Tesla VP: Almost 400,000 People Have Made A Model 3 Reservation – Video

1 year ago by Jay Cole 64

Tesla

Tesla VP diarmuid O’Connell At AEC 2016 (via Vincent Everts via YT/SpaceX&Tesla Fan)

Tesla Vice-President Diarmuid O’Connell gave a pretty informative (and thorough) speech on Tesla at the AVERE e-mobility conference in Amsterdam on Wednesday, touching on all the historical benchmarks that the company has reached, and an update on the future.

Specific to the Model 3 and reservations, O’Connell stated (from 4:33 in video – caught originally by Vincent Everts on Facebook (video below), and re-hosted on Youtube by SpaceX&Tesla Fan (video above)):

“The Model 3, the car for which the company was really set up to build, exceeded all of our expectations, as far as the rate at which we received reservations.  Something approaching 400,000 people have already put down … a thousand dollars to reserve this car.”

This number is some ~75,000 higher than the 325,000 reservations announced by Tesla exactly a week prior, and show that the interest in the car has remained remarkably high.

We would also note that many persons reserving the Model 3 actually put money down on TWO cars (which was the limit imposed by Tesla)…so if we take O’Connell’s quote literally, more than 400,000 total reservations have already been passed.

Tesla Model 3 - Passing 400,000 Reservations After Just 2 Weeks Of Availability

Tesla Model 3 – Passing 400,000 Reservations After Just 2 Weeks Of Availability

While the interest in the Model 3 is incredibly high, we would suggest checking out the whole video as the Tesla VP touches on the Model S, Model X rollout, the Supercharger Network, ESS (energy storage solutions) and what lies ahead for the company.

Video (below): Diarmuid O’Connell talk via Vincent Everts/Facebook

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64 responses to "Tesla VP: Almost 400,000 People Have Made A Model 3 Reservation – Video"

  1. James says:

    Wow. Anyone know what the most successful car launch has been up until now? Mustang?

    1. James says:

      In response to myself, Mustang sold 318,000 in the first year. They projected only 100,000 sales. 1M were sold through 18 months. Crazy. Sources from Wikipedia.

      1. Speculawyer says:

        But the thing is, Ford had the capability of building all those Mustangs. They were a big car maker and the Mustang is just another car.

        But Tesla is a brand new boutique car maker. And these are electric cars that have never been made in such volume.

        1. Paul Stoller says:

          And even at their current impressive ramp rate Tesla will almost certainly be unable to produce 300,000 cars in the first year of production.

          When you add Model S and Model X on top of what they are building I don’t know that even they will have enough battery capacity for that in the first year as the gigafactory will not be complete in the first year of production.

        2. Priusmaniac says:

          The Fremont factory used to be producing 400000 cars per years several years ago so with new improved methods and more robots I doubt the factory would suddenly produce less. A ramp up is likely but ultimately they will probably produce the 400000 cars again and likely more.

          1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

            I will be very surprised indeed if Tesla manages an annual production of 400,000+ from the Fremont assembly plant. Tesla has a noticeably higher number of workers per car produced that larger auto makers, and that’s because Tesla makes a bigger fraction of their own parts and subassemblies in-house.

            And altho Tesla brags a lot about all the robots they use on the assembly line, I question that Tesla actually has significantly advanced automation as compared to larger auto makers. Everybody’s using robots on the assembly lines now, not just Tesla.

            Tesla spokesmen and/or Elon have already talked about auto assembly plants in both China and Europe. If Tesla is really serious about accelerating the pace of growth for production of the Model ≡, then I expect to see them moving forward with either or both plans in the relatively near future.

            Frankly, I don’t expect to see Tesla pushing their expansion plans forward by much. Too many things would have to be accelerated; not just building more assembly lines inside the Fremont factory and building out the Gigafactory sooner. Every single plan would have to be be advanced, from securing raw materials such as copper and aluminum for the Gigafactory, to all the different suppliers Tesla will be contracting with to provide parts and subassemblies for the Model ≡. If just one of those proves impossible to accelerate, then everything will be held back.

            “A chain is only as strong as its weakest link.”

        3. tftf says:

          “But the thing is, Ford had the capability of building all those Mustangs. ”

          Bingo. Model3 demand is free market research for any large car maker.

          To reiterate, I don’t expect low-end Model3 deliveries before 2019-2021.

          By then the mass-market EV price bracket (let’s say $25-45k) will be really crowded.

          Good for consumers/car buyers, bad for producers. Expect rebates, price wars and low margins…

          1. tftf says:

            PS: And let’s not forget that Tesla has to/wants to build both car and BATTERY factories.

