Reservations Of Tesla Model 3 Top Analyst’s Predictions


Looking back at the 24-hour Tesla Model 3 reservation mania that began on March 31, it seems Tesla succeeded in making top analysts look like they’re incapable of doing their jobs.

These analysts had put out predictions for Model 3 first year pre-sales and all the figures now look low.

Here’s a chart (via Quartz) showing first-year predictions by several top analysts versus Model 3 reservations (~180,000) made in the first 24 hours:

Model 3 Reservation/Prediction Chart

Model 3 Reservation/Prediction Chart

The only thing now holding back Tesla from converting these reservations into first-year sales will be production ramp up/capability and whether or not Tesla can convert the majority of reservations into sales. The latter shouldn’t be an issue, but a production bottleneck could restrict sales.

The most recent reservation count update came a week after the launch of the Model 3, with Tesla CEO Elon Musk stating that 325,000 deposit reservations (equal to about $1,000 USD each) had been placed.

Source: Quartz

Categories: Tesla

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66 Comments on "Reservations Of Tesla Model 3 Top Analyst’s Predictions"

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For those of us who have followed Tesla, this is the understatement of the year:

“The only thing holding back Tesla from converting these reservations into first-year sales will be production ramp up/capability”

Tesla will do great, but they are still very early in climbing the learning curve of large scale manufacturing. It’s not rocket science (insert spaceX pun here) but it takes time, effort, and many missteps that lead to lessons learnt before you can run a factory the way Lexus or Audi do.

Rocket science?


SpaceX is behind biggest revolution in rocket science and manufacturing in last 3 decades.

This shows that “Mass manufacturing” is harder then “Rocket Science” 😀 😀 😀

Tesla limited pre orders to 2 per person. So unless 150,000 shareholders conspired together secretly I’ll assume it’s a short attack. I am a shareholder who didn’t order a III but would love a cheap used S ?

Well, there is one other thing that could hold them back . . . economics.

Can they really build the Model 3 for $35K? That is not going to be easy. That is less than half the price of the Model S 70.

Yeah, the Model 3 is a little smaller, the battery will be a little smaller, it won’t come with free supercharging, and it will use steel. But it will still be a pretty damn great car with a large battery.

Well, I think the purchase of options will help them out.

Well, it’s mighty close to the Bolt EV in terms of specs and price, so I’d guess they really can build a stripper for that price.

1) GM can sell Bolt at a loss and still make money from ZEV credits. Tesla have not been able to sell ZEV credits recently. 2) Bolt has a lot of synergies with other GM products. This can be very common items like AC, Lighting, steering wheel, paint, etc. This brings down the cost significantly. 3) GM has excess capacity and production facilities that are already paid for and depreciated. Tesla has to build new ones. 4) GM doesn’t make cars in Fremont for an obvious reason: it is one of the highest cost cities in the US. A typical apartment rent is $2500-$3500 in Fremont. 5) Model 3 is larger than Bolt and bodywork is more expensive (the tooling will end up more expensive due to size and complexity of surfaces.) 6) GM knows how to make a cheap car. Tesla has never made a car cheaper than $60k, and more recently $72k. This is half that price for not much less car. I am very skeptical there will be a $35k Tesla in 2017-2018 or even 2019. There is demand in $50k-$60k range for this car. So that is where it ends up selling, in lower numbers than… Read more »

Why would GM sell the Bolt with a loss, it is THREE TIMES the price of a comparable ICE! Thieves they are!

No it is a premium subcompact. It has about 40% premium over a similar ICE car. It probable weighs as much as a midsize, so it has to be designed for that kind of weight which makes it more expensive. The battery probably costs about $15000.

As a matter of fact I just checked the official specifications of the production model. It weighs 3580 lbs, about the same as an Impala. It has similar passenger space to Tesla Model S (yes, that is right, 94.4 cu.ft). BTW Tesla Model X just got a $3k price hike for the base model, which is now 75D.

They can land rockets in the ocean..I have total confidence they will land a Model 3 at $35K!

Elon has stated that Model S was built to be a great car, not optimized for assembly line, Model 3 he said they would make a compelling car and design it to build at scale.

scott franco (the evil EV owning republican)

“Can they really build the Model 3 for $35K? That is not going to be easy. That is less than half the price of the Model S 70.”

Its ok, they’ll make it up in volume.

The cost of batteries has gone down a lot. Figure with the Gigafactory fully running, batteries will cost half what they did in 2012. They might eat some losses on the battery in the early years of production to hit that price point. But that might be a $10,000 saving right there. People are also claiming the 3 will only have a 15% profit margin compared to 25% on the S, so there’s another $13,000 saved. The rest of it must come from a simpler interior and reduced structural costs.

