Tesla Expected To Open Model 3 Configurator To Everyone This Week

Red Tesla Model 3 LA Auto Show


Tesla will reportedly bypass the reservation system and let anyone in the U.S. or Canada order a Model 3 via the Online Design Studio.

In the past month, Tesla has revamped the process by which it’s allowing people to order and configure the Model 3. First of all, the Design Studio was updated with new pricing for the dual-motor all-wheel-drive and Performance models. In addition, anyone in the U.S. or Canada who had a previous reservation – regardless of timing – was granted access to configure their vehicle. However, the $35,000 base model is not yet available for configuration.

This move by Tesla had many reservation holders upset since some waited in line the very first day in order to assure that they would be ahead of the pack. Also, some of these customers had hoped for the base Model 3, as well as the full $7,500 federal EV tax credit. Hopefully, they realized early on that Tesla would not be releasing the base model for some time and that the tax credit will be beginning the sunset process in the coming months.

Fast forward to today and not only can any North American reservation holder jump on the Tesla website and configure, but anyone in the U.S. and Canada can place a Model 3 order immediately. This means they don’t even have to reserve first with a $1,000 deposit.

Keep in mind that Electrek reported that Tesla still plans to prioritize orders for reservation holders. However, we haven’t heard any of this information from Tesla and we have no way of knowing “if” and “how” the automaker plans to handle the priority system, which seems to be changing on a regular basis. Tesla also made similar statements about priority in the past, which didn’t seem to be carried out. The whole reservation process and timeline for the Model 3 have not been very transparent. All we can do now is wait and see how it pans out.

Source: Electrek

Categories: Tesla

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116 Comments on "Tesla Expected To Open Model 3 Configurator To Everyone This Week"

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There just aren’t enough reservation holders willing to pay for premium models, especially at increased production rates. If this fails to generate enough cash I expect an international push, then a capital raise “for the Chinese factory” but really “to tide us over until we can make the $35K model profitably.”

The site still lists a 3-5 month wait for non-performance long range models; at $2500 per order, that’s a nice interest-free loan.

Still, 3-5 Months for long range model and 2-4 for performance. This will continuously move out at least some. Say in 6 months at roughly 20,000 per month, they produce 130,000 cars (5k per week) that sell on average for around $60,000, you are looking at $7.8B in Model 3 cars, and maybe $5B from Model S/X. That doesn’t include growing demand for energy storage, we will ignore that for now. What money shortage are you talking about?

People down-voting this, please post a counter argument about how broke they are? I grow weary of this “Tesla is running out of money” argument without any facts.

It Has Arrived. model 3 Waiting List USA = 0. demand is low. Even poor 100k Model 3 sold for 2018 lowbar goal (per Nix) is seriously in deep trouble. hence Hail Mary to China – joke of a market share so far

Waiting “list” = 2 – 5 months for $50k to $80k model, 6 to 9 months for $35k model (ATP probably $43k). Remember build rate is about 21,666 / mo (5,000/wk) average for next year, going by worst possible estimates from Elon.

What are you pretending I said?

Stock is up. @ $324 now

Why mention stock nobody was talking about thier stocks

Well, it’s kinda relevant, in a “investors do not seem to think they are broke” way…

“investor” should be changed to speculator.

Speculator don’t care if the company is broke or not. They only care if there are other speculators who are willing to buy when they need to sell.

Aren’t they one in the same? People keep speculating that they will go bankrupt when their financials aren’t as bad as some make them sound (like those scare sites showing how much money they are burning in the time you read the article, etc).

I am not an idiot, they are still in a very risky position and they are financially strained, but the added revenue from going from about ~2,000 cars per week last year, to 7,000 now (maybe ~5,000 sustained) will have a huge relief on their cash demands.

The vast majority of Tesla shareholders are long-term investors. They definitely wouldn’t hold on to the stock if they saw any significant risk of bankruptcy.

Well, Elon and family are the largest share holders so the core holders won’t sell. The rest of major stock holders are mostly institution investors such as T Rowe Price. Tencent also has a large stake of it. But the rest of them stock holders are fairly small ones.

