Musk: Tesla Received 276,000 Deposits For Model 3 Over First Three Days

APR 3 2016 BY JAY COLE 95


Tesla CEO Elon Musk Thought He Would Be Announcing ~6,000 Early Sight-Unseen Deposit Reservations At The Launch Party…missed it by that much (~110,000 or so)

As promised Tesla CEO Elon Musk gave us a “3 day” update on the total number of Model 3 (specs/details) deposit reservations.

The new total now stands at 276,000!

Closing in on 300,000...after just 3 days!

Closing in on 300,000…after just 3 days!

This will almost be the end of the near-real time updates on how the demand for Tesla’s 215+ mile EV for the everyman is progressing, as Musk earlier on Saturday tweeted (below) that a further “1 week” mark update would be given next Wednesday.

Then the company would focus on the business of building more Model 3s, and faster; a sentiment we have no issues with as there is a ~dozen or so Model 3s on order by InsideEVs contributors.

Model 3 Reservation Disclosure Schedule (@elonmusk)

Model 3 Reservation Disclosure Schedule (@elonmusk)

In a somewhat related matter, for those ~118,000 customers who took to the streets to order a Model 3 early/sight unseen at Tesla stores, the CEO mentioned he has not forgot about the “token” gift he promised you.

It will be coming by mail, that is as soon as he orders more…you can bet it is something to help promote the car, so perhaps a hat, T-shirt or light jacket?

Tesla CEO Says Gifts Are Coming Soon-ish

Tesla CEO Says Gifts Are Coming Soon-ish

...with thanks from Tesla

…with thanks from Tesla

The tweet, perhaps unintentionally, gave a window into Tesla’s expectations as to how many consumers might be fanatical enough to put down a deposit on an EV they had never laid eyes on.

20-30 people x 221 stores = 4,420-6,630 early deposits expected

As the ultimate tally represented a huge misjudgement, this means that Tesla’s already fairly ambitious future sales goals will only go higher in the future.

Categories: Tesla

Tags: , ,

Leave a Reply

95 Comments on "Musk: Tesla Received 276,000 Deposits For Model 3 Over First Three Days"

newest oldest most voted

I think adding India Brazil etc to the list of countries will make a big increase.

They’d better get Crackin & start building these cars , 0r they’ll never catch up…… Now This is AMAZING!!!!……………

Still very expensive in India …

You can thank your government for its protectionist stance against foreign-made goods.

There is no or very little infrastructure for EVs and especially Teslas in South America and many parts of Asia so there probably won’t be that many sales from there any time soon.

They don’t have a power grid?

Shouldn’t need too much specific infrastructure, right?


I can’t beleive he taught only 6K people would reserve before the reveal. I told my wife 300 people would be in line in Montreal(over 200 showed up) and 100K would reserve online before the reveal. She said i was crasy. missed both by a bit but i still won the bet!
The prize? Credibility is all…. 😉
Now, Elon must feel like he has an enormous monkey on his back but i’m really happy for Tesla.

A huge one!

May they should now “suspend” reservation for a moment, take some time to revise their production schedule/capacity?

It will take years to produce those cars. Is there a limit to how many reservations he’d take?

Months not years.

Years unless they can seriously ramp up. They produce only 200 cars a day right now. They are going to need to add more assembly lines, robots, stamping presses, etc. They’ll need to do something with their parts inventory . . . right now much of the factory floor is just used to store parts inventory since the assembly line is pretty small compared to what it was as the NUMMI factory. But now they need to crank it up to NUMMI volumes.

It doesn’t take much to load a program into a robot. It takes much longer to train a person to do any job. So if they have the money and the space for the robots, then BINGO.

Oh, it takes a lot more than robots.

And programming robots is not that simple. YOu have to build special tools, dies, carriers, molds, etc.

At least those preorder numbers will do the talking when it comes to negotiations with suppliers.

Or banks / Wall Street, when they need more money.

Years. Without question. There are many real-world constraints to ramping up instantly.

Tesla has a plan for growth of production, carefully coordinating ramping up everything at the same pace. It does no good to, for example, install more assembly robots on the production line, if they don’t also hire and train more workers to do all that in-house making of parts and assemblies that Tesla does. And altho the Gigafactory project is a bit of schedule, if the overall ramp-up is accelerated by much, they’ll have to get Panasonic to accelerate their schedule for getting production going in the Gigafactory.

