Tesla Model 3
Tesla Model 3 Interior
A major automaker conducted a private study, and the results are astounding. The study showed that someone with a Tesla Model 3 reservation is doubly as likely to be a current Toyota owner, than any other brand.
If this is substantiated, then Tesla has succeeded in convincing the "masses" to move to its brand, with the new, less expensive offering. Upwards of 400,000 people have placed a reservation on the vehicle, and its upcoming production and delivery will mark a historic turning point for the adoption of electric vehicles.
Generally, Tesla owners fall in the higher income bracket, and come from the likes of brands such as BMW and Audi. Other brands that were noted in the study, as those owned by soon-to-be Model 3 buyers, were Chevrolet and Ford. Current owners of Nissan, Cadillac, and Lexus vehicles showed little to no interest in Tesla's much anticipated car.
Unfortunately, the major automaker that carried out the study, has requested that it be kept confidential. A Forbes research partner and blogger, by the name of Ed Niedermeyer, was able to secure the study results, as long as he agreed not to disclose the source.
The study revealed that Tesla Model 3 reservation holders sit in the $50,000 to $100,000 income bracket. They were said to like the company and the car due to its CEO, Elon Musk, touting visionary status. The respondents also appreciated the trendy "iPhone-like" launch events. Though they aren't rich, they enjoy the idea of the Tesla brand making them feel and look like celebrities.
Forbes fears that the Toyota demographic has expectations that may be difficult for Tesla to meet. Toyota owners are used to no frills, faithful reliability, and multiple dealerships close to home, providing quick sales and service. J.D. Power considers one hour as the "magic number" for wait time at a dealership, and Toyota tends to hit the mark. According to Automotive News, for Tesla to achieve Model 3 and Y targets:
“Tesla will need as broad a retail and service network as it can assemble.”
The more affluent don't need to worry that their $1,000 deposit is tied up for a number of years. But, the middle class may be worrying about doctor bills, or any myriad of other life expenses, well before their Model 3 is even close to its delivery date.
For these reasons, the undisclosed industry source said of the study:
“Let them go to Tesla, they will be back in short order.”
When Elon Musk was asked at the recent quarterly earnings call, if there was an update on reservation numbers or cancellations for the Model 3, he replied:
“We don't report that number, because people read too much into it.”
One can just as easily say that people read too much into these studies as well. An 800 person study doesn't really give us the bigger picture, and so much is yet to be seen. However, it's always enlightening to give it a good read.