Musk Says Annual Tesla Model 3 Demand Could Hit 700,000

Red Tesla Model 3 at handover event


Tesla Model 3

The popularity of the Tesla Model 3 is staggering, especially when considering the circumstances.

Delivering over 400,000 Tesla Model 3s is sure to be an epic feat, but how about 700,000?

As the days since the Tesla Model 3 handover party and the automaker’s Q2 earnings call accumulate, it’s starting to become less of a surprise as to why CEO Elon Musk has shared that Tesla is essentially trying not to sell the Model 3. Several hundred thousand cars for a small company that hasn’t made that many thus far is one thing, but when the number has the potential to head up closer to a million orders, it must become just plain scary to all involved.

Tesla Model 3

Inside the Tesla Model 3

Despite still not having every juicy detail about the car, despite many people still not having an opportunity to see it in person, despite the fact the Tesla has only successfully produced a mere handful of “3s”, despite the lack of base models initially (as well as certain standard features and options), despite the federal rebate set to disappear, despite having to wait perhaps a few years for their vehicle, and this list goes on and on — people are still ordering Tesla Model 3s at an alarming rate. According to Tesla, the orders are averaging 1,800 every day.

Last we heard, current reservations were up to 455,000 (and that was many days ago), after about 67,000 people cancelled their original pre-order. If the pre-order binge continues, Tesla is looking at an additional 250,000 orders just this year.

Previously, Tesla CEO Elon Musk said that Tesla has the potential to make about 500,00 cars per year by the end of 2018. This is reportedly about max capacity for the factory in Fremont (give or take depending on utilization of the Tesla Gigafactory for additional component production). Some statements actually reported that the CEOs statement was in reference to 500,000 Model 3s alone. Either way you look at it, it’s a ton of cars for an automaker that’s made less than 200,000 since its inception, and 84,000 in 2016.

Now, Musk is upping these numbers to some 700,000 cars per year, and said that number could eventually escalate. Is this just to appease the long list of Model 3 reservation holders? Is it an attempt to assure that folks are aware Tesla is attempting to get every last reservation filled well before the end of next year? Is this referring to after Tesla is able to secure or construct another factory?

Specific answers aren’t yet clear. Nonetheless, Tesla is seeking to fundraise yet again to create a $1.5 billion cushion to aid in the process. With Musk’s updated average price estimation for the Tesla Model 3 up to $45,000, the automaker is looking at some $30 billion in revenue from the Model 3 when it’s all said and done.

Source: TheStreet via Electrek

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151 Comments on "Musk Says Annual Tesla Model 3 Demand Could Hit 700,000"

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Forget the fact that it’s an EV for a moment. Is the market really that large for $45K sedans?

The Tesla Model 3 has this level of demand BECAUSE it is electric. All the preorder deposits were from people who were already paying attention to EV’s.

Now, many more people are learning that EV’s exist.

Highly speculative.

I bought a 2011 Leaf and was disappointed by Nissan’s failure to manage their EV segment. They published a lot of battery PR but appeared not willing to risk money on battery development and improvement. Indeed, They have been asleep for seven years and finally sold their battery business to the Chinese.

I think Teslas will sell just on their record of getting things done alone. The Model 3 is my next car as will be the same for hundreds of thousands of drivers. The World looks ready for the transition to EVs…the question is can Tesla keep up?

Ditto, once you drive one for a while you are hooked. Tesla makes the best EV so everyone wants one. The question is how long will it take for the other OEMs to compete? GM and Nissan are close, BMW maybe, everyone else better get busy!

Yeah, I agree. $45k is too steep for most people. I believe many, if not most will be sold for $36k ($1k for paint) and it will take a significant reduction in price to hit 700k/yr production.

Spot on, hitting 700k/yr would mean 25-27k $ price point tops. I purely doubt Elon would agree to make such an offer , no matter how hard his management board would strive to push him. Though, what they could try is to make him consider building a Tesla Charging Tower in city centers. That would certainly help a lot. At this point in time this is the only window through which they could drag him and ensure to keep him in – – sane condition.

I don’t think Elon would push for maximum profit. He wants to see as many EVs in people’s hands as possible. His aim is to push automation as far as possible and reduce cost so I think lower price in the future is a given. In fact I think he will try to lower the price as soon as the US tax incentive runs out.

Profit is not on horizon yet. He can only push for minimum losses and survival as far as equity and bond markets are not closed to the company. Which is tough task – high price improves margins but reduces market share. And vice versa – low price expands market share but at risk that losses and capital expenditure will become unsustainable.

You obviously didn’t listen to the Q2 2017 conference call.

They are projecting hitting 25% gross margin on the Model 3 a few months after they hit 5,000 units/week. That should be by early to mid 2018.

They are projecting pocketing around $30 Billion dollars on the first generation run of Model 3’s.

Profits are very much on the horizon. Now they certainly may sink much of their profits into bringing the Model Y, next gen Roadster, Tesla pickup, Tesla Semi, etc to market. But that is taking PROFITS and INVESTING them into their future business. That is nothing at all like not having profits.