It will absolutely, without question, take years for Tesla to convert all those reservations into actual cars.

Tesla is already having trouble ramping up at the pace they previously set, 50% per year. From now until 2020, they’ve already planned to ramp up faster, at ~58% per year, to get to 500,000 cars annually in 2020. Pushing the pace even faster will make it all the harder, with exponentially increasing chance something will go off-track and hold everything back.

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

All automakers are now studying this to find out how they can get the “monkey” on their backs.

This is even bigger revolution than was with Ford Mustang in 1964, excetp capacity of Tesla factory.

Old dinosaurs in Detroid must feel even more older.
This is big, very big. Its huge and very disruptive.

Yeah seriously that is 276,000 possibly gone would be car buyers for many fossil burners in the detroit pipeline hahaha

Musk said Tesla plans to deliver 500.000 cars in 2020. How many can they do in 2018? I fear that 2018s production is booked out already O_o

PS: Congratulations and… go ramp up go! 🙂

2019 is already booked up too 😉 There is no way they will be doing 300k in total for 2018-2019 so we are already into delivery year 2020 for reservations coming in.

I’m afraid that will very likely be the case.

I reserved online right before the reveal – being on the East Coast, and given all the store reservations and current Tesla owners ahead of me in my region, it could very well be 2019 before I drive off in mine.

Mikael said:

“2019 is already booked up too”

Indeed. And likely 2020 will be booked up within a few weeks, unless Tesla cuts off reservations.

It’s staggering to think that reservations might actually reach a million, but at the pace they’ve come in during the first three days… yeah, at this point I think a million is entirely possible. I was laughing at the possibility of that when a few people posted that guess before Model ≡ day… but they’re the ones laughing now!

And you are speaking as …? What’s your expertise on industrial production, and specifically car manufacture?

It may be that you’re right. I don’t know. I’m not an expert. But anyone can sound confident and be wrong, so why not tell us a little bit about why we should believe you know the things you say you know, rather than just string out the claims?

Last year they made 50,00 or so cars and delivered them, this year I understand the target is 75,000 to 80,000, so a growth of about 50 – 60%! If they hold that on into 2017 they hit 112,500 – 128,000!

So at the 50% and 60% Growth Annually:
2018: 168,750 – 204,800
2019: 253,125 – 327,680
2020: 379,687 – 524,288

So it looks like – as I read online earlier – a continued 58-60% Annual Growth – year over year, to reach the 500,000 cars for the 2020 time frame!

Good News is – if they can hold 60% Growth a bit longer – then from 524,288 going forward:
2021: 838,860
2022: 1,342,176
2023: 2,147,482
2024: 3,435,971
2025: 5,497,554

I don’t know if they can hold a steady 60% Growth for 10 years, without making some 3-5 or more more Gigafactories for Cells, and having as many more Auto factories to put them together in!

Maybe by then they will be buying Chrysler and Ford and GM Factories!

All hands on deck!

scott franco (the evil EV owning republican)

If you read the financials, Tesla is struggling under the large amount of debt, most related to the additional expenses of preparing for the M3.

Elon is betting the company on this car. He did it before on the model S. You have to admire this show of pure nerve and capitalism.

I’ve got $1000 invested myself 🙂

If He goes t*ts Up You’ll lose your $1000.00…L O L……

Just the name Tesla is worth billions. If they ever go t!ts up, buyers will be lining up to take over Teslas business.

I’ve happily made my own $1000 donation to the Musk and wish him good luck with his endeavours.

Just kidding guys….LOL……..If anybody is going T*ts Up , it’s the “ICE” Makers!!!Just like the ICE Cube man In the 0ld Days of the ICE BOX. They will be HISTORECTOMY …L M A 0..

Nope, I’ll just get it back from my credit card company.

Coming from a banking history…no, you won’t.

First, you got exactly what you paid for. A non-guaranteed non-escrowed reservation. You bought an imaginary place in line with the understanding that the company that line leads to could possibly disappear.

Second, you only have 60 days after you receive the statement to dispute an item.

I would gladly contribute with $1000 if that helps speed up the end of “dinosaur juice” cars!