To reply to Viking79, no investors are different from speculators…

Waiting list is still 450K, but many of them may be for the Short Range model (both RWD/AWD) priced between $35,000 – $40,000.

Now Tesla want to sell as many top end models above $60,000 price tag to cash in on. Any business will try to do this.

Not seeing those counter arguments yet…

Revenues not including Debt services, capital and lets not talk about bond ratings and possible recalls. Please let’s not talk about finances

Have some numbers for those?

Don’t wat to talk about. Yes everyone upsell

I would love to see a big class action suit by reservation holders forcing T to put ALL early reservation holders before non reservation holders (yes that would mean many base models sooner). Clearly Tesla can’t/won’t do this but perhaps they could be forced to pay damages to the (over)optimistic people who made these interest free loans to Elon and Company based on false promises.

I rather expect the disclaimer that Tesla put in its reservation agreement would disallow any lawsuit based on what you are suggesting.

But it’s great to see such strong demand for the Model 3 that someone would suggest a lawsuit over the delay. Tesla is crying all the way to the bank over this! 😀

They can put a disclaimer all they want but if it is against the consumer protection act then there’s an issue

Take it easy — nobody really cares what the trolls here think of Tesla’s financial status 🙂

It’s not a question of whether or not anybody cares about a short-seller’s investment, it’s a question of whether or not we can have a reasonable discussion without being constantly disrupted by whining and false statements from those only interested in their “short” investment.

I was referring to Viking79 frantically arguing about Tesla not being broke, as if lives depended on it. We know they aren’t broke, and the trolls claiming otherwise are annoying — but it’s not like settling this here has any import… When media report FUD about Tesla supposedly being broke, that’s a problem. When trolls make such claims in this forum — who cares? It doesn’t really change anything.

It’s often hard to understand why a post gets multiple downvotes even when it has no negative tone.

In this case, perhaps it’s your statement that there is a 3-5 month delay for getting a long range model 3. Is the wait time really that long if you order a version that’s actually being produced at the present time?

It’s the official time window shown in the configurator for RWD… Though apparently many people are actually getting them much faster, some within a week. (At least those paying cash — no idea what other options there are…)

Tesla financial fillings are at https://www.nasdaq.com/symbol/tsla including historical ones.
If somebody can’t read it, talking about “arguments” is kind of meaningless. There is little argument about arithmetic.

Sure, past financials. Those where they have spent tons of money preparing for Model 3 production but not actually producing any/many cars. Their Revenue is set to grow dramatically, but people quote rates of cash burn and saying they will be bankrupt completely ignoring the massive revenue spike coming. They also ignore the fact their debt to income(revenue) ratio is really no different than many other auto companies.

Please Stop With Your Silliness

1) Tesla has know for quite some time the demand for the Model 3 by configuration – but refuses to reveal those numbers

2) If Tesla believed the ramp up of the Model 3 was going to sustain a high average unit net costs, they would make available the base configuration NOW

3) The analytics override sentiment and I want to know the cash / cash equivalents position of Tesla (removing any customer deposits) from the total at the end of Q2

4) The analytics override sentiment and I want to know the Payables position of Tesla and costs incurred to bring the Model 3 to this volume not included in the original forecasts (the amount is not insignificant)

Love your Model 3s and hope for Tesla’s success BUT the company must remain transparent on their financial condition so the public and stockholders are working with accurate information.

Thank you for a real reply.
1. Yes, but it is a competitive edge too, they might not want to reveal that info to competitors.
2. Are you meaning the production cost is high, or the high selling price? Given limited car production, especially by paint shop, means Tesla should push high priced cars first.
3. Don’t they have all customer deposits on their balance sheet?
4. Are you wanting this broken out more specifically than what they have now? Hard to tell what their purchases are going to, Semi development, Model S development, management overhead, etc?


1) Anybody can get a very good idea of the breakdown in demand for configurations from model3tracker.info Their sample size is massive statistically speaking, and they have breakdowns for all the major options. Are you under some confusion that this data doesn’t exist and isn’t well known?

2) If Tesla were to release the base configuration now, they would have to split the output between too many different versions, cutting the profitability of all units. They have been taking a batch production approach, where they build as many of the same configuration as possible at once. This is just good production management for a company in the process of more than doubling sales. If anybody else were doing it, it would be called brilliant cost management, but since it is Tesla…

3) The deposit $$ will be listed as a separate line item in their SEC reports. But it is also listed as a debt, so the two entries effectively cancel each other out already.