(No, it didn’t cost Tesla anywhere near $30 billion dollars to R&D…)

If you believe everything Tesla says, I have a bridge to sell you. Special price!

How much did you short the bridge?

Tesla has a much better track record at being right than the shorter trolls like yourself who have been wrong, wrong, wrong over and over.

You obviously got stuck with that bridge….no very smart.

They have purchased some very nice eqipment that is top of the line – like the stamping line and the KUKA robots. Highly automated, fast and with high production quality. These cost a lot, but can be used for years. It they can sell the M3 for 5 years or longer – profit will be higher, and they may also offer the model at a lower price in 2019 – 2022 when the competition kicks in. Until then they need to maximize profit, and make all the cars they can. They also need to be buzy with a pick-up for the US market and van/minibus for Europe – where there is really no competition what so ever. What the others are offering is shit, and clearly shows they are either not interested in delivering electric vans, or they have no clue what people need. Like Renault.. who makes a small van (Kangoo) that has a short range (especially in winter, since it does not handle that very well), and no fast charging what so ever. One representative said businesses would not spend too much money on a car, and did not have time for charging, and did not need more… Read more »

It’s unlikely they can make enough profit (if any) on the stripped base model to survive.

The $1000 paint job would help, but they’d still be in trouble if the average M3 selling price trended that low.

No business will ever sell a production without making a profit. There is no way to verify the % margin but at $44K car, profit margin is 20%-25%, i.e, $9-11K. Even if options make 50% profit, $5k (for 10K of option features)At $35K Tesla would still make $4k-$7K profit on each car at Base price of $35K. Profitability will only grow once mass production begins. Followed by people enabling self driving via software upgrade will further add $5k towards profit margin.

You are confusing profit and gross margin. Gross margin calculation is stretched way beyond reasonable in case of Tesla. Margin on retail price, R&D exclusion, all kinds of shenanigans that makes it not comparable with other automakers.

Tesla covered this exact topic in detail in the Q2 2017 call. They are projecting hitting 25% on the Model 3 in early to mid 2018. 25% is the target, and they expressed a very high confidence in hitting that target in 2018.

Businesses have loss-leaders for all kinds of reasons. In Tesla’s case, they needed a version of the M3 that looked affordable.

A lot of those options are likely closer to 90% profit (like paint colors). And, since they install the autopilot hardware even if you don’t pay for it, they really want you to pay for it. That’s a pure profit option.

So, they really need people to order a few options to get the car to the profitability target.

You do understand that options are the highest part of their profit margin for EVERY car company, right?

And building in hardware regardless of option package is also pretty common. Like heating pads that get built into every seat, whether the heated seat option is chosen or not. And head units for car stereos that exactly identical for the high fidelity stereo, and the standard stereo, and you can wire the speakers in and re-code the head unit. Etc.

It is like you don’t understand at all how cars have been built and sold for decades.

Yes, lower optioned cars are lower profit. This has always been true. That absolutely DOES NOT mean base units are made at a loss.

If you have actual proof of Tesla selling their base car at a loss, post it.

I agree that all car makers have large profit margins on options. And, some include inactive hardware/features. Though, autopilot is one of the more significant cases that I can think of.

I was responding to ‘houston’, who was using low option profit margin estimates to make his point. If he used more realistic profit margins (75-100%), then the assumptions about profit he was making for the base model disappear.

Neither of us can prove if Tesla will, or will not, make a profit on the stripped base M3. It’ll become clear once we see availability of that configuration.

I hope most people factor in the low maintenance and “fuel” costs when they think of that “hefty” $45k price tag. It takes a substantial amount off the overall cost of a car.

For example, Model 3 vs Camry:

The gap could be as close as $5k in this case and that’s before factoring in entry-level luxury and the 0-60 quickness you get with a Model 3.

“For example, Model 3 vs Camry:”

Please don’t make Tesla fans laughing stock (or you can if you insist, I don’t care). Even Musk doesn’t compare it to Camry, just to BMW 3 Series and similar entry level luxury sedans. BMW 330i would be close by acceleration. 320i worse, 340i better.

Current Camry is not 27 mpg. 2018 Camry Hybrid LE is 52 mpg if you need to care about fuel cost. This makes Camry pre-tax fuel cost comparable to Model 3 or less. Post tax varies by state, but most states are adding road taxes for plugins too, you will not avoid taxes one way or another. That is for much bigger car. By size you should compare to Prius or Corolla. By price tag you should compare it to luxury cars (see above).

Maintenance is free from Toyota for the first 2 years/25,000 miles, not $500 like this silly comparison claims. After 2 years, it is around $50 to change synthetic oil once a year, not $500. Maintenance & repairs are not just $500 for 5 years for $42k Model 3, and at $42k it is certainly not “fully loaded” as claimed.

Thats ok – they also had car insurance way higher with the 3. Hasn’t been my experience with the S – Maybe 20% more than a Civic – my last ICE. Leaf in between that was in between on rates.

A terrible analysis for sure. But I would bank on good resale. Fuel and maintenance will hit ICE cars much more and with as many 3s as there will be – repairs will be reasonable.