Man, even if only 50% actually pull the trigger, that’s still a lot of moolah!

I bet they will hit 500,000 reservations by next weekend…

As I said if India is in then you could very well be right. I suspect 1 million by year end if not beofre.

Meh. The orders will slow down. Right now if you put in an order, you are probably looking at 2020.

Tesla needs to start poaching manufacturing experts from the other auto manufacturers. Tesla has a LOT of cars to build and needs to ramp up ASAP.

“Tesla needs to start poaching manufacturing experts from the other auto manufacturers. Tesla has a LOT of cars to build and needs to ramp up ASAP.”

That’s what they have done all along. They have also “scavenged” equipment from manufacturers and contractors that didn’t do well, particularly in the aftermath of the financial crisis. For example, their entire stamping line was acquired for cheap from a company in Detroit, if I remember correctly.

It will be a huge challenge if they want to play with the big boys now. But Musk has balls of steel. 😉

Unbelievable numbers, really! The rest of the car industry must be very jealous of Tesla right now! Nissan hasn’t sold 276k LEAFs in total yet, Tesla gets that many orders in 3 days, 18-20 months before they start delivering them!

How many orders will they get before delivery starts? It will of course slow down radically from here but there is still a long time until the car rolls off the production line. I think they might be able to get 500k orders until then!

These aren’t orders. They’re refundable payments for reservations in a waiting line.

That is an order.

No, it is a reservation. Let’s see how many stands once the second model3 reveal is out. Or when the first batches of cars are delivered and tested.

Yep, just a reservation – an approximate placeholder in line. Once you come up in the production queu, then you will be asked to actually configure and formally order your car.

People are putting down a $1000 payment with the intention of buying a car. That is an order (as well as a reservation). It’s not a sale but it is definitely an order that will be converted into a sale unless the order is cancelled. There is no other purpose to putting down this money except for buying a car.

No, putting $1000 down on a reservation is not an order. That’s just a deposit, and is fully refundable. It just means someone is seriously thinking about actually ordering the car. They can change their mind at any time.

An actual order for a Model ≡ will involve committing to a contract to pay Tesla at least $35k… or an average of $42k, if what Elon said a day or two ago is correct.

Per: “An actual order for a Model ≡ will involve committing to a contract to pay Tesla at least $35k… or an average of $42k, if what Elon said a day or two ago is correct.”

OK – so since it is targeting the BMW 3 Series – let’s look at that:
$34,145 MSRP; Lease @ $493/Mo [Finance at $540/Mo]; 3 Incentives Available. From:

The Other Comparable Mentioned – was the Audi A4, and from the bottom of the same page linked above – A4: $36,825-$38,925, and from the details page –
$38,250 & Lease @ $557/Mo [Finance @ $622/Mo]

So these are not people buying Honda Fit’s at a Honda Fit Budget!

The model 3 reservation terms and conditions made it clear that reservations are NOT orders. Tesla is not contractually obligated to deliver a car until it is ordered.

Why Tesla is giving money back when cancel? I have already heard some people did fun reservations only to be cool, later if they still have no money pull back. Perhaps every GM employee reserved one and later cancel, master strategy Tesla get troubles.
Tesla should keep 500 $ if reservations is canceled.

How can you take non-refundable deposits before even announcing what the product is? Now that Tesla has announced their product maybe that would be possible. Aptera did eventually ask people to lock in their order, but as they couldn’t deliver people still got their money back.

“…missed it by that much”
And – loving it!

I think very few people will request a refund. Even if you don’t really want the vehicle, you will likely be able to sell it at a sizable profit during the first 1 or 2 years. All the hype creates a self-amplifying effect: People expect there to be a shortage, which drives up the reservations, which will compound the shortage …

A non-refundable deposit on something which doesn’t even exist yet? Who would pay $1000 for that? Nobody except a fanatic. And if Tesla did that, they’d get a large number of people really ticked off at them when the actual production car didn’t match expectations. Not a great business strategy. I think I read the cancellation rate on Model S reservations was about 25%? The cancellation rate doesn’t really matter so long as new reservations keep coming in faster than older ones are canceled. “Perhaps every GM employee reserved one and later cancel, master strategy Tesla get troubles.” How is giving Tesla a free loan of $1000 giving Tesla “troubles”? You are aware, aren’t you, that Tesla gets to deposit the money and gets paid interest on it, even if it’s just for a day? If GM employees want to give Tesla money, it’s hard to imagine Tesla would object! Pete, I suggest you consider the source of what I’m guessing is a rumor you read elsewhere on the Internet, and that you’re repeating here. Sounds like just one more stupid Tesla basher rumor started by those desperate to save their investment in short-selling Tesla stocks. And at the rate… Read more »

