As I’m sure you all know by now, on March 31st, Tesla Motors revealed the highly anticipated Model ☰. This past Thursday, fans around the world waited in lines for hours outside Tesla showrooms to place one thousand dollar deposits to hold their place in line for a Model 3.
The line outside the Tesla showroom at the Prudential Center in Boston. There were more people lined up outside Sephora.
This, to me, marks a new level of consumerism. When have you ever heard of people getting in line to buy a car before!? When have you ever heard of a car generating this much buzz before? I think it’s nuts that people kill themselves on Black Friday to get good deals on TV’s and what not.
It’s nuts to me that people camp outside stores for the latest iPhone. However, at least they leave that day with an actual item. All these people left with was a confirmation email thanking them for giving us (Tesla) their money. And most people didn’t even receive that. In some cases, due to the influx of orders, confirmation emails took up to 48 hours!
Tesla Model ☰ prototype
What’s more, at the time that these people put in their deposit, Model 3 hadn’t even been unveiled yet. These people gave Tesla $1,000 for something on which they had no technical specs and no idea what it looked like! All they knew is that it would be “20% smaller than Model S.”
Little did any of us know until 11:30pm EST that a 20% smaller version of Model S is exactly what we got. To be honest, I for one could not be happier about the design. The way I see it, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. There are a lot of great lines and design cues from other cars (Porsche, Aston Martin) throughout.
One of the biggest deals about this car, why it is so coveted, is because this will be the first “affordable” (prices are set to start at $35,000) model Tesla has ever released. Also, there are certain tax incentives that pertain to electric vehicles and the number handed out is limited to 200,000 units. The thought process is to have a low number on the list so that you will be able to take advantage of these incentives.
I’m not sure if the incentives are based on the total number of cars produced by a company, or if there is a cap of 200,000 per model; ie. 200k for Roadster, 200k for S, 200k for X and 200K for 3. Regardless, as of EOD Friday April 1st, Tesla had an astounding 253,000 pre-orders (deposits, reservations, whatever you want to call it) for Model 3! That is simply unbelievable.
Never before have I ever cared about stock prices… until I became a shareholder shortly after joining the company this past November. There are a lot of factors that go into play with something as monumental and, quite frankly, historical as this.
First is that, hopefully investors will see this interest as a positive thing and will thus continue to put their support behind the company. Another, is that hopefully the opening of the Giga Factory (the battery factory in Nevada) along side with the production/release of Model 3, will allow the company to finally become cash flow positive.
However, it is more than a [monetary] vested interest I have in the company. I truly care about the companies’ success, not only because I am an employee, but because I genuinely believe in their mission and I want to see them (us) accomplish it as a team.
I’ve said this since I started, I really feel I joined Tesla at the perfect time. It is a very exciting company to work for and there are many parts of Musk’s “Secret Master Plan” that are finally coming into play. Between Model X rollout ramping up, and the recent reveal of Model 3 (with deliveries expected “late 2017”) the next few years at Tesla should be, if nothing else, very interesting.
It really feels like we’re part of a movement that is much bigger than just selling electric vehicles. It truly feels like we are part of something that is changing the world. All I can do now is play the waiting game. Oh, I’m sorry, did I forget to mention that I too put down a reservation for Model 3! It’ll make for a pretty cool first car.