Very nice, and that assumes no incentives. Thanks for sharing.

I suspect one day autopilot will reduce insurance cost, too.

Oh please. Not this BS again. It is well documented that insurance costs for a Model 3 are higher than a Camry. That and the other glaring problems (like no one pays that much for anCamry) make the comparison a whole lotta BS.

They really do a disservice to EVs when they come out with crap like this. Do it right and it may very well be cheaper in the long run but do it wrong and immediately a lot of people are put off by it.

Well documented insurance costs for a 3?

The S is not bad. And part prices are not bad either – don’t ask how I know.

In CA – the story might be different. What is well documented is that the rates vary a lot but most people in the end pay low insurance rates.

Tesla does have issues with repair costs but I suspect this is fading. I have had my share of repairs – rear ended, parking lot hit and a deer. So I have a really good idea about repair costs. But the 3 is a different animal.

We don’t yet have well established insurance costs for the Model 3. We have two companies, one of which has a lobbying arm that actively lobbies against green issues, like the clean air act.


BMW sells over 700k/yr of the 2/3/4 series (IMHO coupes buyers will consider the 3). Mercedes sells ~400k/yr of the C classes, Audi sells 700k/yr of A3/A4 (although half are sedan). Then you have Lexus, Acura, Infiniti, Cadillac, Jaguar, Volvo, etc.

I’m guessing around 2.5M, but I recall a lot of S owners saying they never considered spending $100k on a car before, so maybe the Model 3 will also appeal to people that are usually $25-30k buyers.

My guess is that 700k/yr is only reasonable for 3 sedan plus hatch variant combined.

Thanks for the number of cars that each manufacturer is selling in this price range – I was wondering what they were myself.

I hope Model 3 is extremely successful against the products you listed, for numerous reasons.

This breaks the mold for a typical sedan. Self driving potential, supercharging, connected.

F150 average transaction price is about $40k and they sell 800,000 (or more) a year in the US alone.

Given the new type of vehicle it has potential to become best selling sedan (or maybe not). Hard to predict.

Well when it starts to go into production and starts actually selling and shipping to customers it will be nice AWD, 300 mile range EV.

But so far, no sales.

“Last we heard, current reservations were up to 455,000”

Which is about where we left it after the big order binge when the car was first announced. Many of the overly enthusiastic Tesla fans had pegged the reservations at 700,000 as does this article but its about where it was from the beginning.

Well, there are about 6 million cars sold globally in the D-segment a year. And the M3 is currently (and will be for the next 3-4 years) the only EV in this segment.
Elon’s 700,000 is actually a very conservative number if you look at it this way.


It is weird how people assume everyone is going to pile on options.

220 miles of range is more than any other non Tesla EV except the Bolt.

Not when Tesla has stated it is delivering them with all the options including the big battery, Autopilot, Autonomous, Lux package, non-black paint and glass roof for about $60K.

Funny – myTesla tells me I can have a $49k model this year.

Don’t get drawn in that the first models cost X and it will stay that way for years.

But tracker does says Jan-Mar 18 for $35k model.

The current reality is they are not delivering Model 3s to ANYONE outside of Tesla/SpaceX.

But the fact that they are prioritizing higher margin vehicles for a few months doesn’t change the full long term plans. Sheesh.

No. No it is not. I believe this report is US only but I think just factor it up worldwide. about 600,000 luxury CARS per year including all sizes and costs. This article notes that the Model S already has a 32% market share in its class. As I’ve mentioned in several threads and provided concrete data that backs it up to people who can barely add, Tesla has done an amazing thing with the S, but it has an upper bound on market penetration and has finished the phase of its penetration of rapid increase and is now mature within its market segment. This article gives the top small and midsize luxury cars by sales (US I realize). Total around 500,000 a year-ish. The three articles taken together say about 600,000 (or a little more) with the vast majority being the smaller kind and not the $100,000 variety. Certainly large numbers of people will move up one bracket just to touch the M3 due to its overall value proposition and environmental bent. Just how much the M3 can take away market share from BMW and Audi and how much it can draw people to go up… Read more »

Factor up by global for whatever factor you think plausible. I didn’t find a good link for worldwide. I’m thinking multiply by 3 maybe even 4.

“Forget the fact that it’s an EV for a moment. Is the market really that large for $45K sedans?”

Not just for the US. It is for the world.

It is “possible” since Tesla is good at “pulling up” buyers from lower priced segment which might not spend $45K in an ICE car.

But I agree that even at 700K WW numbers, it is a bit high in my opinion. It pretty much has to “own” the majority of the $45K segment.

Of course, that is assuming no competition comes along…

700K per year just for the M3? Anyone know the number for the current annual global demand for ALL small semi-luxury sedans in the M3 price range ($40-$50K), regardless of manufacturer or power train?

Total sales number of the Mercedes Benz C-Class cars in 2016 was 425,000.

The answer to your question should be about 8 million?

Seems like the entirety of the three series is in that range also. 450k’ish global.

The fit and finish of a BMW 3 will be well beyond the Model 3. The 3 doesn’t even have an instrument panel.