This actually solves the short term money problems Tesla is having. Elon may take this reservations to factoring. In Factoring the bank advances the value of the goods based on projected sales.
So, if he needs cash, let’s say he takes a portion 100K reservations and take 5% (high) cut on each.
Assuming each car is 35k (for simplicity), you can have 35K*100K*0.95 = 3.3B.
Easy to see that he just solved his short term cash flow….

Don’t know exactly, Toyota selling 500.000 Prius a year? I am sure GM or others could sell 5000000 EVs a year but they don’t want, they want move back the electric revolution some years.

Daniel A Perrault Montreal

Has a new owner of Tesla model S since 9 month Living in Quebec Canada

I have orded two model 3 for my staff. This is a new game. And delivery could now be done by electrical car

Yes this is a big change Taxi piza delivery mail delivery. Yes their is a market and Tesla is the leader.

Yes I will wait

I do not trust GM for that king of change
But Nissan should reply


Well given all the drivetrain issues Model S owners have had, you may be in for some growing pains with your business if the Model 3 has similar issues. Hopefully they do not.

On the contrary, the Volt is much more reliable. Unlike the S, it doesn’t have below average reliability as documented by Consumer Reports.

This comment isn’t to bash on Tesla, but in response to your anti-GM sentiment. The data would suggest the less reliable manufacturer is Tesla.

It’s my hope that neither the Model 3 nor the Bolt EV have any reliability issues, but past data can sometimes be a good indicator of what’s to come.

This orders are for a car that is not possible to make at price point using today’s technology. No wonder they got so many refundable deposits. These are non binding on both sides (e.g. If Tesla cannot deliver the car at that price they are not liable), so it is technically a priority list not an order. And number is not off the hook as tesla expects to sell 400k of these per year by 2020. The question always was whether Tesla can deliver the car at $35k profitably? They haven’t answered that question yet. In case of Model S and X they did not (both cars are significantly more expensive than promised) and not profitable yet.

Go, explain how it cannot be made at that price point.

Tesla hopes to reduce battery cost by 30% to make this car possible. It has not been done yet. So at this time this car is not possible to make for $35k. If it was somebody (Tesla or Nissan or GM) had made it by now. The closest thing at the end of this year (not now) is Chevy Bolt which is more economy oriented, more expensive and benefits from cost sharing with other GM products and doesn’t have to be profitable because zero emission credits make it worthwhile for GM even if it loses money.

Tesla will be probably 3rd or 4th automaker to produce a car with this specs (bolt, leaf 2, probably some ford model, and maybe a Hyundai). The difference is that those carmakers have their manufacturing in place, don’t need to make a profit on this product, and their models are more economy oriented and use existing part bins. What Tesla showed doesn’t look like an easy car to make. The bodywork was expensive. Roof was expensive. And that performance makes it more expensive. Tesla factory is located in one of the highest cost locations in the world. Also Tesla’s track record shows it cannot make the target price point. Model S originally started at $55500 (40D). Now it starts at $70k because the lower priced model was not economic to make.

Correction: Tesla cancelled the Model S40 not because the price was too low for Tesla to make a profit, but but because so few customers ordered it that it wasn’t worth keeping that version in production.

I suppose technically you can say the S40 wound up being too expensive, because with very low production the per-unit cost goes up significantly. But that’s a rather biased way to view the situation. No auto maker keeps making things that are unpopular, and it’s not because the company in question doesn’t know how to make a profit.

You are behind the times by several years. Model S production has been chugging along with 25%-27% profit margins at least since the end of 2013.

As Model X production ramps up, the same should be true for the X.

Tesla Motors has the business model for the 3 all planned out – their target is 15% profit margin, according to multiple interviews and quotes from quarterly financial calling conferences over the last year or so.

