I'm excited, but Model 3 reservations will be <10K new buyers

I'm excited, but Model 3 reservations will be <10K new buyers

Almost certainly roughly 1/3 of Model S owners will be reserving a Model 3. So maybe 30K reservations there.

But unless there is some real deal sealer, there are going to be VERY few new buyers reserving a Model 3 in the first rew weeks.

People are not ready. I'm 100% pro-Tesla. I'm also realistic. I hope I'm wrong. But look at these forums. It's 99% old-timers.

AlMc | 27 mars 2016

My most recent understanding is that existing Tesla Vehicle owners will be able to order up to two model3s that will qualify for 'head of the queue' status. These will be non transferable. Any number of orders above that for yourself or other people will be treated as 'regular orders' and are EACH separate transactions. These will also not be transferable to other people than the person on the reservation form.

Example: You order two for yourself but want to get one for uncle Joe, Bill your friend at work and Gwen, your current girlfriend. First transaction has your name on the two 'head of the queue'...non transferable. Transactions 2, 3 and 4 are for the people whose name and email appears on the order forms. These are also non transferable to your father, Jim (who Bill tried to 'sell' his reservation to), and your new girlfriend, Joan.

This is to prevent reselling and large businesses from ordering multiple cars.

Mike83 | 27 mars 2016

The Fremont Factory of TODAY is much more sophisticated and 500,000 annual production is probably low. The Robotics there are the most impressive in the world and work 24/7. Their new painting system is also of the superman variety.
The limiting factor, in my mind is the battery production which they seem to be ahead of schedule. People will be surprised at what they are capable of. Of course this is just my little opinion like others.

Red Sage ca us | 27 mars 2016

Mike83: Yeah, I agree with you. I believe that Tesla Motors has a plan by which they will significantly increase Capacity at Fremont well ahead of Production needs. It can be done, but will require significant amounts of willpower and determination to accomplish.

Folk like Pungoteague_Dave might point out that the issue is that the current robots and lines are dedicated to Model S and Model X. And that twice to four times as many of them will be needed to properly begin Production of Model ≡. Tesla Motors does not yet have them in place, and will likely need an influx of cash to make that happen.

marcoooo12 | 27 mars 2016

I am a prior model S owner till my ex wife took the car in divorce. I will be in the store putting deposit of three model 3.

johnse | 28 mars 2016

I, like all of us here, have no inside information. Nor have I been on a factory tour. I have followed things for a while and there are a few points which I think either I understand them differently, or others have not put together. All of the below are "as I understand it":

TM's goal for 2020 is 500,000 EVs per year, not 500,000 Model ☰'s per year.
Current bottleneck in the Fremont plant is the new paint shop. That was built for a Capacity of 500K per year and is being represented as being sized for the final capacity of the plant. If they were planning on a higher capacity at the Fremont factory, they would have sized the paint shop larger.
I believe that the built a completely new line for the combined Model S/X production. The number of robots grew from, IIRC something around 150-ish to over 500. I think that the original Model S production line may be reserved now for prototyping the Model ☰ and proving the production line.
EM stated, in reference to the Gigafactory, that it was being built as a "product" itself--something that can be replicated. I think they will use the same philosophy for the Model ☰ production line. It should be a shorter line than the S/X line, in that it will be made to be easier to manufacture, so fewer steps, fewer robots. It could conceivably be very similar in overall production to the original S line.
Given the prior point, it makes sense to have multiple lines running in parallel to feed the paint shop. Imagine, if you will, a production line with a capacity of 100,000 per year. That line is the first line built, and qualified for production by mid 2017. After proving itself, they can quickly create duplicates of it--both in Fremont and abroad.
By 2020, Fremont will have perhaps 2-3 such lines in operation for Model ☰ (possibly split between ☰ and Y).
Also by 2020, there will be a production line in Europe, China, and India. The latter two with domestic partners so as to eliminate import tariffs.
Also by 2020, there will be at least one other Gigafactory--probably first in China, then in Europe.
I suspect that even if the Capacity of Fremont plant reaches 500,000/year, production will continue to be at most 80% of Capacity.
A significant amount of the 500,000/year target will include production from one or more factories abroad.

deeageux | 28 mars 2016

At Easter dinner a brother-in-law and a 24 year old nephew(ironically who is an assistant manager at Jiffy Lube) said they are getting a Model 3 reservation on Thursday.

deeageux | 28 mars 2016


China requires foreign manufactures partner with a Chinese company in a JV to produce in China.

There is no such requirement in India.

As far as production vs capacity in Fremont IMO the theoretical capacity will never be reached because there are always problems with suppliers, accidents at the factory, unforeseen necessary maintenance, etc. IMO demand will outstrip Tesla's ability to build out capacity for at least another decade.