Who says it will only cannibalize luxury sedan sales? My guess is it hits Accord and Camry hard too, at least upper models.

“ALL small semi-luxury sedans in the M3 price range ($40-$50K)” – This is called the d-segment. It is about 8%-9% of the global car market or about 6 – 7 million cars

D-segment is “large cars”. It has little to do with compact Model 3.
Model 3 is listed under “compact executive” segment:
But it is really a bit vague when you are talking about something new and different.

More Gigafactories are coming!!!


Exactly. When Elon Musk talks about possible demand, ignore him. He’s been wrong a lot.

Stick to hard numbers.


This isn’t a prediction, it’s just speculation. Elon does that a lot. Nothing wrong with that as long as people are able to recognize the difference between one of Tesla’s goals/predictions, and mere speculation.

Pay attention to the qualifiers, like “could” or “might” or “may”.

Yes, the only official guidance on numbers is located in Tesla’s 10-Q and 10-K SEC filings. Anything else should not be given the weight that official guidance is given.

And my c*ck could hit the floor if it were long enough !

Perspective…you could have two inch legs.

Freaking Hilarious.

You made me laugh….hard… 🙂

Wearing nothing but four inch heels!

How’s that stock price now ? Still too low ?

Make that a Fifillion annual Model 3 sales !

Seriously… I’m curious why just 700k. I mean there are 7 Billion people on the planet. Surely they all need a new car!

(⌐■_■) Trollnonymous

Because Tesla is not in every country?

I doubt they will hit 320K in 2018……lol

I doubt they will outsell the new LEAF.


When you’re engaging in Tesla-bashing trolling, you should at least try to stick to things that won’t cause people to literally roll their eyes at how ridiculous your assertion is.

The most the Leaf ever sold, worldwide, was ~60,000 in a year. The TM3 will, obviously, easily exceed that by quite a bit.

Pu-pu probably was living under rock and didn’t heard about Leaf version 2 coming for sale worldwide this year. Model 3 isn’t even in mass production yet, who knows when it will and at what numbers.

Someone stating the opinion that the new Leaf will sell more than the Model 3 is “trolling”? These Tesla zealots have some things skin!

That is a bit of a stretch. If Tesla can get the thing into mass production, and it’s decently reliable, it’ll be the top selling EV for at least the next couple years.

Guess we’ll find out won’t we. I’m rather confident in that I expect the Model 3 launch to go less than smoothly. Meanwhile Nissan will be cranking out affordable, reliable LEAFs from their three factories around the world and supplying their mature distribution networks. It’s good to be the King.

Never heard anyone call Nissan the king of anything. Last I checked they couldn’t even design a TMS for their car and had to replace tons of batteries under warranty. And, they were the only manufacturer foolish enough to include a battery capacity gauge. Not to mention that stupid Chademo DCFC that requires a completely separate inlet.

So, yeah, they’re a bit better than a car company who doesn’t have any EVs. But, they have no chance to outsell Tesla.

Haven’t you heard, that is all they have been doing for years.

Now the day may come when “the King” is deposed but for now they are the King 🙂

The S,X, and Bolt have all been outselling the Leaf this year.

In the US. There’s a great big world out there. You should get out more.

Care to provide a link showing 2017 world wide EV sales?

Even if the Leaf has been on top because some good EVs/PHEVs aren’t readily available worldwide, it won’t matter once Tesla ramps up M3 production. Especially given the anemic range of the new Leaf.

I think he is talking about the Fremont factory maxed out.


While I’d love it if they could sell that many per year in perpetuity, I would say that we really need to wait until the huge preorder backlog is gone before we can determine sustained demand.

Yeah, I don’t think anybody has a good grasp of just how much sustained market there is for the TM3 as a stand-alone in the price segment. Not even Tesla.

And we may never know, if Tesla puts the Model Y into production within a couple of years.

Good luck to them. Seriously.

I do believe there is a small window of opportunity for the Model 3 where all near luxury EV intenders are directing their focus (er hopes and dreams) at the only available model.

The competition no doubt has noticed the potential TAM and will have their offerings ready soon(ish). Then they will be the new models and the Model 3 will start to look like yesterday’s king.

Let’s see… They were planning to make 500K per year, but the demand will be 700K per year. Yup, I will die of old age before getting the 3.

Tesla will deliver 2 million EV’s in 2022.

At least 4 more Gigafactories will be operational by then.

There are a lot of junk bonds between here and there.

Ha, I still can’t believe anyone would buy those bonds. The risk/reward balance is horrible.

But, I guess if Tesla can sell them, they’d be foolish not to. Strike while people are enamored.

We agree. Apparently they carved out the gigafactory. Unreal.

Gigafactory is a joint venture. Both Panasonic and Tesla put money into it. What is unreal about that? Please tell me you aren’t just learning this now???

The other manufacturers could already have a serious contender to counter Tesla. Half the problem is they don’t want to {they dream of Tesla failing} and the other half is {most of} the dealers outside CARB states don’t want to sell them.


“dealers outside CARB states don’t want to sell them.”