That is gross margin, which BTW is falling instead of going up. They claimed to be operationally positive last quarter, but they sold some inventory. Without that they would be operationally negative, so even if they don’t invest (which is impossible for an auto company because even existing models need replacement) still they won’t be profitable. Now if you compare Model S 70D and Model 3 there is little room for saving other than the battery. How are they going to reduce price from $70k to $35k for a very similar product? The battery saving cannot be more than $100-150 per kWh (about $6 to $9k). So it is not that easy. Using more steel, a bit smaller, no dash (which will turn off a lot of buyers), still there is long way to go to cut price in half.

So, because Tesla has not given us a complete list of just where they’ll be saving money on making the Model ≡ as compared to the Model S, you conclude that they can’t do it?


Here’s a hint, Agzand: Auto makers don’t make a new model that’s half the price of an existing model by cutting bits and pieces off the more expensive model until they get down to half the price. They do it by starting with a clean sheet and making an entirely new design to include everything they think the budget for the new car will allow.

They did deliver the car they promised.

Model S at $50k after Federal Credit.

Only a tiny fraction of people ordered the Model S40 so they cancelled it.

They delivered the Model X with falcon wing doors at less than 10% premium over the S when comparably equipped.

Model S and Model X are profitable but Tesla Motors is not yet.

Tesla was a one model company spending for 3 models. Now Tesla is a 2 model company spending for 4 models.

Tesla is taking Model S and Model X profits plus outside capital and reinvesting in aggressive growth.

I still don’t understand the difference between the company not turning a profit (because of R&D and expansion) and a product not turning a profit (which the Model S and X both turn a profit)

That’s because some investor types insist on mis-using the terms “profit” and “profitable”, so they equate “investing all profits in future growth” with “not profitable”.

Is Tesla a profitable company? Well of course it is. What it is not, is cash-flow positive, because it’s spending money on growing its production faster than it’s making profits on selling its cars.

Just like It grew to be the world’s largest retailer while investors kept complaining about it being “not profitable”. Hmmm… I think pretty nearly every company in the world would like to be “not profitable” like that! 😀

Investments in future capital assets, like the Gigafactory, don’t affect profits. You spend money on the asset but it stays on the books, so no effect. Now, if the Gigafactory is put into service, and I’m not sure if it has at this point, it starts to be depreciated. That will affect profits, but only slightly.

The marginal profit on the S or X is poorly defined. Obviously you have to subtract the cost of the materials used, but the R&D may or may not be included. The selling, general and administrative costs will not be included in the cost of a car, but the company still has to pay them.

Overall, while their gross margin on cars is positive, Tesla shows a loss even if you zero out the depreciation. This is not good, but if they sell more stock they may be able to keep going until the Model 3 comes out. Whether $35,000 will be enough to charge isn’t known. Tesla thinks it will be, analysts are of varied opinions. I hope Tesla is right. (Tesla claims they won’t need to issue new stock, but this I don’t believe.)

You don’t understand what “margin” means. The S and X are profitable (their margin is even higher than the standard in the automobile industry), but Tesla invests all their profits and more (hence creating a loss) in the ramp up of the X, the Gigafactory and the development of the 3.

And since we all have put so much reservations for the 3, this situation of loss or near zero profit will continue for a while.

I like that 1st photo with the 4 cars lined up showing us the front “grill” area of the car.

Gone (poof)


– 300k by Wednesday
– 500k by summer
– 1million by end of the year

They should
– Use the reservation list as proof of future revenues, release batch of more shares + rest from the bank
– Ramp up the fremont to 500k/y much faster with the new funding
– Seriously consider leasing an less used car factory in Europe. Some of struggling brands would welcome the brand association by leasing the factory
– Plan exclusive model 3 car sharing program for the people in the line to ease the waiting pain.

They may have to raise funding. They said they don’t need to, but that was before reservations began. Musk did not anticipate even half of these reservation numbers.

The reservations could be used as an indication of the market, but actual competitors, like the Chevy Bolt, are coming out a year ahead. But, $1k is not exactly pocket change for most of us, so that plays favorably. It’s not the $99 reservations that original Leaf owners put down.

They would have to do some significant marketing research in order to assign a reasonably conversion rate of reservations to orders to deliveries in order to get the most persuasion out of the phenomenal reservation tallies.

