Mother Lode Of Tesla Model 3 Vehicles Spotted, Multiple Locations

Red Tesla Model 3 LA Auto Show


Tesla Model 3

Tesla Model 3 stockpile (Image Credit: @ethancushing via Instagram)

We’re getting more and more tips of Tesla Model 3 vehicles spotted in various locations throughout California.

We previously reported about a new 131,000-square-foot property Tesla acquired in the Silicon Beach area near Marina Del Rey. The site is complete with multiple areas for parking vehicles and is reportedly a soon-to-be delivery center for the automaker. Additionally, not long after that sighting, a parking garage was discovered in Playa Vista (very near the new property), with a plethora of Tesla vehicles, including Model 3s. Not surprisingly, the video of the site was taken down.

Since then, we’ve received a handful of tips with mostly blurry or distant images of Model 3 sedans in various locations, some as far as 300 or more miles apart, but all within California, of course. Also, a growing number of 3s have been arriving at the Marina Del Rey property.

As you can see in the photo above, Instagram user, @ethancushing, was able to secure some picture of about 30 Tesla Model 3 vehicles at the site. Below is also his Tweet regarding the sighting.

Tesla Model 3

Tesla Model 3 stockpile in Playa Vista


Some 330 miles away, in Lathrop, California, Tesla is storing vehicles as well. Lathrop is much closer to the Fremont factory, in the San Francisco area, whereas these other sightings have been near Los Angeles.

Check out the photos of the Lathrop storage area below. We apologize for the picture quality. Sam Li made us aware of the location and then took it upon himself to try to get some pictures on our behalf. He noted that the security guards wouldn’t let him get very near the facility, and rain, fog, and the sun made for difficulty in securing better shots. It looks as though there are Model S and Model 3 vehicles on site. Interestingly, he included shots of the signage on the property, which shows a need for auto haulers.

Hat tip to Sam Li!

Also, InsideEVs reader pjwood1 sent us this photo of a new Tesla Model 3 in a Boston delivery bay:

Tesla Model 3 in Boston (via pjwood1) – click to enlarge

Categories: Tesla


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61 Comments on "Mother Lode Of Tesla Model 3 Vehicles Spotted, Multiple Locations"

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A 131 square foot property is pretty tiny…

Not tiny – that’s just the above-surface area. The vehicles are all stored in a giant bore-tube underground.

Or maybe it is a portal to that other dimension our minds were blown to when the semi and Roadster were revealed.

You would have had to have to met all the requirements for that to happen.

So what’s the misssing ‘part’ that is keeping these TN3’s from shipping / delivery?

The weakest link in the supplier chain. 😉

Rumor is that they are going to have a big mass delivery event at multiple locations for the first general public deliveries, the same way they delivered 30 TM3’s all at the same time at the July delivery event for employees and VIP’s.

That would not be a “supplier chain” problem.

There’s one in the Boston delivery bay. May be part of the NDA distribution, but there as of last night.

..Jay has the photo

Indeed I do, will add to the story now pj, thanks!

Way to go PJ !

Wait, where is that? I don’t recognize the picture… is it in the Tesla section of the parking garage under the Prudential? Or the back area of the ground floor of the Boston store in the Prudential? Or is that at the Watertown Service Center? Or someplace else?

Dedham / Boston-metro. That’s why I framed to include the funky roof.

Rumor is that they are awaiting some critical parts that suppliers have struggled to build to Tesla’s specs and deadlines, and incomplete 3s are being stockpiled to keep production going, with service centers installing the missing parts when they come in.

Plus, having photos of dozens of Model 3’s out there is good press for Tesla, as it allows fanboys to theorize about the best case scenarios. 😀

Hi Bob Lutz what do you think of Tesla semi?

Nope… They wanna keep them all to themselves…lol

Well there are quite a few possible explanation. They might still wait for some important software updates. They also might be trying to impress the market(q4 results call) and press with like over 1000 deliveries in the final week of 2017, sugesting achieving relatively high weekly rate of deliveries. I’m actually waiting for such a sentence in results conference:)

I think you are right. I mean, no AM/FM radio support in the user interface? That is uncivilized!

There is FM now since the last update.

People still listen to AM?

Sure, we’ve got a few stations in this area, but because of the static, it’s pretty much intolerable.

who cares? we stream AM stations on our S instead of listening to the over the air broadcast which is also available. On line station has less static and a stronger signal. No issue there…

This is great and all… but I want to see more on the road soon! 🙂

I saw one driving around Dallas yesterday. Other than the the Aero covers, the car looked great!

I hope Tesla is able to deliver a large number (1000s) of M3 in December, Tesla desperately need to show the stock holder and reservation holders that they are capable of making the car in 2017

They do not desperately need to do that. Desperation is not how they do things.

Also, most TSLA shareholders are probably in it for the long haul.

William, most of the Tesla investors are in it for the long haul. Even if Tesla needs another stock offering, they will get it fairly easily with little diminution of the current stock value. People see the upside and if Tesla can get the 3 production numbers up by March to even 5,000 for the month they will be good. If they exceed that, and I think they will, they will be on the right trajectory.
Tesla has enormous cachet and good will. They can use that to weather any short term production hell issues. But they do need to sell a quality product with no more quality control problems than the early S and to sell it in decent numbers relatively soon, say within the next couple of quarters. February would be good, March almost as good, but they really need to be selling 5,000+ a month by June at the very latest.
I think they can do it, and so do most of their investors.

Best guess is they’re missing some parts but they hope to complete and deliver them by year end which coincides with the 4th quarter…

Should note that there will be a “surprise” coordinated and multi-location delivery party event, most likely the last week of the month…

They’re probably just sitting there waiting for the radio update. Now that’s been rolled out though no reason not to put them in their owners hands!