It is worse than that. It isn’t just that they just don’t want to sell them, it is that they see EV’s as a threat to their ICE car centered business, and a threat to their customers who work in the oil industry. They feel that EV’s are a betrayal of everything they’ve done in their life with ICE cars, and a betrayal of their oil-industry backed local economy (whether that is true or not doesn’t matter, we’re talking feelings). They feel EV’s represent the evil gov’t forcing PC stuff down their throats to make a bunch of rich greenies city folk feel good about themselves.

There will be real backlash to 500K EV’s being sold in a year. I’m expecting comments sections to get much worse, and the comments like what Mitt Romney said about Tesla when he was running for President to become very common among one group of politicians.

Yeah, and you never here any of them arguing about how bad FCV are, since they are no threat.

Still with this nonsense? There are hundreds of Chevy dealers outside of the CARB states that gladly sell the Bolt EV.

And Nissan dealerships, too. My local Chevy dealer has been able to get one Bolt so far and it sold before it arrived.

“There are hundreds of Chevy dealers outside of the CARB states that gladly sell the Bolt EV.”

…and thousands that don’t.

Look, no one disappoints me more than GM when it comes to their dealerships. My local dealer has 30-40 Corvettes, countless Silverados and two Volts. Their EV products are good, but the value isn’t quite there yet. If GM would just try a little harder.

Agreed, Nix. You nailed the full narrative. It’s going to be an uphill climb in some areas, and it’s going to be an uphill political climb nationally.

“But don’t forget, you put $90 billion, like 50 years’ worth of breaks, into—into solar and wind, to Solyndra and Fisker and Tesla and Ener1. I mean, I had a friend who said you don’t just pick the winners and losers, you pick the losers, all right?”

Three of the four were losers. He, better yet his friend, wasn’t exactly wrong.

He wasn’t just “exactly” wrong, he was extremely wrong. The ratio of successes to failures in the DOE “green tech” loan was 97.72%, far higher than the success rate of venture capitalists.

That investment in economic growth was some of the best money the American taxpayer ever spent, and it’s a tragedy that the far-right winguts succeeded at painting the program as a failure by chanting “Solyndra, Solyndra, Solyndra”… as if one single failure was more important than the overwhelming rate of success.

I think most of the Solyndra deal with the Repubs was due to it being Obama’s baby, and his involvement in getting his peers an investment from the gov that ended up being a bust.

As far as your success rate percentages… didn’t Ford get a ton of money from that? Nissan too? Can’t remember what fund the billions they got for battery tech came from.

needa — That’s like saying you have 4 red-headed friends who are losers, and then claiming that all red heads are losers.

If it turns out that 3 of his red-headed friends really are losers, that still doesn’t prove that all red-heads are losers.

The error is in selectively choosing anecdotal evidence and then presenting it as if it were statistical evidence. The facts are that the DOE loan programs (which were NOT subsidies, but loans) have turned a profit. So he was talking about money as if was gone, and went to failures, but in reality the money all came back to the gov’t plus more, and a number of very successful companies and products came out of the loan programs.

Which is absolutely amazing considering that the program made loans into the Bush Crash as companies were going down the tubes left and right. Many of those companies that did fail ended up failing for the same reasons that tons of non-green energy companies failed. The credit market froze up and buyers evaporated.

I didn’t see a /sarc flag, but if you are implying Romney’s analysis was correct, you certainly need one.

No /s flag needed. But I am wondering how profitable the loans were. Is there a link that shows the payback on the loans vs those that went bust? Much less how the gov’t profited? I searched a bit but not getting much on Google.
When you give a ten percent kickback on the payback… I don’t really see how it could possibly be profitable. For Ford’s loan alone that is 560 million that we will never see.

“….an automaker that’s made less than 200,000 since its inception,”

Untrue. They should pass 250k this month.

How many Tesla Model S?

A distinction without a difference.

The question is how many can they produce in a period of a year?

That will depend on how soon they will be able to realize more Gigafactories, where many different EV models will be produced simultaneously.

Demand will not be an issue.

Demand certainly won’t be an issue for a couple of years, at least.

But assuming Tesla keeps ramping up production rapidly, then eventually it will be.

You take a $35K car, add the $1000 dest, add the $5000 AP and $3000 for fully autonomous and you get a $44K self driving car…

There would be tremendous demand for a $44K car that could drive itself even if it was an ICE Smart car…

Just imagine being picked up right outside your door and being dropped off at the front of your office…Most major metros have huge parking issues, the ability to be dropped off and not worry about parking is certainly appealing…

Yes, just imagine. And that’s pretty much what you are going to have to do because that $44K car cannot and will not be able to drive itself. What fantasy land do you people live in?

It cannot now, but it will, in time, as software development and regulatory issues permit.

The hardware will be outdated long before FSD arrives. I have a 32″ tube TV that is “HD Ready” that I would be happy to give you. I was told it was future proof when I bought it in 1997. Too bad the future didn’t cooperate.

Haha, I admittedly LOL’ed. I am more than happy for others to spend their hard earned $ so that one day we can have self driving cars. This belief that the hardware of today will be good enough seems to lure them in.