4) If you expect model by model breakdowns, you surely don’t understand the auto industry. NO company releases their numbers by model (but you folk’s double standards for Tesla are infamous). Second, that’s not how car companies do the math. The money GM spends to develop the Delta and the Gamma platforms is not amortized 100% against the first Delta and Gamma cars they build. The first of an engine or transmission family is not counted just against the first car to get those components. Your math would completely ignore future cost savings by reusing the same stuff for the Model Y and future cars. In other words, you math is way too short minded, and nobody in the auto industry would do it that way. Being short minded is chronic with you.

Past financial statements show the “I” in ROI but not the full “RO”.

Sorry you are short sighted and can’t or won’t understand how to calculate ROI

I am glad the best counter argument you have is the down vote button. Exactly. And that getting a car ready for production is expensive.

Points to make. If they can build 5000 Model 3 LR batteries per week, assuming cells are limiting factor, they can build 7500 Model 3 base packs a week with the same cell count. Revenue from selling 7500 base model 3 per week with ATP of $43,000 for 6 months would actually be higher than selling 5000 LR/Performance models per week with ATP of $60,000 for 6 months. Any way you cut it, if their production is between 5000 and 7500 units per week average over the next 6 months their revenue will be about $8B US just from the Model 3 in 2H2018.

To add to this a teardown of the Model 3 estimated costs to be around $18,000 in material and $10,000 in labor, or about 28,000 per unit. You are looking at about $3.6B to $5.5B in expenses, but still an extra $3 to $4B to cover overhead, reinvest in company, pay off debt, etc.

they might be down-voting due to the assertion that Tesla will be producing 5k per week in 6 months. given that in order to hit their targets [once] currently they pull out all of the stops and then need time to recover, I would take even Elon’s most pessimistic targets with a grain of salt.

The fallacy here is assuming they have a set number of “premium” variants they need to sell. Clearly, they are trying to sell *as many as they can* of the AWD and performance variants, before moving production focus back to RWD — but that doesn’t mean there is a minimum.

That interest-free loan paid for the non-existent Model X that you don’t drive.

And the imaginary Model 3 that Eleventy Pretend Electrics drives, too. 🙄

Reportedly Tesla salespeople will be paid a $300 commission for each performance model sold.

What report is that from, announcers in your head. Don’t listen to them.
They don’t know what they are talking about, and neither do you.

Reported on electrek – certainly they are not under suspicion to produce anti-Tesla fake news, right?

If Eleventy Pretend Electrics has posted something about Tesla or its cars which is actually true, that itself is news. A rare event indeed!

Sales TEAM get the $300, not the salesperson. No high pressure sell.
https:// electrek.co/2018/07/08/tesla-stop-anti-selling-model-3-perofrmance/

I knew the Tesla model would eventually come to things like this. It simply has to because it’s still based on a profit motive just like a traditional dealership. Gotta’ move that iron. It will take a lot more time but eventually the “one price for all” will fall too.

so if (a USA or Canada) someone has $1000 reservation in the system but is waiting for the base battery or non-premium interior is there any reason not to just ask for the $1000 refund at this point?

You will still get priority when the base battery is released. You will get a base battery car before people who don’t have a reservation get a base battery car.

Only people who are buying long range battery cars are getting to order without having a reservation.

There is evidence to counter your claim above. There are posts in the tesla forum of people who have reserved AFTER me (RECENTLY), configured AFTER me, configured the SAME as mine, and are getting delivery after a week….. and I have nothing.

Sorry Elon, no future reservations for me on the truck or model Y. You’ve lost your credibility with me.

Where are you located? Might have something to do with it.

Just 3 hours south of the Fremont factory…..

That seems odd, have you contacted Tesla and let them know your concerns? Presuming you are wanting a non base, LR with Premium?

Something is missing in the information you’ve give us. If they were this sloppy, there would be general outrage.

Nope, there are plenty of these stories in the model 3 forums.

People often lie in forums. Go to a Tesla store and ask for your car.