            The current Gigafactory pilot plant in Nevada is nowhere near ready to produce 500k batteries per year – another $4-5 billion in investments on the battery production side alone.

            1. Ryan H says:

              Yet the marketplace will be crowded with other mass-market low-cost EVs because all the other manufacturers have magical fairy land sources of enough batteries?

            2. Get Real says:

              Well tftf, why don’t we start the conversation here by ethically disclosing to everyone that you are SHORT on Tesla.

              This is important to mention because you only come here to propagate your lame FUD in a desperate attempt to bolster your short position after the reaming you and your buddies at Seeking Liars took on the Tsunami of M3 reservations.

              We all know that Tesla has a big challenge but because of their foresight in planning this out and starting a modular Giga-Factory, they will be the only company for the next 2-5 years capable of building big-battery compelling EVs in the hundreds of thousands.

              In any case, I hope that the M3 forces the laggard OEMs to at least start to build many different compelling EVs in quantity because that is good for humanity.

              Their problem is going to be getting the millions of batteries necessary to do so and that fact alone will take years to build-up to.

              1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

                Honestly, you’d think that tftf and the other short-selling Tesla bashers would realize they’re just wasting their time, trying to stop a river’s flow by swimming in the opposite direction.

                400,000 (and counting!) people have now paid $1000* for the privilege of saying “You’re wrong!” to all the Tesla short-sellers.

                That speaks pretty loudly to me.

                *…or even more, for those paying in foreign currencies.

          2. RexxSee says:

            “reiterate” ?!? You repeat, repeat, condition, harrass, stutter like a good disinformer/hater that you are.
            You are only consolidating the false rumours of the paid gossip from the competition, namely the petro-automobile cartel.

            Elon has already changed its strategy.
            Tesla said they are planning to ramp up production sooner, and they always do what they say they will… so I’m expecting they will pump out 300 000 in two years!

            The bets are on, corporative misinformers/haters vs followers of the most innovative, creative, surprising entrepreneur of this century.

            1. tftf says:

              ” so I’m expecting they will pump out 300 000 in two years!”

              Do you have any experience how the car industry and ramp-ups work in that sector?

              Pumping out cars is not like smartphones or other CE devices.

              How do you expect them to build 300k Model3 by 2018 – especially since they cut ties with both Daimler and Toyota (a very stupid move).

              I could believe in a faster ramp-up had they still ties with large car makers (and thus excess / dormant mfg capabilities).

              1. RexxSee says:

                Keep ties? Yeah to be screwed later on by the Goliaths…
                It was Daimler and Toyota who discontinued orders when they saw the unexpected succes of this “David”.

    2. Kalle says:

      Maybe the Lada? It was very popular in the east block

    3. HVACman says:

      Mustang is still the most successful launch.
      So far, I don’t recall seeing even one Model 3 unit listed as “sold” on the IEV monthly report card. Refundable reservations 2 years prior to launch does not a launch make.

      And Elon knows about that from hard-earned and expensive failed-launch experience at SpaceX. Every SpaceX pre-launch has been successful. But launch success is measured by the number of satellites actually inserted safely in orbit, not the number on-reservation to go out to the launch-pad. Getting pre-launch satellite reservations is easy. Just promise the moon at an affordable price. Actually getting the satellites into orbit is HARD. The hard work for the Model 3 is just beginning.

  2. Speculawyer says:

    They need to stop giving the number out. No one will place anymore preorders because everyone knows they can’t build them.

    I don’t mean to bash Tesla but there is no way anyone can handle that! Think about it . . . that is around the name number as the TOTAL number of ALL plug-in cars (from every maker) sold in the USA during the last 4 years COMBINED.

    But it is worse than that. This is a Tesla with a big battery. These batteries are probably twice the size of the average battery for a plug-in car sold in those 4 years.

    So they need batteries for twice the number every single plug-in car sold in the USA for the last 4 years combined.

    How will they do that?

    I tell you one thing . . . that Gigafactory that many people viewed as a folly is turning out to be a very prescient investment!

    1. zzzzzzzzzz says:

      Producing all these numbers is no problem if you have capital and mass production experience. Tesla may sell shares and raise capital again. Experience comes with time if you are lucky.

      The issue is that these reservations are small and refundable, and couple of years later customers will have many alternative choices from competitors. Who knows what will be conversion ratio years later.

      1. Texas FFE says:

        Wikipedia says that 559 thousand Mustangs sold in 1965, the first full production year. 480 thousand Ford Focus’ sold the first full production year.