I am also appreciative that you ponied up for HD when there was like 1 channel that offered it, while I somehow managed with SD, and are left with what I am sure is a huge and heavy beheamoth of a TV 🙂

Future proofing is a nice idea. It sadly usually doesn’t end up working out the way you had intended it to.

Goes to prove a point though.

Maybe. I would say absolutely if it had LIDAR. They only have 3.5 mos left to complete that cross-country trip with no hand. As a realist… I just don’t see it happening.

“It cannot now, but it will, in time, as software development and regulatory issues permit.”

Tesla just announced that they are upgrading their “self driving capable” AP2 hardware to HW 2.5.
What a delusional person would believe they will write and test full functional self driving software specifically for some obsolete now v2 hardware version when they don’t have nothing close now, they even have hard time reaching MobilEye lane-keep assistance and auto-braking level promised for December last year? Do you also believe that alien dreadnought is waiting in orbit to teleport you to Mars like these Heavens Gate cultists in Rancho Santa Fe? The chances are exactly the same before 3 year lease you would start this year will expire.

This entire thread has argued the generic autopilot. Autonomous drive is broken into 5 levels of which most manufacturers are producing Levels 1 & 2 currently. Tesla is operating at an advanced Level 2 but Level 2 all the same.

I don’t really know if Tesla will ever achieve Level 5 on their own, but I am really confident that the Model 3 will deliver Level 3 autonomous drive with Level 4 “features” in the near future and it will save lives.

We spend billions a year policing the Suez canal and other fossil fuel follies that are still killing people. We kill about 30,000 people a year on US highways. The partial autonomous tools are already saving lives. No matter what level of autonomous drive I get for the $9,000 if I save one life, I will consider it a bargain.

zzzzzzzzzzzzz Not another one of your Concern Troll whine fests.

They updated the processing power of the computer dedicated to processing images. A computer that they specifically put in a place where it will be easy to replace, specifically because they planned on having the processor upgradable.

Are you the only person in the world who has never heard of upgrading the computing power in a computer? It is common, easy, and a well established thing that even kids can do to their own home computers.

There is no problem for Tesla. Those people who have purchased the most advanced AP packages (not every Tesla owner by far) will get their processors upgraded and everything will be fine. Just the way they planned when they intentionally put the computer where it could be easily accessed for exchange.

No need to go into full nutter Concern Troll mode. Get a hold of yourself.

Don’t kid yourself that it’s just about the processor. Back to my TV example: the reasons it is functionally obsolete are many. The best input it has is S-video, it is a tube, the aspect ratio is wrong and it weighs as much as a baby elephant. Heck, I have a 50″ Samsung DLP that lacks HDMI. Try getting along with that these days. The point is technology evolves at a rapid pace and no car we can buy today will ever truly drive itself.

John Ray — Actually we know exactly what it is:

Tesla still believes that it can achieve the promised full autonomy on the 2.0 suite, but they now say that they could upgrade HW 2.0 cars with the new 2.5 hardware at no cost in the “highly unlikely” possibility that it is actually needed:

“However, we still expect to achieve full self-driving capability with safety more than twice as good as the average human driver without making any hardware changes to HW 2.0. If this does not turn out to be the case, which we think is highly unlikely, we will upgrade customers to the 2.5 computer at no cost.”

So your old TV is completely meaningless. I deal with facts, not on bullpuckey. If you have facts and sources, post them.

The best selling vehicle in the US is the Ford F series trucks at 820K, followed by Chevy Silverado truck at 575K. The best selling sedan is the Camry at 389K. It seems highly unlikely that the Model 3 will sell twice as many cars as the Camry, a $27K car fully loaded vs a $59K car fully loaded. The Model 3 with a 310 mile battery pack is pushing $50K, about the price of an Audi A4 which sells less than 35K cars per year.


You are talking about US sales. I’m pretty sure that Musk is referring to global sales. The reservation tally is global, as well.

Yeah, the 700k/year figure is nonsense, even for worldwide numbers.

Vehicles sold in non-US countries are typically smaller and cheaper than US cars, so I can’t see Model 3 demand outrunning the myriad little cars people gravitate to.

Household economics always wins.

Another Euro point of view

True, I spend my time between Luxembourg and Switzerland, about the two richest country in (geographical) Europe and cars which by far are more sold in those two countries do not exceed 25K USD, in south of Europe the 15K USD car is probably more or less the norm. Not taking into account the Euro millennials that often don’t even buy cars anymore.

Yeah, it is a problem for us with all the younger people that don’t even have a drivers license.

We used to rely on everybody over 18 could drive a car. Now we have to specify that when we hire people.

More trains, trams, subways and so on, for a cheap price = less people with a car and a license.
Many are more interested in clothing or phones then in cars, and use their money on stuff like that.

I lived in Spain, Italy and Greece for a few years and was also driving a dirt cheap car.
Low gas milage, and not too worried if some people dented it (which happened way too much). It was important that the AC worked, and that I remembered to put on a reflective top hat – so the car did not turn into a sweat box in the sun.

“It seems highly unlikely that the Model 3 will sell twice as many cars as the Camry, a $27K car fully loaded vs a $59K car fully loaded.”

