When do we get serious?

When do we get serious?

I am fortunate to have a low P number (83) and have been told that early summer is when I should expect availability. My concern is that that is only 6 months away and other than my $5,000 I have had very little specific interaction with Tesla regarding the process. When I have bought high-end cars in the past the process usually starts well before the 6 month mark. Here are my specific concerns:
1. While colors swatches are available, at what point can I actually see the colors on physical cars?
2. I have yet to have had any quality time sitting/test driving an S. When will that become available on an individual on-on-one basis?
3. Many details of the options are unknown, discussed in other threads. When will they be resolved?
4. I'm a freak of nature in that I truly love reading manuals. My Mercedes S-Class's manual is 750 pages and I read it cover-to-cover a couple of times prior to taking delivery on my car (via PDF documents.) When do you suppose the official Manual will be available?
5. I did inquire as to payment terms and was told step 2 (deposit being step 1) would be to sign a purchase contract. Payment (step 3) would be upon delivery. The above questions would have to be answered well before that step would be taken
6. Where can delivery be arranged? The Fremont factory? Or must it be at a sales office? Since I've never been to a an actual Tesla location (none very convenient to where I live) am I given a choice?
7. Would sure be nice to get details on the SuperCharging network. Need to plan my first trip!
8. Can there be any involvement on my part once my S goes into production?

Waiting is bad enough! Waiting in the dark verges on being intolerable.

phb | 12 Janvier 2012

My guess is that things will begin to move a lot faster (at least to us on the outside) after the Feb. 9 announcement. I'm pretty sure that they're trying to get through the auto show, CES and the Model X announcement before they say anything else about Model S that will inevitably lead to lots of phone calls and emails from reservation holders with questions/comments/complaints.

engle | 12 Janvier 2012

For #2, I was told at the Santana Row store last week by a Regional Sales Mgr to expect test "rides" sometime in Q1, and test "drives" sometime in Q2. The reason for "rides" before "drives" is they can't allow us to drive the vehicle until it finishes NHTSA testing.

He also said the vehicle configuration has been (mostly?) frozen because of the government safety testing. For example, he said you can't move something even just a millimeter in the dash, because there are airbags there.

For #4, I love reading manuals, too, and can't wait to read an online copy of the Model S manuals. This will be the first production vehicle whose manual you can read right in the car using its integrated touch panel and web browser!

space09 | 12 Janvier 2012

@William9, right there with you!

Short answer is we don't know much, but that has never stopped us from speculating, so here goes. You said P number, but I assume you mean S. If you really mean P, I think it unlikely you'll get your car until the fall, longer if you plan to get a battery smaller than 85 kWh. They are going to ramp up slowly, then get through 1000 Sigs, then start on Ps with 85 kWh battery packs.

3) Hopefully we'll hear about base options by end of January 2012.
6) Keep in mind if you take delivery in Freemont, you'll have to pay California taxes. Otherwise, probably flatbed to your house. Or SpaceX parachute drop. :-)
7) Yes, I'd love if they have some in Texas, but I suspect they'll do CA and the Northeast first.

Mycroft | 12 Janvier 2012

William, early Summer is the earliest that Signature editions will be delivered. P editions will most likely be late Summer, early Fall.

1. Cars should start showing up in the Stores beginning mid to late February.

2. Test drives will begin once the NTHSA has finished their testing of the production cars. Most likely some time in March. Test drives will most likely be limited to Sig reservation holders until they're through. Then P holders next.

3. The Design Studio should be published on February 9th and should answer most, if not all of our questions about the interior.

4. Re: Manual, your guess is as good as mine. I would bet that it's not going to be available until the first Sigs are delivered though. That still gives you a couple months of reading before you get your car.

5. Obviously you're going to get a test drive and your questions answered before you're asked to sign a purchase agreement.

6. Delivery will most likely be to a store, service center, or for addtional $$$ to your home.

7. More details about the supercharging network are supposed to be published in March.

8. No, you'll probably have no involvement in the production of your car.

William9 | 12 Janvier 2012

I actually called my "Customer Advocate" and he told that my P83 would be early summer. I agree that the math doesn't work when the Sigs and R's are factored in, but that is what I was told.

brianman | 12 Janvier 2012


This doesn't sound like "underpromise" to me. Interesting.

brianman | 12 Janvier 2012

(was referring to "Customer Advocate[:] .. P83 .. early summer")

discoducky | 12 Janvier 2012

All the above answers look spot on to me...phb,engle,stephen,mycroft...

