For those that take delivery in 2018, is the car still considered a 2017 model?
Its based on when produced.
A car produced on Dec. 31, 2017 is a "2017 model." A car leaving the production line on 1 January is thus a "2018 model."
Tesla doesn't go by Model Years.
It's my understanding that Tesla shifts to the next year's VIN numbers late in December. For 2017 the 10th digit of the VIN is "H". After the shift, the 10th digit of the VIN will be "J" for 2018 production.
Then the vin numbers start back at 000001 but with a J in front instead of an H
My Delivery Docs state my Model 3 is a 2017. Unlike other manufacturers that deliver 2018's in June or July, 2017. A scheme that has always bugged me and so unethical, in my opinion.
@btbailey9 has it correct. It's not exactly split on December 31 versus January 1, as @George with SacEV was saying, because they do have VINs selected earlier than that for cars in the production line, and they can't predict it down to the second which ones will be finished before midnight versus after, so they makes that switch sometime in the last few weeks of December.
Legacy car makers always have "next year's model" out by October or so of the previous year.
What's the rule?
There is no 'NEW for 2018, Tesla Model S' in august of 2017. Tesla just change the car when ready, rutrow. Since a model number is needed for tax and registration so they just use year produced.
This discussion reminds me of the angst that outboard motor manufacturers created when they decided to do away with model years. I think it was around 1997 and it started with the Japanese manufacturers, but was soon followed by Mercury and Johnson/Evinrude. Maybe it was done so that dealers could have alot of older inventory on display and buyers couldn't tell any difference from one model year to the next....and were told that there were no differences. Of coarse when they actually made changes it was up to the buyers to decide whether or not that "de-valued" a particular model that was built on an older date. From a service standpoint it did make things more difficult when it came time to determine what model you were working on.
But it wasn't too long before outboard engines became just like modern car engines....you plugged your diagnostic tool into the engine computer and got all of the technical information that you needed to work on it.
And, Tesla has the ability to add features as needed or desired via over-the-air updates so maybe the production date issue isn't that much of an issue.
It was a little confusing to me because it's the same car regardless of when delivery is taken. Thanks for all the feedback. I am (will be) a first time Tesla owner -- mine is expected between March and May! Can't wait!!
"Then the vin numbers start back at 000001 but with a J in front instead of an H"
It could work that way, but it doesn't. Tesla will go to a J, but with other models they kept going with the numbering Tesla allows for six digits for the serial number portion of the VIN. That's one short of a million, which was never a problem for the S or X. With the Model 3, Tesla might have to go back to 0 for a future model year.
The VIN might get assigned long before they make the car, so it's hard for Tesla to control precisely what model year gets assigned. Mine is a 2017 VIN even though there might be 10 days left to the year by the time I get it, or by the time it completes production. For practical purposes, it will be a 2018.
The problem is that for practical purposes, my 2014 Model S with autopilot is a 2015. At the time it was made, other manufacturers called their cars 2015. Mine has the same features as 2015 cars. But if I go to KBB, I get a value about $1800 lower than I get for an identical 2015 with the same mileage, even though it's the same car, and with any other manufacturer, mine would be called a 2015.
"I get a value about $1800 lower than I get for an identical 2015 with the same mileage"
Get this information into the brains of customers and the market will fix that anomaly. There are some aspects of Capitalism that I hate, but allowing knowledgeable consumers set fair prices is one feature I support.
"... my 2014 Model S with autopilot is a 2015. At the time it was made, other manufacturers called their cars 2015. Mine has the same features as 2015 cars. But if I go to KBB, I get a value about $1800 lower than I get for an identical 2015 with the same mileage, even though it's the same car, and with any other manufacturer, mine would be called a 2015."
Yeah, that sucks. But I guess the delay is a small silver lining for those of us who have to wait and will end up with 2018 VINs.
But if I asked you to trade and said I'll take your early delivery and 2017 VIN if you'll take my later delivery and 2018 VIN I'm pretty sure I'd hear your laughter at my house. ;-)