Mike83 | 28 mars 2016

@johnse +10

Red Sage ca us | 28 mars 2016

johnse: JB Straubel confirmed in mid-2014 that the 500,000 unit quantity for 2020 was strictly the Model ☰ at Fremont, without Model S or Model X. I believe it was in a video that can be found on YouTube, published around June 2014. Since a slide he had shown in another video from September 2013 showed a hoped for Capacity of 700,000 units at Fremont to be reached by 2019, I took that to mean that Production at Fremont during 2020 would allow for up to 200,000 units of Generation II vehicles along with the 500,000 units of Generation III vehicles.

bj | 28 mars 2016

I'll be a totally new buyer. Never driven a Tesla.

Hi_Tech | 29 mars 2016

@bj - Be warned, you'll never leave a Tesla once you've driven it! ;-)

damonmath | 29 mars 2016

I think the predictions for the total # of reservations is grossly underestimated. There are several people in my office that plan to lay down $1000 on Thursday. These are the same people who claim they love Tesla, but it's just too expensive for them. I'm betting we will see an unprecedented # of reservations.

bb0tin | 29 mars 2016

I have 2 friends who may put down a deposit along with myself. Anybody who thinks that they may be in the market for a new car in 2-4 years should put down a deposit. If they don't, then by the time they decide that they want a Tesla, they will likely be at the back of a long queue. The deposit is fully refundable so there is little risk involved in putting one down to gain a better place in the queue.

rdalcanto | 29 mars 2016

I'm in the camp that thinks >100,000 in 48 hours. With over 100,000 Tesla owners, who all know at least one person that wants a Model 3, plus the current owners that want to order for family members or themselves, plus Tesla and Space X employees, etc., 100,000 reservations will be immediate. Growing that number past 500,000 to 1,000,000 might take a little time....

Chunky Jr. | 29 mars 2016

Has there ever been another car company that had people line up to put down a reservation 2 years before it was produced? Incredible! It's possible by the time Model 3 ships in volume they have the first couple years already sold. Although the number of reservations could allow Tesla to be more aggressive in expanding production.

I think a base Model 3 would be a perfect second/third car for families with driving age kids. Low maintenance, and GPS plus app to know where they are.

David N | 29 mars 2016

“Though this is just a guess, we anticipate reservation figures in the days following the launch (if disclosed) would be in the range of 15,000-20,000,” Stifel analyst Albertine said in a research note in early March.

Bighorn | 30 mars 2016

CNBC just identified the first 10k reservation holders since this morning...

bb0tin | 30 mars 2016

@Chunky Jr.
I also expect Tesla to rapidly expand Model 3 production, but not for a couple of years after initial production. The reason is that they will need to build more gigafactories and have proven their entire production chain from suppliers to assembly to sales and service, nailed down. This will take time. However once the Model 3 systems are proven, the demand proven, and the impacts of Climate Change even more imminent and consequential, I expect Tesla to expand as rapidly as possible. They will have no problem getting the funding to do so. I also expect (hope) that by 2020 governments all over the world will be aggressively supporting a change to non-fossil fuel cars with incentives and rebates, which make investing in ICE cars rather than an electric cars a fool's errand.

Ankit Mishra | 30 mars 2016

Did Tesla start selling in New Zealand?

bj | 30 mars 2016

@Ankit - There are no Tesla stores in NZ, if that's your question. I imagine some have been imported there though.

bb0tin | 30 mars 2016

Tesla is has not starting selling in New Zealand. People have been buying and then importing them from Australia. If Tesla does not open a store in New Zealand by the time a delivery is possible, I will do the same.

awgibson93 | 30 mars 2016

Seen plenty of Model S around here, will be a first owner with the 3! Can't wait to make my 80 mile daily commute more enjoyable :)

moorelin | 30 mars 2016

@bighorn - Elon tweeted it:

Elon Musk ‏@elonmusk 13h13 hours ago
Looks like we may need to increase production plans for the Model 3

Chunky Jr. | 30 mars 2016

I wonder if Tesla did the reservation system the way it did so that Elon could announce that they already have N reservations at the time of the unveiling.

N could be 50K or more.

NKYTA | 30 mars 2016

OP, um, lines...

2015P90DI | 30 mars 2016

I'm betting on 200,000 pre-orders in the first week.

There are already lines in Australia waiting to get into the store. That's expected everywhere. Probably closer to 50% + of current owners will make a reservation just to have it. 75,000 right there. All the online orders, plus all the in store orders. Easy 200,000, if not well higher. If you wait a week, probably looking at 2021 before you could get your hands on one. Just my guess

PBEndo | 31 mars 2016

Currently in line in Florida. 25 people waiting, only 3 previous owners

moorelin | 31 mars 2016

curently 14th in line at Houston North. I am the only owner.