Also, if the people who are calling TM are hearing that P's will be available early summer then it might be an early indication that both the manufacturing process is going smoother than expected coupled with a smoother crash testing certification process. Seeing how other cars have recently recieved 5 stars in all categories, it might be more of a "cake walk" than expected given the lack of ICE for Model S.

My key indicator is going to be the announcement of the 5 star rating. I would expect that in Jan since TM has said it will have 5 star in all categories and if those test results don't show that they will re-design (they might have a re-design in their back pocket...I would; risk mitigation here would be money well spent), and would need to be retested.

IMHO...If we get through Feb without any Signature holders being contacted for phase 2, then it will be time to be concerned about delays. We should, at a minimum, hear about "Founders" car orders, I would expect, prior to March if TM has stayed on critical path to deliver 6000 by years end (I just don't see how they could ramp faster than that given what I saw at Freemont).

brianman | 12 Janvier 2012

"If we get through Feb without any Signature holders being contacted for phase 2, then it will be time to be concerned about delays."

This assumes that the Facts page quote ...

"about three months before its production date"

... is not going to be interpreted as "as little as 1 day or as much as 4 months".

discoducky | 12 Janvier 2012

@brianman, yeah, I expect there will be bugs in the order system as well so TM will want to bring people into that system more than 3 months ahead of the first 100 or so cars being built.

I expect that the flat statement of 3 months applies to steadystate for the order tools

Robert.Boston | 12 Janvier 2012

Re "early summer", I share Brian H's surprise. Elon has been meticulous in saying that deliveries to customers will start "by July", and also that total production in 2012 should be about 5,000. Given that there are 1,000 US Signatures, plus some unknown number of Founders, plus some moderate number of demo cars, it's hard to see how even P#1 could take delivery earlier than 2 months after the first Founders car rolls out.

Also, notice on the Options page that under the (non-Signature) Model S header it states, "Deliveries begin Fall 2012". Not saying that your Customer Rep was wrong, but his/her info is certainly not consistent with other statements that we've heard.

Re #6 and #8, please refer to the (owner's only) forum here:

TonyF | 12 Janvier 2012

I feel all the concerns from William9 are important. To me, concern number 4 is the most important. Hopefully, TM will provide reservation holders with access to a Model S owner's manual well in advance of delivery via either PDF download or by placement somewhere on their web site. I for one would like to study this manual before I take possession of my car. There are many benefits of getting familiar with the car's instructions before actually driving it - safety not being the least of them.

And although I will enjoy bringing my owner's manual up on the infotainment screen, I would also like to get a nice, smartly bound hard copy of the manual too. Would anyone else 'need/want' a hard copy manual, or should we just expect the electronic copy?

Thumper | 12 Janvier 2012

I will be content with a PDF file. I can read it on my computer, the car screen and my smartphone. As a stockholder, I don't need Tesla wasting money on hard copies.

ThomasN | 12 Janvier 2012

I agree, a hard copy seems wasteful and unnecessary.

Dave-LasVegas | 12 Janvier 2012

I just now got back from the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) Las Vegas, and there's a pretty red Model S Signature at the NVIDIA booth. NVIDIA does computer graphics hardware and software.

The Model S certainly was drawing a lot of attention. I didn't bother to wait in line to sit in it, even though it would have been my first chance to do so. Last year Tesla also had a Model S at CES, but that prototype was behind the velvet rope. Lookie, no touchie.

There was a fellow in front of me who had just handed over his deposit check and I overheard him being told to expect to be contacted 90 days before his production slot comes up.

That would be my first contact as well, not counting two boxes of goodies they UPS'd to me unannounced: in 2010 (tee shirt, hat, mug, matchbox Roadster, postcards and so on), and in 2011 an RC roadster that surprisingly my cats seemed to enjoy. That was hilarious; I thought they'd be scared!

petero | 12 Janvier 2012

We get serious when we get to drive the “S” - Everything else is ...

Jason S | 12 Janvier 2012

I am fortunate to have a low P number (83) and have been told that early summer is when I should expect availability.


