Pace Of Tesla Model 3 Reservations Slows Down

2 years ago by Eric Loveday 78

Tesla Model 3 Lines At The Mall

Tesla Model 3 Lines At The Mall

The Tesla Model 3

The Tesla Model 3

Two weeks ago on Wednesday, April 13th, Tesla’s vice president of business development, Diarmuid O’Connel stated that Tesla Model 3 reservations were nearing 400,000 units, an impressive figure for sure.

But are reservations still growing at a rapid pace? The answer appears to be no as just last Thursday (April 21st), Tesla CEO Elon Musk mentioned that same figure at a conference in Norway. Musk stated:

“We are now almost at 400,000 orders for the Model 3.”

Just to recap; in the first 3 days of availability, Model 3 reservations hit 276,000. That figure jumped to 325,000 at the end of the first week, and then to near 400,000 by the end of week two.  Now it seems (as one might expect), Model 3 reservations have moderated some, with that same level of “almost 400,000” being stated at the end of the third week of availability.

That’s still a ton of electric cars that Tesla will have to produce in a somewhat timely matter, so we doubt Tesla cares that reservations have slowed for the time being, but with Musk being Musk, we’re certain that the half-million milestone is a goal he’d like to see hit (and tweet about) well prior to the Model 3 entering production.

If you’d like to place a Model 3 reservation to help push that number higher, click here.

Source: BGR

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78 responses to "Pace Of Tesla Model 3 Reservations Slows Down"

  1. MTN Ranger says:

    I see the reservations trickling in now due to most people who were interested have already done so. Also diminishing returns now with 400,000 people ahead of you in line.

    1. Speculawyer says:

      Exactly. At this point there is not much incentive to make a reservation other than to be able to tell people you have a reservation. You certainly won’t be early in line and you probably have at least 3 years before you’ll get a car.

      But Tesla probably will get another wave when they do a “part 2” of the Model 3 reveal. That probably won’t happen for many months from now . . . or even a year from now.

      1. Ian says:

        What it would do is give Tesla the data to plan where to build charging stations and service centres. No order, no data.

      2. Bonaire says:

        I have to guess that a Model 3 reservation holder will eventually be offered preferred discounting on Model S to buy one this year or early next. It’s one reason to get a reservation in. Why not – it’s fully refundable. No risk.

    2. vdiv says:

      Unless you are a “lazy” Tesla owner who hasn’t reserved yet 😉 With the promotional videos and media (i.e. Motortrend) that Tesla has done we may see a continuous push to keep the car fresh on people’s minds.

      What would be interesting to see is the number of new reservations as well as cancellations, not just the presumably current net number of active reservations.

      1. James says:

        Public perception may be – “why reserve now since there’s so many in front of me?”… But think about the large number of folks that will drop off the list before the first 3 is delivered. I think the number could be half or more. So getting in now is still smart.

        People with expendable cash can put down some coin to reserve a spot for their Tesla, which could be their 3rd, 4th or more vehicle. Common folk dream of a Tesla, but that $1,000 can come in handy in a pinch…Common folk have to plan and budget a lot tighter.

        I would be pleased, but surprised if +200,000 people are still on the waiting list when 3 rolls out.

        1. Kevin Dunbar says:

          I’ll bet (although not a lot) that reservations will hit 1/2 mil by the time 3 hits production, including the bailers.

        2. TomArt says:

          wow – half?!? You have a very strange view of people willing, and able, to put down $1k interest-free just for a place in line to order a Model 3.

          Quite frankly, expecting any more than 30% to drop out is simply not a reasonable expectation, as long as there are no significant delays in getting the Model 3 to production.

          1. DTM says:

            Interest? Interest is tending negative in Europe.

            Wat will my position in the que be worth? I’m around 200k

            I see it as an investment. For myself or for resale

      2. John MB says:

        Right… canceled… many cancellations will be from those laid off Intel workers..I had a young man next to me on line..wonder how he fared?

      3. John MB says:

        @vdiv I guess any S or X owner can jump to the head of the line any any time! So I’m sure they will gradually come on board when more info is out..that’s how I’d handle my second TSLA if I had one already.

    3. Miggy says:

      I must confuse that I want to order a Model 3 but will wait until they open a store and SC.

      1. wavelet says:

        Once the early adopters have been exhausted, there are plenty of people who aren’t going to deposit any money before there’s an actual product they can test drive.
        In fact, I’m pretty sure most of the mainstream car-buying public is like this…

        Especially true of handing $1K to a startup.

    4. JP says:

      Actually, the way I understood Musk’s statement, West Coast states will get first deliveries regardless of order timing. They want the first ones to be relatively close to the factory.