      2. Speculawyer says:

        The competition have NOTHING. This is cars. It takes at least 3 years to bring a car to market. And even if they bring something good, they don’t have the battery capacity to build the cars and they don’t have the DC-fast-charging network to get people to buy the cars.

        Tesla really has a huge first mover advantage here. And the competition are too timid to really even try to compete. Tesla just needs to figure out how to manufacture all those cars and batteries. If they do it, they are part of the big 4. Or big 3 if Fiat/Chrysler fades.

        1. SparkEV says:

          Suppose GM or Ford made Model 3 instead of Tesla, how would they market it? It’s quicker than Camaro, more aerodynamic than the most luxurious car, mid sized sedan with better features (eg. self driving) than similar cars 2X the price, and on and on. Just how do you market that without killing existing cars?

          One way might be to raise the price (by stealerships), but officially, there’s no way to sell a car like Model 3 by traditional car companies even if they have it on stock. To paraphrase South Park’s Cartman, Tesla “Rochambeau”ed all car companies.

          1. super390 says:

            GM doesn’t even seem to know how to market the Volt, which is certainly good enough now to sell over 100,000 a year if there’s so much demand for the Model 3.

      3. John MB says:

        MANY CHOICES … like who Chrysler, Ford, GM GM will be lucky if they sell 10,000 Bolts before the first Model 3 hits the road..maybe VW with a lot of pressure after their diesel fiasco…Model 3 will stand alone until the big three eat their pride and change their sales model..Dealerships are on the way out as we now know them..they’ll be big used car lots trying to sell used ICE..Talk about landing a rocket in the ocean just wait ’til the Model 3 hits production..talk about lines now!

        1. Speculawyer says:

          Seriously. The Bolts is nice but the econobox looks . . . eh . . .I can get passed that. But no good DC charging network? Fugget about it.

          I guess the people that really want a hatch can get the Bolt. My dog will have to learn to live in the trunk with his snout peeking into the back seat area.

    2. TomArt says:

      I would have figured that it would have slowed more substantially by now, but people keep reserving at remarkable rates – I don’t know how far it can go before people stop reserving due to the sheer backlog.

      At this point, if 70% convert to sales, they are probably sold out through mid-2019 at least…

    3. Ralf Gulden says:

      Yeah, this is what I am: Disappointed about the large queue. I would reserve one if I could move ahead to, say, the 100,000th to reserve one.

  3. Anthony says:

    “We would also note that many persons reserving the Model 3 actually put money down on TWO cars (which was the limit imposed by Tesla)…so if we take O’Connell’s quote literally, more than 400,000 total reservations have already been passed.”

    Uh, Elon tweeted that the number of reservations who ordered two cars was below 5%. He took that as a sign of actual interest, not just people trying to speculate on the car.

    1. Jay Cole says:

      Well if we want to split hairs/get technical, the actual tweet was for 5% specific (not below)

      …and if the total is approaching 400,000 persons, then accounting for the ~20,000 additional odd reservations to the number based on the Musk tweet is a fair assessment I think – provided we take the VP literally, as was mentioned in the article.

      No assumptions (or comment) was made on the validity of the sum total of reservations, just what they might be.

      1. kdawg says:

        Elon has a new Twitter pic? Wasn’t the last one the M3 logo?

        1. Jay Cole says:

          I guess he likes to mix it up, (=

        2. Priusmaniac says:

          An article here said that Elon was a kid, maybe he read it and decided to make fun of it by changing his picture to one where he is really a kid. He looks very much like my son on it, that’s even funnier.

  4. Evdrive says:

    Impressive demand. They will get this done. I’m glad I ordered at the store before the reveal so I’m higher on the list.

    Think of all of the additional interest when these cars roll out in markets worldwide. Momentum.

    Finally an EV besides the Leaf that will be sold worldwide, is affordable, and has excellent range. Thank you Tesla.

    Toyota, Ford, Fiat, Honda, stay useless and irrelevent in the transition to EV’s. Nice work becoming oldschool and obsolete.

  5. St John says:

    I think Ford and Nissan are going to be the sleepers here. They are not stupid and they know how to build cars on a large scale.

    1. jh says:

      Build car bodies, yes. Build batteries? No.

      1. przemo_li says:

        Nissan/Renault do build their own batteries. Only time will tell weather they have the ability to advance chemistry.

        1. Speculawyer says:

          Nissan has failed on building a higher density chemistry.

          They shot their load for now . . . 30KWH. LOL.

          1. Knut Erik Ballestad says:

            Nissan already has shown a 60kWh car, the IDS concept – the battery had roughly the same volume as the current 30kWh battery.

