Published on September 12th, 2018 |
by Steve Hanley
September 12th, 2018 by Steve Hanley
Several Model 3 reservation holders who are members of the Tesla Motors Club (TMC) forum are reporting they recently received an email from Tesla informing them they could be driving a new Model 3 sooner than expected — if they’re not too fussy about what equipment it has or what color it is. Here is the relevant part of the email the company sent out: “This weekend, we’re hosting an exclusive delivery event in Fremont, CA. As a future Model 3 owner in the Bay Area, you have the opportunity to come pick-up your Model 3 sooner than expected.”
The response to the thread at TMC reveal that Model 3 reservation holders are nothing if not sanguine about the company’s recent travails. TMC member Plasmo speculates, “I think they are having groups of new Tesla owners sit and watch instructional videos together rather than the one-on-one delivery experience that we used to have. This is probably more efficient with the larger # of deliveries occurring with the Model 3.” Eno Deb gets a prize for the most amusing response, posting, “‘Delivery experience’? Perhaps they guide you into the ‘tent’, give you a little Allen wrench and you can assemble your own car Ikea style?” Gotta love a person with a sense of humor.
With all the negativity swirling around the company of late, some see the sped up delivery process as a sign of trouble. TMC member btp125 worries, “Are they trying to unload rejected cars?” CNET published a report that included this tweet from Nicholas Parks:
1/ On the face of it, this appears to be an open to the public sales event, not unlike a conventional dealership. It suggests to me that $TSLA needs desperately to convert inventory into cash.https://t.co/kwWWKJB7te pic.twitter.com/dDVEQtenqq
— Nicholas Parks (@nhparks) September 9, 2018
People who went to the Fremont factory over the weekend reported quite a bit of confusion on the part of Tesla employees, suggesting the company did not spend a lot of time prepping for the event. But there were no mobs of people clamoring for a Model 3. Some suggested the promotion may have been designed to move a bunch of cars with white interiors — a $1,500 option. Apparently, the majority of the cars available were so equipped.
Longtime TMC member ecarfan went to Fremont on Sunday and drove home with a brand new Model 3, posting about the experience as follows:
“Based on my experience, if Tesla does this again and you are in the Bay Area, still waiting for a delivery date for your car and getting anxious, and you are not 100% locked in to your specific configuration, I strongly recommend going to this ‘delivery event’. My wife and I went with an open mind: there were several color combinations that we were willing to seriously consider.
“Since all the cars are Long Range batteries and include the PUP, my only requirements were that it be Dual Motor and not black, blue, or white. There was more than one car at the event that I would have accepted. As it turned out, two hours after I arrived, I went home on Sunday with a car very close to my configured reservation; I enthusiastically changed to white seats and 19” wheels. I am thrilled with it!”
Tesla Reduces Color Choices
More proof that Tesla is on a mission to get as many Model 3s into the hands of customers as soon as possible emerged at the beginning of the week, when Elon Musk tweeted, “Moving 2 of 7 Tesla colors off menu on Wednesday to simplify manufacturing. Obsidian Black & Metallic Silver will still be available as special request, but at higher price.”
Last week, Musk published a blog post claiming the company was about to build and deliver twice as many cars as in any quarter so far. Bloomberg points out that post is somewhat ambiguous, as it does not say specifically whether Q3 or Q4 will be the breakout quarter, but in the larger scheme of things, it really doesn’t matter. If Tesla can double production by the end of the year, most people will be fine with that.
The upshot of all this is that, despite all the bombast and brouhaha swirling around Musk and Tesla in recent weeks, the company is doing what it set out to do — mass produce compelling electric cars. Volkswagen says it has committed to investing $48 billion into electric car development in the next few years. Does anyone think if Elon Musk and Tesla had not gotten this far, Volkswagen would be investing more than a few euros in EVs? Nobody at CleanTechnica world headquarters thinks so. The longer Tesla stays in business, the sooner the pain of being late to the EV party will begin to weigh on the balance sheets of legacy automakers.
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