Other people are giving it the possibility actually:

Model 3 vs Camry Cost Comparison:

You can’t post a fanboy site’s blog and think that that in any way makes it true.
And that Camry pic… While I am absolutely THRILLED that someone finally understands the the Mod3 wasn’t created to take on the BMW M3, those figures are still a bust. Take out all of those maintenance costs and replace them with $25. Then you have something that is more accurate for the ‘masses’. An oil change every year and that’s about it. You could throw in an extra brake pad change every couple of years vs the Mod3. But in turn we might be buying tires twice as fast. Who knows?


Tesla will eat marketshare of other car manufacturers in several car segments.

Yes, the market segment that Tesla is competing against is “ICE”. They will take from small ICE CUV sales, from luxury ICE sales, from import ICE sales, from domestic ICE sales, etc.

And they will build a factory in China and compete in China’s mandated EV market.

Why would someone who wants a CUV buy a four door sedan? Because it’s a Tesla? Please…

You obviously didn’t pay attention when the Model S came to market.

Yes, people will change their original intentions and make sacrifices to buy whatever Tesla has to offer, even if it does not match the chassis format they prefer.

Right here on this site we have a regular poster who purchased a Tesla Roadster who now drives a Bolt and I believe either an ELR or a Volt. Neither of which bear any resemblance to a Tesla Roadster at all.

Lots of SUV owners went to a Model S sedan just so they could buy a Tesla, any Tesla. I’m sorry you aren’t aware of Tesla’s decade long history of selling cars to people who otherwise had no intention of buying a car anywhere in the same price range or in the same body style.

If you choose to ignore history, do so at your own risk.

Every time Tesla is about to raise more capital, Elon quips some speculative “what might be” thoughts to put investors in the right mood. Incredibly, it works.

It’s going to be interesting to see if Tesla turns profitable, and if so, how soon. Let’s say two consecutive quarters with positive net income. First half 2018 is the earliest it might happen, but I don’t think investment will slow down – besides the Model 3 ramp up there’s several more gigafactories to build, a semi to launch, a Model Y to bring to production as fast as possible, maybe a truck, maybe a minibus, and Elon knows what else to do…

“First half 2018 is the earliest it might happen…”

I don’t see how it would be possible for Tesla to show a net profit at the same time it’s going all-out to increase its production, ramping that up even faster than it has in the past. I will be quite surprised if Tesla has two consecutive net-profitable quarters before the end of 2019. Come to think of it, I’ll be at least moderately surprised if they have a single net-profitable quarter within that time.

I certainly hope that Tesla will keep building out production like gangbusters, and that means continuing to borrow heavily. Opportunity is knocking at Tesla’s door pretty loudly, and Tesla needs to grab as much of the market as it can before 2020, when several other auto makers plan to finally start getting serious about making an selling plug-in EVs.

Asking for Tesla to show a net profit while expanding rapidly is not a rational request.

“I certainly hope that Tesla will keep building out production like gangbusters, and that means continuing to borrow heavily.”

Of course they will need more money from investors, bonds or loans. That doesn’t preclude Tesla from being profitable. Cash flow and profit are different things.

Go Tesla!

Debt binges make profit unlikely. That cash is sunk into payroll, which is an expense, or capital expenditures, which start to depreciate immediately, also an expense. Secondary, Tesla’s bonds are “junk” status and will carry a high interest rate. They will eventually need to be repaid.

The runners are still doing their job, and the final rate won’t be known until it is final. But the rumors are 5% for repayment in 2024/2015. I think Tesla will be just fine paying 5% interest, and they will be just fine paying back $1.5 B by then, especially since the Model 3 alone is projected to return $30 Billion after just 5 years.

Do you have the delusion that a company that pulls in $30 Billion can’t pay off $1.5 Billion + 5% interest?

Tesla is doubling sales every year. They will have the Model Y, the next gen Roadster, and Tesla Semi in sales by the time these are due.

Your Concern!! oh so Concerned! for Tesla paying off these notes is comical.

Yeah everytime he neads cash he raises demand and number of giga-factories. I see it coming, next year the damand will be 2 millions for Model3, 5 millions for Model Y and he’ll anounce another 50 giga-factories. Their investors and fanboys will buy it. And next Model S will be equiped with hardware that will eventually enable beaming capability.

It isn’t Tesla that is raising demand.

Tesla expected around 80,000 reservations in the weeks AFTER the Model 3 initial reveal event. They plowed past that number before they even showed a single picture of the darn thing, or revealed a single bit of information.

Tesla thought that Model S and X sales would drop as the Model 3 headed towards production. But instead July 2017 showed a 15% INCREASE in orders.

The facts are that demand is growing faster than anybody at Tesla had predicted. That’s why you keep hearing larger projections. The ever growing demand is coming from the consumers, not from Tesla.

And that’s about what I expect them to sell by the end of 2018 (80,000). It’s my personal belief that a lot of these reservations will never be converted to sales for a variety of reasons. I think the fanbois, investors and speculators loaded up as a show of support. I also think a lot of folks really thought they were going to get a mini Model S for $27,500 after the tax credit. When it comes time to actually purchase, many will just walk away.