            – They have licensed the LG chemistry, for battery production in Nissan’s 3 battery factories (Japan, UK, US)

          2. Pete says:

            We will see how many will cancel Model 3 reservation when Renault get out 180 miles Zoe for half price, better trunk and better AC charging in 2017. Nissan Leaf with ~45 kWh should also be 10.000 $ below the Model 3.

            1. Rightofthepeople says:

              Where did you hear Nissan Leaf will get a 45 kWh battery and start at $25k? If that is true it is HUGE news and yes would definitely change the game, but that sounds more like wishful thinking than anything else.

            2. super390 says:

              But they don’t sell the Zoe in the US. They probably don’t sell it in most of the countries where people are reserving Teslas, and they haven’t said they will ever sell it in most countries. I would love to check out a Zoe, but the Leaf just isn’t attractive to me.
              In any case, if you think the Zoe is in the same product category as a BMW 3-series or an Audi A4, you don’t understand the people who are making reservations for a Model 3. The Bolt is a more logical competitor for the Zoe and Leaf. We can only hope that GM exports it.

            3. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

              Pete said:

              “We will see how many will cancel Model 3 reservation when Renault get out 180 miles Zoe for half price, better trunk and better AC charging in 2017.”

              Seriously, you think someone can build a 180 mile range BEV and sell it in first-world countries for half the price of a Model ≡? I take it that unicorns will be building these out of rainbows?

              If it was possible to sell a long-range BEV and make a profit from selling it at a significantly lower price than a Leaf, then someone would already be doing that.

  6. So – for 2015 Tesla Deliver just over 50,000 Vehicles. At the End of March – the Model X line was capable of – and was actually producing at the rate of 750 per week, or – with no further expansion on that – already making the ‘X’ at 39,000 units per year – on a waiting list of ~ 30,000, so new orders will absorb some of that capacity later! They have also said they could reach 1,000 per week for the Model X, or equal to about 52,000 units per year.

    Tesla has state a goal for this year of 80,000 to 90,000 vehicles Delivered! Taking the 80,000 Figure as being a 60% Year over Year Growth in output from 2015, and extrapolating that out – we get this:

    2015 > 50,000
    2016 > 80,000
    2017 > 128,000
    2018 > 204,800
    2019 > 327,680
    2020 > 524,288

    So – if Tesla can reach the 80,000 units delivered this year – and continue growth at the same pace – they will get caught up, before they exceed the target capacity of the Gigafactory in 2020!

    However – if they make it al the way to 90,000 units this year – and continue on that 80% Growth path, year over year going forward – they reach over 500,000 vehicles a year earlier – in 2019!

    As seen hear:

    2015 = 50,000
    2016 = 90,000
    2017 = 162,000
    2018 = 291,600
    2019 = 524,880
    2020 = 944,784!

    In any case, those would be the range of numbers of units to deliver, and targets, to see if they can get inside those numbers going forward!

    I predict talk of Gigafactory #2 – before year end! Tesla Model 3 Reservations – potential for 0.5 Million by the end of 4 Weeks to a Month (500,000)! Even if it takes to the 5th or 6th week to reach such numbers – it will put enormous pressure on Tesla’s Ramp Up Plans – to get on top of this car, and they might be tempted to hold some advanced elements out for a later refresh!

    In any case – we live in interesting times!

    1. TomArt says:

      Those are pretty intense growth rates, but I’m not expert on manufacturing, so I’m not sure what it entails to ramp to such volumes – parallel lines? 3 shifts? A factory each in China and Europe?

      Again, their capital outlays will continue to exceed their income for years…

    2. Evdrive says:

      Nice Math!

    3. Murrysville EV says:

      The Model 3 reservation rate is precisely following the numbers I stated here a week ago:

      http://insideevs.com/tesla-model-3-the-week-that-electric-cars-went-mainstream-with-325000-reservations/

      “Model 3 orders are following a logarithmic curve quite nicely:

      First column = Hours after portal opened
      Second column = Total pre-orders
      12 115000
      24 180000
      72 276000
      168 325000
      6600 628621 predicted by end 2016
      8784 651621 predicted for 366 days
      13680 687265 predicted by mid-Q4 2017”

      Using my math from then, by Wednesday when he spoke there should have been 383074 reservations. It’s nice!

      1. Illuminati says:

        The curve should change after the 2nd part of the unveiling.

  7. Miss deborah oo7.5 says:

    AMAZING !!!!!!!!!! GO TESLA 🙂

  8. Hari says:

    The one question that lingers. Tesla has stated that NUMMI plant can make half a million cars a year, Giga factory can make battery for all those cars and then some for storage. A battery is a much smaller compnent compared to the car itself and arguably easier/faster to put together.