You haven’t mentioned whether you were a previous Tesla buyer, and whether the others were? That has been the single most important aspect in prioritising Model 3 reservations so far…

Are they paying cash? Reports are that those paying cash are getting priority.

Are they current Tesla owners? Current owners get priority.

Are they a lot closer to Tesla’s assembly plant in Fremont CA? Closer customers get priority.

Your assumption that an earlier reservation gives you priority over all other factors which Tesla considers when assigning priority… well, it’s incorrect, that’s all.

There are Zero LR demand buyers left in USA. It’s Unicorn fairytale std range $35k or Hail Mary sell other 95% to Tencent

Obviously. That’s why lead times are still several months, even when they are producing thousands each week.

LOL!! By far the vast majority of cars are sold via dealer stock, where cars are built on spec ahead of demand (typically 60 days ahead of demand).

But when Tesla is taking orders months out for delivery, before the buyers have even had a chance to test drive, your double standard is that TESLA is the one with a demand problem? Very funny joke you make there. I give it 2 ha ha’s.

Here is the reality check. Reservation holders and people willing to order before even test driving are just the tip of the demand iceberg. Just like the Model S and X that went on to sell orders of magnitude more units than initial reservation numbers (and still climbing), the Model 3 demand will dwarf the number of initial reservation holders.

Good question. Answer – maybe. Maybe not.

There is still the possibility that Tesla will change the terms. My opinion is that Tesla needlessly painted themselves into a corner with the $35K base price. The $9K markup for LR is just too high, similar for the $5K for premium interior. Raising the base price to $39K, while making LR a $6K option and premium interior a $4K option would keep all currently available prices stable, guarantee good margins on the options as well as make it considerably easier to have 10-15% margin on the base model car.

Then there would only be one question. Is there enough demand for a $39K+ car with 250K production a year worldwide. I think that could be done. With $35K base price however, I don’t see how the math with profits should work out.

If that was really a problem, I think they could release a medium-range variant as an interim option? The battery pack architecture is very flexible in that regard as far as I can tell…

(Or they could offer a software-locked variant — as they did at various points in the past — if that’s more cost-effective than producing another distinct hardware variant…)

I agree that they can’t profit at $35k anytime soon. So, we’ll never see that config ship in anything beyond token numbers.

But, they didn’t needlessly paint themselves into a corner. They had to promise $35k that they could generate demand and buzz. Plus, the price of the Bolt forced their hand. I’m guessing the base would have been $39-40k, but Elon didn’t want GM outdoing him on price and delivery time.

How would you know whether they can profit or not? If you have some special insights, feel free to share them 🙂

I don’t remember whether the price of the Bolt was indeed announced before that of the Model 3; but the idea that Tesla would set a price they knew was unrealistic, just to compete with a compliance car that’s not even in the same class, sounds — to put it mildly — a little silly to me…

“How would you know whether they can profit or not? If you have some special insights, feel free to share them 🙂 ”

Thank you! I guess someone had to point out the obvious.

If there’s anyone more self-absorbed and conceited than armchair engineers who think they know better than Tesla, it’s armchair accountants who do.

The Bolt price was announced ahead of M3 pricing. It’s also been shipping in any configuration desired for quite some time now. And given it’s being sold in non-CARB states, it’s definitely not a compliance car.

No inside info on M3 pricing. But, the excessive pricing of the option packages & paint colors, compared to the base price, tells me they need people to buy them in order to make a profit per-unit. We’ll see if they ever ship more than a token number of $35k M3s…

I’m reading reports time and time again that outside CARB states, the Bolt is available only in symbolic quantities; while in CARB states, they have plenty on stock and huge rebates. That very much sounds like a compliance car to me…

Is the pricing on Model 3 option packages really excessive? I don’t have experience with such stuff; but from what people are saying, my impression was that it’s pretty much in line with industry standards…

Also, the Model 3 has *already* sold more in the US than the Bolt, in spite of only the much more expensive options being available. Whether it’s a demand or a supply issue: either way, the Bolt is *clearly* no significant competition to the Model 3.

Disagree with the price of options, the LR comes with much higher perfoamce than the short range and the premium package includes all glass roof,.