This Morning I heard on AM 950 Detroit Radio From “Mc Elroy” (auto reporter) Speculates that Most of those reservations may have been submitted by Tesla Share holders to “Drive Up Tesla Stock Price”As the deposits are Fully “refundable”. He led me us to believe that these orders could be very Superficial. (Phony) I don’t believe all this! Detroit is anti Tesla & Anti EV’s & they could only be saying that to Disdreit Tesla , Discourage people, and Or cause mischief… Any Ideas??..????

I made a reservation for model 3 and I’m not a TSLA share owner. I seriously doubt that Elon Musk is losing any sleep over Detroit’s anti Ev cabal…Musk is losing sleep over landing his rocket…spaceX was successful in landing rocket GO TESLA GO SPACEX

I’m with you all the way!

I made a reservation and I am a Tesla shareholder. Perhaps you should consider that, like me, if you are willing to drop a bunch of money on the company, you probably believe in them enough to buy their products.

I agree….I did Too! But I hear crap that makes one ask Questions..

Here are a few lines from a Forbes article, just to show how out of of touch they are concerning Tesla, comparing the Model X to the Edsel. Oh pulease!

“The Model X is a full two years behind Tesla’s initially envisioned production schedule and with its balky falcon wing doors and other manufacturing issues, the Model X is becoming Tesla’s Edsel. It’s not a good sign for those who are opening to receive their ordered Model 3′s by the end of the decade, and it makes Tesla a short both today and ahead of an early-May quarterly report.”

Oh yeah, great advice.

scott franco (the evil EV owning republican)

The beauty of the market is that for the people who really believe Tesla is going to falter can go short on the stock. Then they will either be rewarded or punished for that decision.

Either way, the money ends up in Teslas hands to make cars.

It’s really sad to see.
It’s old rich white guys on the trailing edge of change.
This is why humans die, the old cannot adjust to the new era.
Totally overlooking the massive increase in niceness a rocket electric car delivers.

They probably can’t figure out an iPhone, still holding on to coal stock, have no idea the geometric growth of solar and wind, and hoarding money, and funding candidates that destroy the country with idiot tax policy, that keeps them rich for doing nothing, while increasing healthcare costs, prison costs, and education costs for 99% of America.

What idiot can justify $100,000 student loan costs in a competitive Global Economy.

These old guys a Suicide for America

Looks like I have another candidate for my lunatic posters list.

Ah, Texas.
Almost at the bottom in education, with high immigration job growth from Mexicans, while complaining about Mexican immigrants, and pretty much the only “Republican” state to see GDP growth, by exporting cancer and pollution thru fracking to the other 49 states.

Home of the Global Warming Denying, and lying to shareholders, Exxon?

And you’re going put me on some idiot post?
Get your state in order first.

Congratulations, you just moved up on the lunatic posters list!

Politics aside, I love Texas. I cried when “Big Tex”, the original one, burned up a few years ago. I also like the positive, can do attitude, of Texans.

Texas also has a lot of windmills. Every state has pluses and minuses.

Agreed, Beta. Reality is difficult for people to accept. My mother always said that “people are universally afraid of the truth.”

Either These guys are very sick Puppies 0r they are attempting to manipulate the stock price…Lets not forget if one of these guys has 20,000 shares & it goes up 0r down Just $5.00 that translates to $100,000 in one shot either way ….nothing to sneeze at!

If you don’t have anything better to do, here, try this; or at least the first 2-3 minutes for the nice intro message to Tesla, then go directly at the middle of the show where they “debate” the Model 3 via skype with some douche from seekingalpha. If I had to describe the event I’d say it’s very .. markbspiegelish.

Note to mods: this time, please, don’t embed the video. It’s not worth the extra bandwidth. Thanks.


Much more accurate information can be gleaned from inside ev’s than from this video, still worthwhile to view, to become more aware of some of the inaccuracies, misperceptions in regards to Tesla.

The moderator said Tesla sold more vehicles in the luxury segment than the other automakers combined. This is simply wrong. Tesla outsold every other luxury automakers individual models not all auto makers combined. The main point though it is a great car so people buy it.

Also the latest FUD that order numbers are suspect due to shareholders using multiple e-mails, credit cards, to bump up the numbers is simply unsubstantiated speculation.

The female panel member was the most informed and pointed out the Musk Mystique as being one of the driving factors behind Tesla’s popularity. Also the moderator correctly downplayed the oft repeated criticism of Tesla that they are not yet profitable, a common criticism.