So Tesla has more orders for the Model 3 than the sum total of all plug-in cars sold in the USA for the last 3 years COMBINED.


Isn’t it?!? Love it! 🙂

Amazing. Every leaf, every model s, every volt,every i3, every energi,….all plug in cars sold in the past 3 years from every manufacturer… Tesla has that many Model 3 orders.

The gift to each person who ordered should be a Tesla T-Shirt that says” I PLACED MY model 3 ORDER with 275K others so BUY the STOCK.

That would be good for the person wearing it and others. I’m very glad I bought their stock 3 years ago.

Is that a Guinness world record for most cars sold(I know it’s just a deposit) in one day?

I guess all those people who said to themselves: “once they lower the price I will buy one of those Tesla’s”, memed themselves into it.

In other words the oft repeated message filtered into the subconscious and then when that eventuality became actual they were unable to resist the message so implanted in their brains, still remains, and echoes in the sounds of silence.

I’m looking forward to part 2!

Thanks, ffbj!

Looks like the dropoff rate in the speed of reservations is faster than I thought; faster than a typical inverse exponential half-life curve.

Looks like my estimate of the reservations topping out at a million was rather an over-estimation. I’ll now hazard a wild guess of almost topping out* at somewhere in the ballpark of 500k, but I’ll leave it to those with better math skills than I to come up with an actual extrapolation off the chart you linked to.

*That is, the total doesn’t actually stop growing, but but rather the growth rate slowing to the point at which change over a month or so is almost negligible.

Sure thing. I like the huge spike when Musk was presenting. Then the other things of note was the rapid drop but then a recovery of orders and finally orders still coming in at over 1k per hour after 65 hours is impressive.

Clearly pent up demand has been severely underestimated.

I wonder how many are us sales? I just don’t see new ev incentives coming from the hill. They would probably like to ban ev’s and led bulbs.

Never say never. Tesla has 2 big factories in 2 different states. I’m sure there will be parts suppliers from several other states. And these are cars that run on 100% domestic electricity. It will now be politically good to support them except for the hard-right that hate anything green and are beholden to the fossil fuel lobby.

I think it is all so wonderfully funny, gives me such joy and hope. Any chance of a Model IV?, around $24,000, for people who think a BMW 3 series is a large car.


Sure, but not in the next few years. And the first sub-$25k long-range BEV sold in first-world countries may not come from Tesla. It may come from BYD or some other Chinese auto maker.

Competition is heating up.

Not for a really long time, if ever.

Too bad SparkEV will be cancelled. If it got 100+ miles range at current pricing (~$24K pre subsidy typical, $19K on sale, $12K-$16K post subsidy), it would’ve been fantastic low end commuter EV. Ionique is the next hope, though less powerful motor than SparkEV.

Soundtrack to the reservation counter over the last 4 days:

It surely seems like Tesla is going to be obliged to build out a European factory exclusively for Model 3. No doubt they will get some 500k reservations by August and start mulling Model One (15-25 price bracket) design & specs. Only Model One can secure greater European sales, along with small CUV based on M 3. All of it will require a huge pile of cash which only Apple could provide. Too bad Tesla and Apple didn’t figure out at least some loose joint venture to have that covered.

In THEORY, Tesla’s inability to ramp-up to this level of production should translate into sales of other EVs (at least while people wait for the model III). HOWEVER, this overlooks the fact that I believe Tesla moved out of the province of EV CAR MAKER into the rarefied world of “Maker of COOL”.

Indeed, I don’t think all of these folks were waiting for an “affordable electric car with great specs”…instead they were waiting for an “affordable TESLA”. Since, you know, it’s COOL.

Basically, these guys pulled an Apple/Starbucks. Only EV nerds like all of us are obsessing over the specs!

I think you’ve got a good analogy there: The Leaf is the Blackberry, the Model ≡ is the iPhone.

But note Android phones outsell the iPhone, because the latter is so expensive. $35k (or $42k average sales price) still isn’t a low enough price for an “everyman” EV.

Will BYD undercut the Model ≡’s price with the equivalent of the Android? Of course, a car from BYD won’t be nearly as good as the Model ≡, but it doesn’t have to be if it has a significantly lower price.