2. I have yet to have had any quality time sitting/test driving an S. When will that become available on an individual on-on-one basis?

I look at both those statements and interpret "availabilty" as when cars become available to ride/see/touch/drive. Early summer seems conservative for that. I don't see where deliveries start in early summer but can understand where the difference may be misunderstood.

William9 | 12 Janvier 2012

Went back and reread the email from TM that I received. He said that I would likely get delivery in early summer based on my P83. But he then goes on to say "in the third quarter." Which ain't exactly early summer. Saw early summer and blanked on everything after it.

David70 | 12 Janvier 2012

Yep William 9. At P1649, I expect end or third or near first of fourth, assuming I can make whatever additional deposit is needed at time for final option selection.

Robert.Boston | 12 Janvier 2012

A friend with a low S number reports that a Tesla rep told him to expect delivery in June. It's clear from my conversation with him that "no delays" is Job #1 at Tesla Motors: any employee who sees anything that might delay deliver must report that directly to Elon.

As a shareholder and reservation holder, I am delighted to hear this report. I still think that P83 delivering before Labor Day is not happening, but a September delivery date seems entirely plausible.

My5bAby | 12 Janvier 2012


With all due respect, I also made a deposit in 2010. I am waiting with baited breath, participating in the forums etc. However the bottom line is that this process is open as opposed to closed.

I'm making up the timeline but what would normally happen is we would have first seen definite pictures/physical prototype of the Model S now at the current Detroit Auto show. A few weeks from now we would be able to put down deposits and then would receive the car this summer.

Instead Elon and Tesla Motors have allowed the entire process to be open and visible.

Perfect example, how long do you think they have been working on the 2013 Dodge Dart?

How long were there Rumors but nothing definitive about the iPad etc?

Every time I lose my patience, I think about all the other thrown together, gas guzzling, junk out there. All the other new auto companies that have failed, old companies that have gone out of business and realize this is because we are different.

This is why we will succeed !

ckessel | 12 Janvier 2012

>he then goes on to say "in the third quarter." Which ain't exactly early summer.

They're not that far apart. 3rd quarter starts July 1st, Summer starts in late June. If you get the car by the first couple weeks of August that'd be the first 1/2 of summer and in the 3rd quarter.

Jason S | 12 Janvier 2012

Hmmm... if they can crank out avg 120 per week for June 1-July30, then mid-Aug is pretty easy.

But I don't think anybody on the forums is really expecting that.

MitchL | 13 Janvier 2012

While we're all anxious to get our cars, I certainly don't want TM to force something to market with a known flaw that can be remedied with some additional time. If they delay a month I'll be disappointed, but not angry. If I receive something that doesn't work, the other way around.

Wall street and the press will not be kind to TM i they are late, so I'm sure they're going to play this tactically.

Brian H | 14 Janvier 2012

that was "brianman", not me.

All this hints to me that Sig deliveries start in May, done by the end of June.

that's "bated".
As for the promises, it's clear to me that Elon is taking the process REAL personal, and I don't think there will be any "misses". He doesn't want, IAC, to give the anti-EV critics etc. so much as a fingernail-hold to grab onto. MitchL has that right, for sure. For journalists and analysts, nit-picking and nattering pays the bills!

Mycroft | 14 Janvier 2012

Even if the Model S is delivered early and troublefree, they'll still say that the buyers are early adopters and that "real" people won't touch it.

discoducky | 14 Janvier 2012

There will be some "real" people who get the 160, with financing, since they drive 100 miles or more a day, have a family of 4 or 5 that have done the math/research and understand the value proposition of EV's and a company like TM. These people will make the news. These people will be the real early adopters. I think it's fair that the people in this forum are not early adopters but more "lucky enthusiasts" as I believe that true early adopters are people that really don't have enough money to do what they are doing but fill the gap with , deprecating something else they use or through desire, faith, knowledge maybe some intangible that compels them to stand in line for something that they know will make their life better.

Brian H | 14 Janvier 2012

I don't think the term has to refer to just those who are compulsive early adopters of everything. It can be product-specific. Motivations, probably, range from desire for uniqueness or status to sheer geeky fascination with technology(ies). From the POV of the prudent, of course, they are just suckers, fanboys, impulsive, natural guinea pigs, or fools in the process of being parted from their money. Or a selection of two or more of the above.