      On the other hand; a significant number of orders probably originated in CA, OR, WA. Three states that have a high percentage of EVs.

    5. evcarnut says:

      There are many waiting on the side lines to put in their orders when production begins. If they build it with a solid steel roof & a hatchback there will be much more demand & if So.., I cannot imagine them keeping up with the orders if the Price Stays put!

  2. Ahldor says:

    Any math guy who could show a nice curve of how future model 3 reservations may look?

    1. SparkEV says:

      If the data is available, one can run some statistical models. With such large sample size, even curve fitting to simple function might return something close. Of course, that assumes no “surprises”.

      But I am really curious about the data. It would be interesting if Tesla would publish it one of these days; it could be interesting case study for some statistics course, maybe even some “basic” math class.

      1. Heisenberghtbacktotheroots says:

        I am not sure if sample size is huge.

        Reservation number however is.

        Curve fitting is not going to extrapolate to the future. Unless Musk already has a private 1.21 GW Model X even he has to wait and see…

    2. Heisenberghtbacktotheroots says:

      A math guy would probably tell you to ask someone with a glass ball when asked about the future…

      As someone stated before the thing is diminishing return plus human behaviour. Math alone won’t help…

    3. Breezy says:

      It should be a constrained growth curve, like in biology. Reservations start slowly (the people who camped overnight), grow at an increasing rate, then the rate starts to slow as the carrying capacity is reached, or in this case the market for people willing to set aside $1000 for several years is saturated.

      In other words, this is probably about it for reservations.

      1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

        A good summary. But we would like to know what the carrying capacity is. …and Tesla Motors wants to know a lot more than I do!

      2. SparkEV says:

        I don’t think you can call those who camped out as “slow start”. Constraint was logistics, not necessarily of demand, and what we’re gauging is demand. I think most of those in line stuck around to reserve the car, so initial would be pretty high.

        On-line reservation is better to estimate demand as I don’t think there was any limitation like waiting in line.

        1. Breezy says:

          Logistics are the controlling factor at the start because in-person orders can only be physically processed so quickly. There are factors like the numbers of stores in different time zones. The rate of reservations should have been highest immediately after online reservations opened, when that logistical barrier was removed. It appears to have been decreasing since because demand, while high, is limited.

          Predictions based on curve fitting are just guesses unless one understands the underlying processes driving the change. I don’t think reservations will continue to increase. I think they’ve overshot a rational level and will actually decline by the time deliveries start.

          1. SparkEV says:

            I think people misunderstand what I’m saying. The model isn’t to predict for years. It’s to predict for next week or two, kind of like weather report. Beyond that, it will be too inaccurate. Butterfly effect will be in full force, but elephant effect could also sway things if Nissan announce 250 miles range XterraEV with 30 kWh battery and 5000 lb towing capacity for under $20K presubsidy ($10K post subsidy).

    4. Vexar says:

      I actually plotted these figures on a graph, along with their dates. It looks like a square root function. The number of reservations will continue to grow, but over time, it will trend towards a linear constant, so perhaps 50-500 per day. Of course the part II of the reveal will disrupt the pattern.
      It was a fun exercise, I’ll say that much. I’d feel better about another data point. Perhaps after the earnings call.

    5. Murrysville EV says:

      I’ve been making a math model for this, which I described on another post here as a ‘two-nines’ fit to a logarithmic function, which is quite good.

      However, this latest news makes my model a 0.98 fit rather than 0.99 fit.

      Here are my numbers:
      Prediction for the end of 2016 is now 566k.
      Prediction for 31 March 2017 is 593k.
      Prediction for mid-Q4 2017 is 625k.

      I suspect that later reservation holders may also back out sooner, while early ones won’t want to lose their place in line.

      Tesla needs to keep the teasers coming so this whole thing doesn’t collapse.

      1. TomArt says:

        Seems reasonable to me – there will be a spike, but who knows how much, for reveal part 2, which is going to be sometime next year, by the sounds of it (“much closer to production”).

    6. scott franco (No M3 FAUX GRILL!) says:

      Predictions are really hard to make, especially about the future.

      1. Murrysville EV says:

        Like any good politician, my predictions are subject to change based on conditions. 🙂

      2. ffbj says:

        Hardly anyone goes there anymore, it’s too crowded. YB

    7. Kdawg says:

      I think something like this.

      1. SparkEV says:

        You have the best graphics! +136! (roughly inverse of fine structure constant)

        However, I don’t think there’s a way for space-time to disappear whereas Tesla reservations can. Maybe black holes, but Hawking radiation would still make it in this space-time, at least in theory.