PBEndo | 31 mars 2016

WPB approaching 100 people

PBEndo | 31 mars 2016

WPB approaching 100 people

NKYTA | 31 mars 2016

Whee! Exciting day!

Bighorn | 31 mars 2016

I really think Tesla should force the OP to change his handle by now. Goofyidea perhaps.

Chunky Jr. | 31 mars 2016

The lines are impressive now, and that is before anyone has even seen the car. I'm sure that tomorrow and through the weekend there will be many, many more reservations, perhaps double what we see today.

KP in NPT | 31 mars 2016

Based on the Teslas parking to line up, there were about 20 owners in Dedham MA. But there were over 200 people in line when I left and so the majority there were non-owners. I think the OP needs to admit this idea was wrong. ;)

Tesla-David | 31 mars 2016

I think you were a bit off on your projections. Tesla Model ≡ lines everywhere, and Tesla stock will be taking off big time. Tesla once again ahead of the curve, and this demonstrates that there is huge demand for quality EVs. Tesla has the history and imagination to deliver. Tesla rocks!

SomeJoe7777 | 31 mars 2016

Ya, your projection is off. I was in line this morning at Houston North, about 150+ people in line, and I only saw about 20 model S owners. Everyone I talked to in line near me except for 1 person wasn't an owner. Parking lot was full, and >80% of the cars were not Teslas.

jordanrichard | 31 mars 2016

I mentioned this in another thread, but the significance of these 200+ people lines is that is just the people that were willing to drive to a store. Just imagine, if possible, what will happen at 8:30 PST, when the on-line reservation systems opens.

mbb | 31 mars 2016

OP is wrong. Majority of the people waiting in line are not current owners. People are very curious about Tesla driving experience. Frequently you can hear questions like what's the stock symbol :). Amazing

FactDoc | 31 mars 2016

2 reseverd at 10 AM Eastern time. new buyer.

FactDoc | 31 mars 2016

2 reseverd at 10 AM Eastern time. new buyer.

Qball | 31 mars 2016

There were at least 500 people in line by 11am central (store opened 10am) in Houston. Easily will be at least 1000 by end of the day. Give Dallas and Austin the same numbers and you already have 3000 buyers. Seemed like 10% of the folks in line were current Tesla owners so it's negligible in my opinion.

So at least 3000 in TEXAS (oil country), I would say at least 5x more in California. Just between Texas and California you have ~18,000 new buyers. My guestimate is ~40,000 new buyers in USA and another ~10,000 international.

That's 50k newbies before the Tesla 3 launch....imagine how many more will reserve online within next 30 days

danCE | 31 mars 2016

Qball, remember also that some people were reserving 2 cars. An unscientific survey at my location put that number around 20%.

Red Sage ca us | 31 mars 2016

mbb: I would not doubt that quite a few TSLA stock buys were made via mobile devices while Customers were standing in line today.

KP in NPT | 31 mars 2016

There are what? 300 stores worldwide? If each store only processes 300 car reservations on average (those who wait in line and those who show up after work) for just today, that's 90K reservations right there. I would not be surprised if the store average is 500 - or more. With online reservations later - this could be even more than anyone expected.

Qball | 31 mars 2016

@danCE, you are absolutely correct. Let's say the dual orders even-out the previous owners just be even more conservative.

Red Sage ca us | 31 mars 2016

I believe Elon knew exactly what he was doing when he set the Registration amount at $1,000.

bb0tin | 31 mars 2016

Not to me ;-)
This day/month may be looked back upon as the start of the mass conversion of the ICE fleet to electric. The world owes Elon, JB and Tesla a huge thank you for waking the world's eyes up to the possibilities, and stimulating the electrification of automobiles. THANKS :-O

bcld | 31 mars 2016

I spent 6 early hours today in line and got to know the people around me in line. None of them had even driven in a Tesla. This is a phenomana! Hundreds and Hundreds waiting behind me, I stopped counting after 150 when I realized the line when thru the mall, down the stairs, thru the mall entrance and around the block. Un-freakin' believable.

Hi_Tech | 31 mars 2016

I think the 200-300 average for the US stores is reasonable, but expecting 300 average for the rest of the world may be bit much. I'm now thinking about 25-30k in US, plus 10k in rest of world, plus employees. so about 40k before the even starts tonight.

JeffreyR | 31 mars 2016

I made the mistake of only counting reservations instead of both people and reservations. Your 20% number sounds right to me. BTW at Santana Row in San Jose, CA, I counted around 800 reservations before noon.

The Wait Begins: What it was like at Santana Row this morning