Don’t care of glass roof. First thing to go is the glass roof and your head if you roll over

24K sold in the US and it looks like Tesla is already exhausting the segment of North American reservation holders that’s willing to pay $50K+. Goes to show how much Tesla needs that $35K model for its extensive production ambitions and it had better make sure those are plenty profitable too…

They are still showing a 2-5 month wait, so they still have a lot of $50k plus cars to go (closer to $60k average I would guess). I would also expect additional orders, a lot of people will wait to see what they think of final production version.

Won’t 5 months will just about put them into Q1? I wouldn’t be surprised that most of the smaller battery model sales go closer to $45,000 then $35,000.

Eh? Fife months would still be Q4 according to my maths…

Then you will see people leave in droves

No, people are perfectly aware that options drive the price up way above the base price. Sure, some people will buy the bare-bones version at $35,000; but many will opt for additional features, driving the average price up even for the standard-range battery.

($45,000 seems way to high of an estimate, though…)

Of course there will be additional orders, it’s not like demand will drop to zero after all reservations are filled, every new period sees a new batch of consumers entering the market. It’s just that at some point Tesla can crank out those high end versions faster than new orders roll in.

Time to open the order book for international orders including RHD models.
Bring the supply dates forward to these markets.

Expediting RHD seems more tricky; but I wouldn’t be surprised if they started shipping LHD internationally before starting production of the smaller battery variant…

What makes you think that? The fact that they opened orders all at once, rather than successively, suggests to me that they weren’t starved on orders, but rather just wanted to get a better picture of the demand for the different variants…

It’s not a willingness, to buy, but an affordability issue.

The market for people buying $50k cars has always been limited. The majority lease.

Payment wise, leasing or buying should be similar.

For Tesla, maybe… Typically, car leasing monthly payment is about 50% to 65% of the 60 month or 72 month loan payment.

Only if the residual values are bogus.

A Toyota Camry LE can be leased today for $229/month and $2K down for 36 month and 36K miles. The same car is having a 1.9% 60month deal which cost $25K. With the same down payment, it would cost $406/month. That is a ratio of 56%. The residual value is $14,569.

Are you saying this deal’s residual value is bogus? According to KBB that is smack in the middle of the private sales price range.

Or are you saying that they aren’t directly comparable since the lease is 36month and financing is 60 months? But that is how leasing works, you can a new lease every 2 year or 3 years and you pay for a car for 5-6 years if it is financed.. or are you just trolling here?

Roadshows showed how use cars dictate leases

Leasing is cheaper

I have leased my last 6 vehicles including my Model S. I have absolutely no plans to buy a Model 3 or any other car. The last vehicle I purchased outright (a truck) I still own. Happy to wait as long as they need to make the lease happen. Let’s do some math, there are 22 weeks remaining in 2018, at 5,000 cars per week, Tesla will need to find homes for 110,000 more Model 3s at whatever price/configuration they can get the market to pay.

Seems like an act of desperation to help with cash flow. They must have gotten scared when they opened the configurator to all reservation holders and realized a significant number of them are waiting for an inexpensive M3. Now anyone willing to pay for a high-profit M3 can order and get priority.

I think the opposite is true. They opened Model 3 configurator as planned once production ramped to a rate they can deliver rapidly. My hunch is they deliver Base Model 3 with Premium package fairly soon. I think this is a sign of a very strong Q3/Q4.

Sorry buts unsustainable rate. When sustainability is goal then you can open it up but this look like lawsuits all over this crap

They should be able to sustain 10k/wk world wide, which would be comparable with BMW 3 series. Maybe more, maybe less.

It’s not base if has premium options 🙄

That has effectively already been the case once they opened orders for all reservation holders — the reservation at this point was just a redundant step for those who wanted to order one of the presently available variants.

Tesla emailed a questionnaire earlier this year so they have known for months who is waiting for $35k model and who is waiting for a lease option. I think that since 30% of the M3 reservations came from China, they got spooked with the announced tariffs and accelerated down payments on the AWD and performance models to counter.

Source? Where did you get the supposed results? Tesla has never released any data about where their reservations came from.

On the other hand, Seeking Alpha has speculated wildly without providing any evidence. Are you getting your info from a financial website?