        Also, with this much reservations already, second revival may need some serious production “promise” by Tesla, something not likely.

      2. TomArt says:

        HAHAHA!!! Excellent. Love it!

  3. David Murray says:

    I already took delivery of my Model-III two weeks ago… Oh wait, it says “Volt” on the back.

    1. vdiv says:

      Yeah, not quite. 🙂
      However if you don’t use any gas to drive, it can get close.

      1. przemo_li says:

        Not really. No sub 6s acceleration to 100KM, no space for 5 fully grown adults. No Supercharger fast charging (up to 135 kWh right now!). No superb driver assistant features nor autopilot functions.

        Not the direct competition.

        Right now? Yes market is still small, and some will choose between the two. But market will grow (a bit more than double in fact) before Model 3 debut. Then it will be different niche.

    2. Aaron says:

      How’s that 5-passenger Model ≡ working for ya? 😉

      1. Speculawyer says:

        Well . . . the latest Volts are 5 passenger vehicles.

        Of course the center seat rider must straddle the hump.

        1. philip d says:

          Works great for my 8 year old. Had my parents visit for a week and we had no problem with me 6’3″, my Father 6’6″ in the front with my below average height Mother behind him. Then my above average height wife behind me and son in the middle.

          Not recommended for long hauls but around town was just fine.

    3. Chris says:

      I saw your post a while back David indicating the Volt was already the affordable long range EV for the masses, and honestly, you are right.

      As a fellow Texan, I know the whole supercharger situation is far from ideal here in Texas. Indeed, a Model S 60 may not even cut it here in Winter when you know, you might do crazy stuff like travel to see your family at Christmas, etc. I’m talking about IN-STATE travel here (not some fantasy cross -country sojourn). The end result is that gas is still king and will be for years. The Volt ends up being the right tool for the job as a single car that gets you almost all of your daily driving on electric and yet still pulls off out of town travel w/o any compromise.

      Now, having said that, what the Model 3 WILL likely offer over the Volt are the kinds of things that draw people to a BMW over a Toyota. This includes more performance, sleeker styling, and more “European” ride/drive/handling feel (assuming the Model 3 carries over the Model Ses “feel” in that regard). Indeed, having recently test driven an Audi A3 E-tron and a gen 2 Volt back-to-back I definitely preferred the Audi’s ride/drive/handling to the Volt…but the Volt’s interior tech, greater cargo capacity and vastly superior EV range are really tough to ignore….still, the Audi just felt “nicer” to me.

      At the end of the day, we will all get back to buying cars for more than just their propulsion method once everything has an electric motor….the Camaro and Mustang guys will still be name calling each other when they both have electric drivetrains.

      I’m sorry…what was the topic again. 🙂

      1. pjwood1 says:

        The topic is holographic chess, which I believe we’ll be able to play on the Model 3’s dash board.

      2. David Murray says:

        Funny you say that. I looked at the A3 Etron and found the interior to be absolutely hideous. I especially hated the location of the center display and how it pops out of a little slot. The Volt’s interior, on the other hand, really attracted me. And the EV capabilities are no contest between the A3 and Volt.

        Yep. The Volt has enough range and performance to be a great EV every day of the week. I could drive my commute 3 or 4 days in a row without charging. And yet, it has the ability to drive me anywhere. And yes, charging infrastructure in Texas is very minimal.

        Not saying that Tesla Model III will be a bad car. But if you want a long-range EV with good performance, great looks, and priced around $35,000… then why wait 2-3 years for the Model-III when your local Chevy dealer has the car in stock today?

        1. x says:

          You may be an (honest) actual owner, but you said something in the end that really made me question your authenticity.
          “when you can get to your LOCAL chevy dealer….;
          I think only a gm pr guy or dealer pr guy, whichever, would use this word in that context as if it is a good/desirable thing. It really makes me smile (the distrustfull one).

          For any sane owner (unless he’s a friend with that dealer or member of NADA himself) the “local” dealer experience is at best neutral.

          PS or did you mean by “local dealer” the utter pleasure of knowing to have paid the mandatory middleman something for the great service of passing on the keys?

      3. AlphaEdge says:

        IN-STATE you say!!! For a state that’s bigger France!

        1. AlphaEdge says:

          “than france!”. Sigh! We really need an edit function here.

    4. scott franco (No M3 FAUX GRILL!) says:

      “I already took delivery of my Model-III two weeks ago… Oh wait, it says “Volt” on the back.”

      Look closer. That is a “D” in front.

