of despair, blame, etc.

Shock | May 22, 2018

I doubt we all agree on the definition of unicorn, but we have these facts:

- Nobody can buy a $35k Model 3
- Nobody has ever been able to buy a $35k Model 3
- Musk says that, at least currently, they cannot make money with a $35k Model 3

So far, yes, the base Model 3 is a unicorn.

Bighorn | May 22, 2018

@Shock
Maybe start hanging out at a Logic forum.

mbb | May 22, 2018

Base model 3 will happen after premium model goes to China and Europe. And new demand at $49K can fill up rest of the 5k/week capacity. I guess it will be a long time, definitely not 3-6 month. If you are in the states, it is better to pull the trigger now.

Calvin940 | May 22, 2018

Nova Scotia - Canada <- Me too!

I was always waiting for the AWD drive version but am disappointed that I have to commit to the Long Range version as a result of that choice unless I want to keep waiting. I guess I am in it for the long haul though. I have a car I will ride into the ground until the Model 3 is ready for me. I always did expect the higher cost models would be out first since really it's the early adopters that fund the mainstream in most new / innovative businesses.

The 0 rebate in our province is offensive. Ontario has a $14,000cad (10,800US) EV rebate for the currently available model. My parents moved back here from TO last year. Now that's a real bummer!

pierpont | May 22, 2018

if you are seriously waiting for a $35k model 3, you'll be waiting for like 4 more years. pony up the extra $20,000 and get 60% of it back in tax credits while you can.

tom8959 | May 22, 2018

@Shock - I get your point. But I would argue that the distinction between a Unicorn and an M3, is that one will never exist, and the other is indeed a possibility.

Rocky_H | May 22, 2018

So every upcoming movie is a "unicorn" because it's not out yet. That's what this amounts to.

ksalberta | May 22, 2018

@hoffmannjames "I remain very optimistic that the base model will be produced. For one simple reason: Tesla's vision is all about accelerating the transition to EVs which requires an affordable mass market EV."

That has always been Musk's stated goal, but the fact is that affordable mass market EVs with the longer range are now appearing on the market, so it is not as if Tesla has to produce these vehicles to achieve that goal. I think Musk's focus now is to survive. Purely that.

Tesla is carrying a massive debtload at a time when interest rates are rising, and I doubt (from looking at the financials) that Tesla can afford to produce a 35K Model 3 now or next year. So I am increasingly skeptical that they will ever do so.

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