(⌐■_■) Trollnonymous

I’ve already seen 2 Gray ones, a red, black and a blue TM3 driving around here in Sacramento.

This might be a strategy to maximize use of federal EV credit once 200,000 mark is reached.

From how I understand it, the 200,000 mark is based on date of production not date of sale.

So it would be pointless to hold onto them for that reason if the cars are already complete.

The wording I’m familiar with specifically refers to 200,000 sold being the mark, not simply produced and sitting in a lot.

However, it’s unlikely this has anything to do with the tax incentive. More likely these are either going to be distributed to show rooms, or they are waiting on some part or another to be installed before delivery.

It is triggered via the sale of the 200,000th qualifying vehicle.

Here is the verbage:

“The credit begins to phase out for a manufacturer’s vehicles when at least 200,000 qualifying vehicles have been sold for use in the United States (determined on a cumulative basis for sales after December 31, 2009)….”

Link to IRS/IRC 30D if interested.

Thanks! I haven’t looked it up in years and somehow miss-remembered.

@Jay Cole said: “Here is the verbage: The credit begins to phase out for a manufacturer’s vehicles when at least 200,000 qualifying vehicles have been sold…”

Hmmmmm… “at least 200,000”

That law was poorly worded because “at least 200,000” perhaps was intend to say “at most 200,00”. The “at least 200,000” if taken literally means that the “phase out” never starts…

Therefor there is no “phase out” unless the law wording is amended to reflect the intent.


at least
phrase of least
not less than; at the minimum.

“clean the windows at least once a week”

synonyms: at the minimum, no/not less than;

So maybe it is better to supply the RHD market first and keep the USA LHD market with their incentives.

It would make sense if they were nearer to that mark.

However, Tesla has huge pent up demand worldwide so they technically would be doing the US a favor by stockpiling them vs sending them overseas…

They may even only offer deferred delivery for the S, X and only the top optioned 3s…

Perhaps these are the dealer cars people like me will demand to test drive before buying. Otherwise, no deal.

Dude, get in the back of a very long line. There’s near half a million early adopters itching for their Model III. You’re middle-market. Tesla will get to your segment eventually. Might be a year from now, might be less.

Even day 1 reservation holders, like myself, would like to be able to check one out in person before converting to a sale. Having some available at the show rooms would go a long way toward mollifying anxious reservation holders as well as the general public.

Like Kyuu, I’m a Day 1 reservation holder. I reserved sight unseen, but I won’t buy sight unseen.

I need to make sure I fit inside the vehicle and can actually use the GUI before committing $3500 of unrefundable money to buy one.

Sorry, I’m not that much of a fanboy.

Yea, you are way too tall to buy sight-unseen. You need to test drive it first just to see if you literally fit, much less to see if the Model 3 “fits” your needs.

Maybe they are storing them up to have some sort of delivery event nearer to Christmas.
Seems unlikely, but with Elon, who knows.

More likely they are mixture of cars, some that need to be worked on, but not enough time to do so atm, some to be delivered soon, etc…

Well, I didn’t read anything in this article (maybe I need to read again) that really suggests a motherload. It sounds to me more like a dozen here or there. Nevertheless, I would not be surprised if Tesla is building the cars and storing them if the bottleneck is truly just in the battery supply chain as we’ve been lead to believe. After all, it can’t take that much work to install the battery afterwords.

Eduardo Pelegri-Llopart

I saw one on the freeway when driving home from the Oakland Airport. And we have one in our neck of the woods – I think they pick up a kid from a local activity.

They look good. The first time you have to do a double take – is that an S? – but then you can recognize them right away.

Lode? I always thought it was Load. Am I wrong? I also used to thing it was “play it by year” instead of “play it by ear” so what do I know. 🙂

It looks like you used to thing it when you should have been thinking it. So your not the best source perhaps? (find the hidden error in my post for bonus points).

I thing so.

Haha! I hate spelling and grammatical errors, especially when I’m the one making them. 🙂

Also, you’re versus your. An easy error to spot. :-p

‘Mother Lode’ comes from gold mining terminology of 150 years ago. The mother lode was where you struck it rich (a lot of gold).
The funny part is where some say ‘lode’ they are actually giving you a ‘load’ of BS. So it can be a joke too.

Is it mother load or mother lode?

Although you may dig a load of ore out of a mother lode, the spelling “motherload” is a mistake which is probably influenced by people thinking it means something like “the mother of all loads.” A “lode” was originally a stream of water, but by analogy it became a vein of metal ore.
May 25, 2016

Lode. From Wiki:
“In the United States, Mother Lode is most famously the name given to a long alignment of hard-rock gold deposits stretching northwest-southeast in the Sierra Nevada of California.”

All these cars are going to Mars on space x rockets LOL

Who wants to be the Lode Runner? 😉

Wow! You just brought me back 30 plus years to playing Lode Runner on my Commodore 64. Totally forgot about that game!! Thanks Vlad! Ken (Leaf guy from NJ)

Wake me up when you start seeing at least hundreds of cars at a time. “Mother Lode” should be reserved for “thousands” in one spot.

Sorry Sam Li, your photos are showing Model S’s – easily mistaken for Model 3

Personally I don’t think there is going to be some huge delivery event. Tesla doesn’t want to give itself those kinds of pipeline headaches. It’s only 25 days from the end of the quarter… Tesla crunches S+X deliveries in the end of quarters in the USA anyway… holding back Model 3’s in California for a Q4-2017 delivery event would simply add to the problem.

The easier explanation is that except for some part or function that is missing, these cars are built, finished, and pulled from the factory to make space for more production. As soon as they are finished they’ll be delivered.

It was stated on earnings call they had a bottleneck in the battery module assembly area.

Likely these are awaiting battery packs.