  4. Mike says:

    I don’t think you can come up with a logical arguement to spend 1000$ to be the 400,001st in line. If you really want a Model 3 at this point you would be better off waiting for cars to start hitting the used market. The first 3s will be 2 or 3 yeas old. and not nearly as desirable, by the time they get ready to build the 400,000th copy. Heck they might even have a Model Y you can drool over by then.

    1. Kosee says:

      Yeah at this point cpo or showroom model would get you a car faster then standing in line.

      You might not get exactly the options you want, but autopilot, supercharging and hud won’t be a rare combination I guess…

      1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

        Hmmm, good point. I think Tesla will have to limit the ability to buy Model ≡ demo cars, as they really need each of their showrooms to have at least one around, so they can give test drives.

        Maybe they already limit the availability of Model S demos; I dunno. There was one report of a Model S that was sold immediately upon arrival at the Tesla store, so apparently it was never actually used as a demo car. Now that story is from an unofficial source, but I have no particular reason to doubt it’s true.

      2. lithium says:

        Speaking of CPO… where’d they all go???

        1. Speculawyer says:

          I was wondering that too!

          All bought up?

        2. Nix says:

          This is a repeat of what happened to Tesla’s stock of Roadster CPO cars. Tesla’s entire stock of Roadster CPO’s was quickly wiped out soon after they started taking reservations for the Model S.

          I’ve actually been predicting this very event since last summer. The best time to buy a CPO Model S was right around Christmas. It will be years before there is as big a selection of CPO Tesla’s as there was at the end of 2015.

      3. Priusmaniac says:

        CPO Model S are hard to find for much less than new sales price, but CPO Model 3 is going to be even more rare. People are simply going to keep them much longer because it is not interesting to sell a car that take years of wait to get. They are going to drive them to the ground or keep them as a souvenir or a collector item, but nobody is going to sell them. The rare CPO from people forced to sell them for financial reasons are going to shoot at higher than new prices, because of instant availability, for at least 3 years after the first market introduction and it will take an extra 3 years before you can really start to make a decent deal compared to new. The Model 3 CPO will be close to non existent for a very very long period. So reservation will remain a good idea for quiet a while.

    2. Texas FFE says:

      I’m sure there will be Model 3s on the used car market as soon as the 3 hits production. I think a lot of people that ordered two 3s are probably going to scalp at least one of their 3s. There are already several overpriced Models Xs on the used car market and the X has been in production less than six months.

      Do you remember the story about the guy making $50,000 selling his Model X to Ford? The question is are you willing to pay over sticker just to get your 3 early? I won’t but I’m sure some people will.

      I think if I wanted a 3 that bad I would buy a used Model S and then preorder the 3 as an existing Tesla owner. I could then sell the Model S and wait for the 3. I’m sure I would lose money on the S but I would go to the front of the line and I would probably not lose as much as I would if I bought a 3 from a scalper.

    3. Frank says:

      You’re not 400 001 in line. Reservations are broken by country. So if you happen to live in the USA, you might receive yours BEFORE european or chinese customers.

      1. MikeG says:

        Ironic, but I feel sorry for that poor guy at the front of the line to reserve in Oz. Sadly, RHD cars outside of Europe are last in line for delivery.

        1. AlanSqB says:

          No LHD or RHD in a spaceship.

        2. Priusmaniac says:

          That will depend on the start timing in each region, if there is much time in between yes but if they follow each other quiet close no.
          It would also be fair to provide a surprise to the blind daters that reserved the car before the unveil. There could for instance be a first set of timings for these before the main timings begin. In that case an Australian blind dater would get his car before an after unveiler in west US. Or something of that kind that would make a gradation former model S owner, blind daters, after unveilers.

  5. Anon says:

    I think as Tesla puts out more info, waves of reservations will continue to come in.

    “Phase Two”, should provide a big burst of renewed interest, hope and production optimism over the product.

    Extending the Federal EV tax Credit, won’t hurt, either:

    https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/increase-ev-tax-credit-cap-manufacturer

    1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      Right. That’s one place where the number of total reservations over time won’t fit a standardized, simplistic biological growth model. Any significant new announcement about the Model ≡ may result in a sudden surge of additional reservations, and possibly a higher ceiling.

    2. Mike says:

      Ya extending the tax credit to cover pre-ordered cars and removing or relaxing the 200,000 car limit would get me to put down 1000$. Especially if there was a time limit like say the end of 2016 or 2017.

      The end of tax credits will be a serious motivator for me because we get a total of 13,5000 here in Colorado. That Bolt is looking better all the time.

      1. scott franco (No M3 FAUX GRILL!) says:

        For $135,000 you could buy a top of the line Tesla for free…..