Even the Seeking Alpha spokesperson said the Model III looks so much better than the econobox Bolt. Hard to argue with that.

Yes, Mark Spiegel and his shorter buddies have been very busy over at Seeking Liars and if you do a time defined search on Spiegel you will see he posted his lame anti-Tesla FUD widely across the internet around the M3 launch.

I also find it amazing how often when an article posts here on Tesla you suddenly see new usernames posting remarkably similar to Mark Spiegel anti-Tesla memes.

Gee, I wonder why that happens???

It sounds like a very expensive way to influence the stock price. Even if the money is refundable, they will be tied up with no interest in the mean time.

Being that anti-Tesla is actually being anti-Anerican.

In that case, I may have to reconsider and become anti-Tesla. I am, after all, anti-Anerican.

And all the people waiting in line and signing up on the internet were paid actors as well. The stupid runs deep on a.m. radio.

The confirmation rate on Model S’s $5,000 deposits was about 70%. With Model 3, you were held to no more than two per customer.

I sense that some of the rush was to get the last of Tesla’s $7,500 tax-credits, where that was never an issue with ‘S’, or ‘X’. I also wonder if Detroit radio is anything like the “Detroit Free Press”….free to talk about banning Tesla sales, in MI too I suppose.

AM radio? Yeah…..the last bastion.

The analyst’s predictions were first year production numbers, which is how quickly can Tesla ramp up Model 3 production, not a prediction of reservations. Two completely different things. The ramp up of production is still going to be a huge hurdle for Tesla. I reserved my Model 3 during the reveal, but if Tesla is slow to launch, a lot of people (myself included) could end up moving on instead of waiting for several more years. If the Model 3 launches in late 2017 and is slow to ramp up, with 60,000 cars in 2018 (more than Tesla has done today) it might be mid to late 2019 before I get my car.

Hey David, that is actually not accurate. The data/chart (and the basis of the article) is for “Actual vs predicted pre-sales of of Tesla Model 3 at launch“.

There was no mention at all of first year production numbers. On that subject there has been very little word at all from Tesla, or subsequent guesstimates by analysts. It would be an amusing thought bubble though.

I’m talking about This Auto guy in Detroit Insinuating that a lot of the these orders may be submitted by shareholders ,only to drive the stock price, and may not be Legit..Wondering if there could be any truth to that Since Detroit is Anti Tesla…

evcarnutd already said that: A relative perhaps? More FUD from Detroit.

He can’t know.


Number of shares on the market is known.

Rise of the price need to outperform the 1000$ in deposit (and by much otherwise its no use).

So one could simulate few scenarios.
Are there even enough shareholders out there to do the trick?

Yes… I do believe that people spent $325 million dollars to pump up the stock. That’s really a great investment. No really it is.

“The analyst’s predictions were first year production numbers.”
Merely Wrong.

In regards to the rest of your post I am sure it will be a challenge, though not insurmountable for Tesla to achieve.

Thanks Guys ,

What if California came out with a law banning car dealerships. Why? To protect consumer from unecessary price gouging.
Only direct car sales allowed with manufacturers backing their products.

Would Michigan maintain its ban on direct sales?


I don’t believe the preorder numbers were manipulated but I also hope that the numbers are correct. Strong preorder numbers not only reflect interest in the Model 3 but interest in affordable long range electric vehicles in general. I’m hoping and expecting this interest to carry over into strong sales numbers for the Bolt.


The only thing that could be said is that a pretty significant (but currently unknown) percentage of reservation holders are current Tesla owners – so the 325k does not equal 325k new customers – but that’s hardly a detraction.

There are less than 120k current Tesla owners (approx. 120k sold globally, a non-trivial percentage are multi-Tesla households). So, if, on average, every current owner reserved 1 Model 3, then that leaves as much as 200k potential new customers. Well, probably a little less than 200k new customers, since some of those new customers reserved two vehicles (regardless of whether they intend to own both or scalp one).

There are more new customers than that because 120000 Model S owners reserving a Model 3 would mean that 100% of all Model S owner did a reservation. That is very unlikely since most Model S owners are pretty happy from their car and have no reason to change it over for a smaller one. They are more likely to reserve a newer version of the Model S. So Model S owners reservation for a Model 3 is likely south of 30%, which means an extra 80000 more new customers on top of the 200000.

Everyone keeps calling these “Sales” or “Pre-orders”. They are not.

While I have no doubt Tesla will sell every single Model 3 they can produce, the numbers we are talking about are RESERVATIONS for an opportunity to place a pre-order at some unspecified date in the future.

