Tesla Model 3 (Image Credit: Tom Moloughney/InsideEVs)
Buried in the basement at the 2018 NAIAS was a Tesla Model 3. Just one and it had no body, but it was there.
It went sight unseen for most showgoers, but Wall Street Journal noticed it.
Tesla Model 3
Officially, Tesla hasn't attended the NAIAS in years and may not ever again until/unless Michigan changes its ban against direct sales, but that doesn't mean Tesla vehicles won't show up here and there at the show.
Aftermarket tuners may show off Teslas or, as was the case at the 2018 NAIAS, an engineering firm displayed a Model 3. As Wall Street Journal reports:
"Tucked away in the convention hall’s basement, far from the new Chevrolet Silverado pickup and Toyota Avalon sedan displayed on the main floor, Caresoft Global Inc., an engineering firm based in the Chicago area, showed off a Model 3 chassis."
Caresoft purchases vehicles, strips them down to nothing, then sells the obtained data, insight and specs to competitors, for loads of dough. We're talking upwards of $500,000 in some cases.
Caresoft displayed the Model 3 at the 2018 NAIAS to attract customers. It says that interest parties flew in from as far away as China to see the Model 3 chassis. Caresoft claims that 10 automakers signed up to purchase the obtained intel. Caresoft Chief Executive Mathew Vachaparampil added:
“They’re very excited for the data."“I can get a meeting with any CEO on earth.”
The reverse-engineering firm had another fully operational Tesla Model 3. It used that vehicle to take automotive execs on test rides prior to making a sales pitch for the data obtained from the teardown.