It's getting late...

It's getting late...

So what do you think is going on with the non-Tesla-employee deliveries for 2017?

- We hear and see that Tesla has stockpiled a couple hundred Model 3s at or near delivery centers. They look complete, and ready to deliver.
- Of 77 people who have already configured, zero have reported taking delivery, according to a spreadsheet
- At least a couple of forum denizens appear to have had deliveries scheduled, only to have them canceled or postponed, with flimsy explanations from Tesla.
- Next week, customers will start drifting away to Christmas vacations and the like, so it will become much more difficult to schedule and complete deliveries.

I assumed Tesla was planning to make a big splash with a few hundred non-employee deliveries this month, but that seems less likely with every passing day. Is there something wrong or incomplete with the stockpiled cars - missing batteries, bad quality, software not-ready-for-primetime? Are they planning to make 500 deliveries on New Year's Eve? I really don't get it.

I feel certain they'll deliver a few non-employee cars this month, just so they can say they did it. But I'm now thinking it may only be a very small number. Mr. Musk did say the ramp-up curve is difficult to predict, and it could get shifted from December to January. Maybe that's what happened?

Your guess is as good as mine - whaddaya think?

mntlvr23 | 13 december 2017

It's going to be awesome ...
... wait for it

Coastal Cruiser. | 13 december 2017

Given that it is December, Elon first needed to check with Santa as to whether the configurer's have been naughty or nice. Santa is busy unloading container ships from China by himself, so he's a little backed up.

(Santa's helpers are all on the line at Fremont, so It's a bit of a vicious circle)

bricha55 | 14 december 2017

The wait is almost over!

Daryl | 14 december 2017

If I was waiting for delivery "any time now", I would be concerned about whether I need to create a large tax bill this year or next. I'll sell some stock to ensure that I will owe at least $7500, but this year or next?

I guess as long as it's done by December 31 it counts as this year, but I would hate to have to act so hastily.

But even though my delivery is listed as Dec - Feb, I'm not really expecting it until March or April, so I guess I don't really have to worry about it!

mleonard1 | 14 december 2017

You probably can't afford a first production Model 3 if you have less than $7,500 in federal tax liability.

Turbo25 | 14 december 2017

Daryl - Are you trying to tell us that your federal tax liability is less than $7,500? How can you afford a Model 3 if that's the case?

Or are you confused about the way the tax credit works thinking that it only offsets any taxes you may owe when you file your tax return (if any)? If so, that's not how it works. It offsets your tax liability for the year regardless of whether you owe / receive a refund when you file your taxes.

Steam613 | 14 december 2017

Or Daryl is retired, on fixed income. Lot's of cash doing its thing in its appropriate retirement vehicle but his mortgage is paid off and has a mountain of money burning a whole in his treasure vault with minimal expenses needed thus he pays himself very little, perhaps out of a ROTH IRA that is tax free. There are explanations that still will work without making him irresponsible fiscally.

PhillyGal | 14 december 2017

My guess it that Daryl thinks its related to refund amount, not liability. Meaning, he may think that he has to "owe" at least $7,500 at the end of the year, rather than have a liability exceeding $7,500 that is likely paid throughout the year.

I've never had a refund anywhere near $7,500 (except the EV tax credit year) but that doesn't mean my liability doesn't well exceed it.

Coastal Cruiser. | 14 december 2017

If I were to bet a nickel I'd say Daryl understands correctly. The retirement theory is a possibility. That is my scenario and I am having to juggle money around quite a bit in order to incur that size of a liability. But there are other reasons as well. Off the top of my head, an asymmetrical dual income family would seem a possibility...

weluvm3 | 14 december 2017

Well, in my case, I waited until I was sure I wouldn't be taking delivery this year, then paid the second installment of my property tax bill, thereby shifting the deduction forward.

There are all kinds of reasons why people would want to game their tax liabilities and deductions, especially given all the changes afoot, and knowing exactly when one will claim the credit helps in planning.

pat777campbell | 14 december 2017

Doesn't delaying deliveries alter the federal tax incentive rollout favorably for more customers ?

I'm one of those who likely won't benefit much from the incentive due to having paid off our debts and learning to live within our income before retiring. Our Leafs have played a part in living inexpensively. The M3 is a doable chunk as long as we remain healthy. (Our WFPB no added fats/oils is working well for us and we exercise daily.)

rxlawdude | 14 december 2017

Interesting responses, but no one actually addressed the elephant in the room that OP made. I agree with his concerns.

El Mirio | 14 december 2017

It is kind of odd. Maybe they decided they will ship those to Canada in order to hit 200k US deliveries end of Q1 2018. Elon had said in the past that they would do that in order to max out tax credit, no idea if they are still planning to do so.

Haggy | 14 december 2017

I didn't like having my delivery postponed especially without a reschedule date, but it's still six days short of the four week estimate. When I read that a delivery had been promised for last Monday, that put things ahead of schedule with the original estimate taking 1/3 longer. But in absolute terms it's not a significant amount either way.

I still might get the car within the four weeks, and if it takes a few days longer, I'm fine with that. If it goes into next year, I'm a bit less fine with that, especially if it changes my taxes for the year and means getting a 2017 VIN for a 2018 delivery.

rxlawdude | 14 december 2017

#Haggy, you're one of our canaries. Breathe carefully in that coal mine! :-)

Carl Thompson | 14 december 2017

"The M3 is a doable chunk as long as we remain healthy."

I hope you're kidding and your retirement plan considers the possibility that you might get sick!

noleaf4me | 14 december 2017

@El Mirio - they are not that close to 200k yet.

rgrant | 14 december 2017

@Carl T - only in America....!?

phil | 14 december 2017

They're up to 82 configuring customers on the teslaownersclub spreadsheet. Still zero deliveries.

There is one guy on teslamotorsclub forums that has delivery scheduled for Friday.
There also seem to be a few new configuration invitations out today.

If they are able to deliver even one Model 3 without an NDA, that will be indication of some degree of progress, readiness.

phil | 16 december 2017

95 customers configuring, zero delivered. The TMC guy turned out to be a Tesla employee. I'm still seeing zero deliveries without NDA, and zero scheduled.

I still believe they'll deliver a few around Christmas-New Year's Eve...

weluvm3 | 16 december 2017

Well, at least timing is a lot less critical, now that the EV credit will apparently survive another year.

I’m actually happier to have a 2018 VIN. It will increase resale value if/when I sell it.

SamO | 16 december 2017

OMG . . . the sky is falling . . . a few days either way . . . Tesla should just shut down operations . . . they are clearly almost nearly in bankruptcy . . . and THEY PROMISED 500,000 Model 3s in 2017. Elon Muskrat is a liar and charlatan . . .


KP in NPT | 16 december 2017

I'm not sure I agree that Teslas are valued more by VIN year. History has shown what matters more is what the car actually has - since Tesla doesn't wait until new model years to make changes, be it major or minor. Look at Pre/post AP1 cars and AP1/EAP cars as examples.