Of course this is all predicated on the ramp up going smoothly. It probably won’t.

LOL!! You sound like all the trolls who said that nobody would buy the Model S, and Tesla would never be able to ramp up from a few thousand Roadsters to even tens of thousands of Model S cars. A couple of hundred thousand cars later, they have mud on their face.

They all hid behind “we’ll see….”

Why are you conflating two entirely different sets of people?

Who says they are different?

Look, I’m not saying they are going to be a complete failure. 80,000 would be the most any EV has ever sold in a single year.

I just don’t buy the that they can skip all the traditional vehicle development steps and not have issues. Couple that with the labor issues and there is a lot of uncertainty.

I was a mechanical design engineer for a company that made cellular antennas (the big ones on the tower), so l speak from experience. The handover from design to production almost never goes off without a hitch. And the products we were working with were far simpler.

As for demand. Well if any quality issues manifest themselves early on, demand would be suppressed.

Look,I will go on record as saying that if Tesla executes perfectly, 300 to 400 thousand unit sales worldwide is not impossible. I really don’t see it happening, however.

“80,000 would be the most any EV has ever sold in a single year.”

Tesla has repeatedly blown previous year records out of the water. They are growing at a massive rate. It would actually be strange if Tesla DIDN’T greatly exceed previous year sales numbers.

“there is a lot of uncertainty…I really don’t see it happening”

Gee, Uncertainty and Doubt. All you left out is Fear. You are doing the very definition of spreading baseless FUD (Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt).

Sadly you are so busy sniffing your own engineering farts, that you don’t even see that you are spreading FUD.

Let’s just first see how many EV’s Tesla manages to produce and deliver in the second half of 2017.

1,800 reservations a day is about 640,000 reservations a year. If I was Elon I would be scared too! He created a monster 😀

Let’s not forget that in the coming years both the Tesla Model S and the Tesla Model X are going to keep selling in higher annual numbers as well.

The EV will gain popularity in general, each year more than the previous year. That will help to get more people go to a Tesla store for information and a test drive. And this will boost sales numbers.

Besides that Tesla has the Supercharger network, there is also the Auto-Pilot advantage.

X and S sales have been flat for some time. Perhaps that trend will reverse with more publicity, and when people realize how Spartan the 3 is.

Tesla Model S/X sales are up 53% YOY. Hardly down.

No, you can’t compare monthly sales numbers on the monthly EV scoreboard and draw any conclusions (like you’ve attempted to do in the past) because Tesla batch builds for different markets, and Insideev’s monthly numbers are US only.

No, you can’t compare consecutive quarters to each other and draw any conclusions, because EV sales for ALL car companies are seasonal and go up and down throughout the 4 quarters of the year.

The latest information we have is that Model S/X orders were up 15% in July.

If you think up 53% YOY and up 15% in a single month is anything but going up, the problem is you, not Tesla.

700,000 demand on a global scale is not that much, but whether it will see sustained 700,000pa sales will remain to be seen.
Given the progress of EV’s in general I think they are right to bank on 500,000 annual sales. And if the first demands take 2yrs to be fulfilled, then so be it, the next years will be Ok as demand smooths out.

There are models of cars and light trucks which do sell more than 700,000 per year. Just not a lot of them. Last year there were ten, according to the article linked below.

So it’s possible the TM3 will sell that many in a year, but that’s setting the bar pretty high. I’m sure that there is that much demand for compelling plug-in EVs in general, but asking just one model to do all of that is a pretty big ask.

Keep in mind with those statistics, that none of those cars are actually actively/widely sold world-wide. Ford is just now in 2017 sending their first token number of F-150’s to China.

The Toyota Corolla only sold 17K cars in China in 2016, because Toyota doesn’t actively market the Corolla there. Instead they market cars like the Toyota Vios.

VW sells their cars as Seat and Skoda in parts of the EU and other global markets.

So even those numbers under-estimate what a global single badge-name sales could be.

Did I mention China?

The problem is that the masses have no freaking idea of what an EV is and how it gets charged. Good luck with selling 700K EVs to the masses. I have the only Bolt in a city of 60,000 people. Maybe 1 in 1000 even recognize it’s an EV.

If people start buying them, charging infrastructure will follow. Just think about how quickly chargers have been deployed in the last 7 years.

The other way of looking at that is there is a lot of untapped demand. You live in a small city away from the coasts. Eventually modern amenities make it to you. EVs are new and a paradigm shift. Once you drive one, you rarely go back. People are nervous with such a large expenditure but they will come around. On S demand – I know plenty of people that will get one. Waiting for their BMW lease to end. These are people that can afford them. I still get asked about my car and how much I like it despite being in a high EV and Tesla area. Does everyone realize that the Base S is as fast as a M5 for significantly less cost? Sure the M5 will win on a track that 95% of owners never see. All those AMG models too. And never going to a gas station again? Tesla grows quickly. Leases end when they end. The S market has been held back by the 3 for aspirational buyers but the germans are continuing to be decimated. I do know a few people who will move from an SUV to a 3. Look how many… Read more »