    Now, Gf is touted as the biggest building on earth by foot print. I don’t know about the actual foot print of the NUMMI factory. Assuming it’s smaller and both have onie level of manufacturing, I can’t see how the NUMMI plant isn’t a ‘smaller’ (see what I did there) bottle neck?
    Now you can say Tesla has plans to build factory in China et al. But Gf will easier to copy than a car factory. So, I don’t see the point in all the battery limitation outcry.

    1. TomArt says:

      sourcing lithium and cobalt and whatever else is in their current cells planned for production in the GF…the sheer volume is staggering – doubling the total annual LI-ion cell production of the entire planet…

      1. Mikael says:

        Double what the world capacity was back in 2012 before EVs had taken off. BYD alone will have the same capacity as the Gigafactory before it’s at full capacity.
        The world is thankfully changing…

    2. jh says:

      In terms of complexity the battery factory is far more complex to build. A car factory is relatively well known by now. Battery factories not so much. There are also several option in terms existing mothballed ones which could be acquired and refurbished. Not so for Battery plants.

    3. Speculawyer says:

      Not that easy. The Gigafactory is only partially built and just running partially.

      And their (former) NUMMI factory currently only has 2 assembly lines (more like 1 and 1/2) that are not real advanced. They have A LOT of work to do to bring it up to higher production.

      I went on the factory tour. It was nice. But they are NOT ready for the Model 3 at all. Heck, they are only just now getting the Model X up to speed.

      1. jelloslug says:

        The factory and the assembly line had nothing to do with the Model X delays.

  9. proxymusanonimy says:

    I still say 50% will result in sales and deliveries.
    Tesla will game the rebates and will have a special lower price (for all models) when they hit that specific mark and sales with skyrocket for that short period.

    1. TomArt says:

      I really do not think that your assumption is reasonable. You are saying that nearly 400k people are so flippant with $1k USD that they’ll just put down a reservation (interest free, plus inflation), and then just give it up in two years? That is not reasonable.

      Others have reported a sale rate of 70%-75% for Model S reservations, so I’d say that would be a good place to start for Model 3 predictions.

  10. Motarra says:

    NUMMI plant can be equipped to produce 500K units per year. I don’t understand why anyone would be concerned about Tesla’s ability to scale production of the Model 3. It’s complex you say? Well the man just sent a rocket to the ISS, nailed the first stage landing, and plans to (for the first time in the history of our civilization) reuse the first stage by next year or sooner. Are we seriously worried about Tesla’s ability to crank out a “simple” car by the hundreds of thousands of units over the next few years?

    The barrier for EV’s has always been battery density, scale production, weight and cost. If GF fixes that…game over. We will see EV’s take over their ancestors markets like computers did in the late 1980’s an smartphones in the 2000’s.

    Yeah I know I’m preaching to the choir…goodnight!

  11. TomArt says:

    Great video – he lays it all out, straightforward. Reasonable plan. Good luck!!!

  12. Mister G says:

    I hope model 3 is ready before January 2020 that’s when 2016 Leaf lease ends.

  13. Priusmaniac says:

    By a search I fell back on this excellent Josh Bryant article from 2 years ago. It is great to read back again:

    http://insideevs.com/what-would-it-take-to-make-tesla-model-e-desirable-and-profitable/

    1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      Interesting look back, thanks Priusmaniac!

      Of course there are still many unanswered questions about the Model ≡, but it looks like Josh Bryant is batting 1000 on his predictions so far.

      “Only one screen”? Yeah, but we never thought that meant no driver’s instrument panel at all! Or at least –I– never did, before the Reveal.

  14. mxs says:

    They will need a lot of good luck. I mean a lot.

    From manufacturing standpoint, material sourcing, servicing, maintenance even more …. starts too look like a bigger bite than they can chew on and digest it in a healthy way.

  15. Pete says:

    Musk the world savior. When reading how many Zoe, i3 or e-Golf driver reserve a Model 3 I think it’s more than curious. They drive a small car last 10 years and now think they need a midsize car with 4000 lbs. Tesla, you made it people driving thicker cars need more electricity particularly much more resources. If Tesla build a pick up truck next the European will also buy it like it would be normal, city car they drive before fits on the loading area.

  16. Peter says:

    “Something approaching 400,000 people have already put down … a thousand dollars to reserve this car.”

    And some have put down a lot more to reserve this car. Here in Denmark you have to put down DKK 10,000 which equals USD 1,517.
    So over 50 % more than you have to put down in the US for the same car.