    3. Speculawyer says:

      Thanks for alerting me about that petition but sadly it will expire soon without the needed signatures. :-/

  6. Alex says:

    There will also be cancels if cars come with 40-60 kWh next year and people notice in Norway, UK, Germany that incentives are limited. Most people have $ in their eyes like you see at the EV selling numbers, especially Netherlands every year incentives go down December thousand PHEV or EV are registered and first six months of new year big slow down.

    1. SJC says:

      Only a small percentage of the M3 reservations will get the federal tax credit. Don’t expect a Republican Congress to do anything.

  7. Ford Prefect says:

    If the Fremont plant reports that it is cranking out 1,000 cars a day to clear the Model S/X backlog and the second half of the factory shows signs of the new equipment being able to match the S/X assembly line, the reservations might increase closer to production. “Spy Shots” of test mules in final finish might also help boost reservations.

    1. FFEINKY says:

      +1. Exactly right. Tesla needs to show it can produce like other manufactures of high volume vehicle. 750-1000 per week just isn’t going to cut it if they plan on delivering on their future plans.

  8. Roy LeMeur says:

    The real news here is that it took so long to slow down.

    Billions of dollars in product ordered with deposits for something that won’t be available for more than two years.

    That is the real story.

  9. ModernMarvelFan says:

    That is totally expected. We will be lucky to hit 450K before September. I seriously doubt we hit 500K before Model 3 actually launches..
    But that is totally expected.

    At this point, there is very little incentives to jump in and reserve it unless Tesla is opening up more reservation sites in new markets that has yet to be opened…

  10. Illuminati says:

    They have already surpassed the 400,000 reservation, but they avoid talking about it.

  11. Alaa says:

    It is impossible to compare two things without knowing each one. So in this case if you say that the pace is slowing down then you know what it was and you know what it is now. Otherwise you can not make the comparison.

    By induction if you know the rate then you know haw many reservations Tesla has at any point in time, which includes now.

    So tell us how many reservation Tesla has now please?

  12. Apkungen says:

    Probably 7k per week from now on until the part 2 reveal is what i expect.

  13. Terawatt says:

    The mainstream media isn’t writing about it every day right now. But remember that the reveal is in two parts. Part II will be a more finalized design and the HUD will be confirmed. Various options and prices will probably be known. The payment model for supercharging will be announced (I’m rooting for cheap but not free pay-per-minute to help ensure efficient utilization). And I’m convinced Tesla has borrowed a page from Apple’s playbook and there will be some kind of “one more thing”.

    In any case the event will be much like the original reveal, with first a tweet to announce that is coming and some vague hints. Then two weeks of frenetic speculation and building anticipation. Then the reveal itself and the ensuring discussion about what was presented, and more speculation about what this means in the grander scheme of things, what others will do, what the future will hold.

    The big difference is that ten times as many people, if not more, will be taking part in round two.

    Ask that attention is guaranteed to generate another peak in interest. I for one don’t think that everyone who’s potentially interested has already made a reservation. I would be surprised if there isn’t at least another 100,000 reservations waiting to land in the 24 hours before and after the second part of the reveal. And potentially much more than that. Given that so many more are aware of Model 3 now than was the case before part one, I’m not sure that part two cannot generate even more reservations than part one did!

    It’s going to be extremely interesting to watch events unfold. But I would be surprised if total reservations doing exceed half a million prior to the first car being delivered…

    1. Terawatt says:

      Of course, the one more thing could be free supercharging for life. I don’t think it’ll be and I certainly hope not. There’s been some charger hogging already, and if Model 3 succeeds the way I hope Tesla will be quite a common car after just a year, never mind five years. Pay per minute means you can get a great deal, paying about the same as at home, if you use full speed. If you hog for twenty minutes to get from 90% to 100% you are paying for it, not being paid for it like today, so you’ll be more motivated to disconnect and move the car when you’ve charged the amount you actually need. It means if you live near the charger you have no reason to go to the supercharger instead of charging at home. Same if your commute takes you near one.

  14. Mxs says:

    Another crystal ball material, eh??

  15. Nix says:

    Wait….

    Are they trying to imply that 400K reservations is somehow NOT ENOUGH?!?!?!?

    Are they trying to imply that reservations should be rocketing past 400K, or else “only” 400K reservations is somehow bad??

    That’s crazy!

  16. Nix says:

    Alternative explanation:

    Diarmuid O’Connel has been told that the official comment for how many reservations Tesla has for the M3 is “almost 400,000 orders”. And that is to remain the official comment until corporate officers are told otherwise.