This story does call them reservations, but them compares them to predictions of pre-orders, which very well could be spot on. If you are talking about how many of those reservations are allowed to be converted to actual orders within one year of the launch, the number could be as low as 0. As the story states, Tesla has not given even a hint at what first year production numbers will be, so the number of pre-orders they decide to book is unknown at this time.

From the Reservation Terms & Conditions: ” … it does not constitute the purchase or order of a vehicle…

It’s too soon to call them out as wrong (or the story got it wrong and their predictions were for reservations, not pre-sales). Until Tesla allows the configuration and order of a vehicle with a sales contract, it is not a pre-sale.

Yes. I think its apples to oranges comparison.

In sales “pipeline” each consecutive step/stage is smaller.

Tesla’s reservations are much more then just “topics”. But still less then pre-orders.

Tesla can (and will) leverage those numbers “against” banks/investors and Panasonic. To “force” them into accepting possibility that EVs will sell better then hot cakes.

But it will not translate into preorders 1-to-1.

Bolt as well as refreshed Model S/X will still play significant “downsizing” 😉 force.

For now, though, Tesla can show real strong demand, and that’s what’s counting.

The Model S reservations translated into 70% of real purchase so the 325000 reservations would become 227500 Model 3 real purchases. But in the long time before the car really start to be produced way more reservations are going to come in. So the end result will indeed not be a 1 order for 1 present reservation but 0.7 orders for a twice as large number of reservation, which means for 1 reservation now 1.4 real orders by start of production. That is 1.4 x 325000 = 455000 real orders.

They are “pre-orders” insofar as we have not ordered yet – hence the prefix “pre”.

They then convert to “orders” once we are invited to configure our Model 3 for production. At that point, it is an “order” and the deposit is no longer refundable – a commitment to buy.

The language is pretty clear, and not being misused. However, it is good to be clear that the reservations are not actual committed orders.

They are then converted to “sales” upon delivery/payment/title transfer.

I see no distinction between the term “reservation” and the term “pre-order”, at least in the context of how Tesla’s ordering system operates.

I don’t mind Detroit media being so anti-Tesla as much if they’re also proportionately pro-Bolt. Then it’s just regional bias. But if they’re anti-EV in general, against even their own local employers, it gets into uglier areas.

Wow. Their anti-Bolt too???

If they are, then yes, that’s ugly on another level.

I predicted 15K to 30K in the first 24 hours. I sure look stupid. And am happy to look stupid.

And even more happy that I camped out to get an early Model 3 reservation. 🙂 I guess I can say my actions speak louder than my words. 🙂

I guessed 31,416 in the US in the first 24hours. Do we know the breakout for each country?

No, but I’d love to know!

Musk might divulge that someday.

I’m on my 3rd EV since 2011. I even got myself “MODL 3” Ca lic plate. And I have changed my mind about Tesla Model 3 for the following reasons: 1- Cruise control at 11 o’clock position (Mercedes style toggle). 4 o’clock is what I want in my dream car (ala 92 Accord). 2- Tesla proprietary plug is a big PIA. I have J1772 and would have to go back and forth, clicking in and removing the converter gizmo (2 EVs, one Tesla). There is no chance of free juice from Tesla for 2 reasons. One, is it is intended for long distance Tesla travel, that’s why it’s set up in off places, not in congested areas, at least in Ca. The other: Model 3 will just kill it. Too many Teslas. At the same time, Musk does NOT want you to drive on his dime. I got that directly from Tesla salesman. Long distance travel only, charge at home – that’s a quote. 3- Charge port in the back of car, like it’s a gas car. It’s minor, but an annoyance nevertheless. I charge 2 cars every night, I know… I do get that the Model 3 smooth front… Read more »

Interesting to read your experiences. 1-4 are personal preferences, though.

#5 is hilarious! There is no magical, hush-hush competition waiting in the wings. BMW is plowing on with PHEVs and range extenders, M-B hasn’t done anything since their half-million electric AMG, VW Group is trickling out Audis with plugs and the e-Golf, Nissan is only increasing the Leaf range by 50% (barely), the Japanese are playing around with hybrids and fuel cells…who is going to step up? So far? GM, with a generic compact hatch with, so far, no AWD options or pack upgrade options.

Many of us would like to see this magical competition, but at this point, we’re still chasing unicorns.

And, just for spite, I might have my tags for my Model 3 say “UNICORN”.

2018 is far far away.

You may be surprised what nimble Japanese and Koreans will bring to the table to compete with Bolt. The stage is set for 200-mile EVs. There is no going back and competition in car business is like Game of Thrones – bloody.

Oh yeah, my “MODL 3” plate will be for sale to the highest bidder. Right now it’s still attached to my Spark EV lease.