I think this is a brilliant move. The ones who have reserved first day and want the base model will still be first in line when the first base models come of the production line (unless they pull the trigger to go for a higher trim after all to get the full tax credit). If they don’t like that, the deposit is refundable, but then the next chance will be at the very end of the line, when all the ones that stay on-board have received their car, and likely also some of the overseas reservations, at least the ones for the higher trims. Others, who had not placed a reservation early on, perhaps being unaware of how awesome Tesla cars are, and have just recently seen a Model 3 in the wild (maybe got a ride in one) and have since been doubting whether they will go for it because of “2 years? I can’t wait that long!”, have now the chance to go for a higher trim, which is exactly what they may have experienced and thus want. I think there are also a lot of cautios people who did not want to put down 1 k years… Read more »

I see a lot of lawsuits if someone had a reservation and they got jump to someone who just happen to get the performance model off the block

On what grounds? It is a refundable reservation that is not a deposit or order.
“While this Reservation secures the approximate delivery priority within your region, it does not constitute the purchase or order of a vehicle.”
Approximate is pretty vague.

Seems like Tesla is ahead of that. They specified that they don’t have certain models available (base model), and that they would give priority to reservation holders. Thus this is not different than saying that they feel they can clear all order flow for available models without significant backlog.

The worst part isn’t the battery, it’s the $5K mandatory PUP…Will this still be mandatory?

I am sure it will be initially (makes the most sense to only have 1 interior in Long Range and Base). They could start making the Model 3 Base Premium by simply using a smaller battery pack and whatever other features are tied to the Long Range model. Add the base interior. Alternately, they could add the base interior to the Long Range then add the Model 3 Base later.

They are only doing this to get more $2500 deposit sooner for higher end model so they can assure their Q3 and Q4 profitability. That is what Elon said and they are doing everything they can to ensure they are squeezing out profits for those two Qtrs.

If the cars are coming in 2-5 months they would get the money in Q2 or Q3 regardless, they legitimately can take orders now (as opposed to just reservations). An order is more legally binding, they wouldn’t take them if afraid they couldn’t deliver on time.

Any numbers games average out long term so it is sort of irrelevant.

It doesn’t matter for the Q3 and Q4 numbers which is what Tesla want right now. Elon made the promise and they are doing everything they can to ensure profitability in Q3 and Q4 to keep Elon’s credibility.

Since when does taking on debt improve profitability?…

Locking in order with $2500 for those who want higher optioned models will bring in more profits in Q3 and Q4. Is that too hard for you to get?

The $2,500 down payment for cars not yet delivered is a *debt*, not a *profit*. Is that too hard for you to get?

Cool I can see how much I saved getting my 40kWh Leaf : )

These changes are now live, and Tesla has removed the option to place a reservation for the $35K M3. So now there is no way to reserve a spot in line.

So then, those who have a reservation have something even more valuable, since it’s now irreplaceable.

Thanks for pointing that out, Eleventy Pretend Electrics! 😀

That sounds like $35K M3 will more likely to repeat S40 story again… cancelled later due to “low demand”. But those “early reservation” holders will get a $35K Model 3 if they choose but that is it and nobody else would have it.

That way, they can say that they made $35K version and they don’t have to keep building them once the initial orders are done.

“This move by Tesla had many reservation holders upset since some waited in line the very first day in order to assure that they would be ahead of the pack…”

Told you so since 2016.

No more tax credits in 2019 and still no base Model3.

Tesla played these gullible people for 2+ years.

“The whole reservation process and timeline for the Model 3 have not been very transparent.” Tesla has been the antithesis of transparent.

I canceled my reservation a few months ago because I realized waiting for the base model 3 is a pipe dream. It’s going to be years before I see a base model 3 if ever. I feel sorry for those who actually waited in line to put down their deposit. Now anyone with a lot of money can jump to the head of the line. Life is not fair!

Interesting. I actually made a prediction Tesla would do this, in my blog post. I thought due to financial troubles in the past, Tesla would want increased access to capital thereby adding more orders to the queue/list. I decided to cancel my reservation so someone else bumped up next in line. Teawithluke.blogspot.com