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How to make sense of VINs?

Nov 24, 2012
Malmo, Sweden
This has obviously been answered in a thread somewhere, but it's really hard to find since all threads tend to contain the word VIN, so:

VIN numbers are assigned sequentially, increasing by one for each Model S produced - right? Then how come VIN #3XXX can be delivered at the same time as e.g. VIN #21YY? What happened with the cars between those VINs - that must be produced but not yet delivered?

It feels like the logical thing would be that cars should be delivered roughly ordered by their VIN, but obviously they're not - so what am I missing?


Aug 20, 2006
Sometimes they pre-assign blocks of higher numbered VINs for a special reason.
For instance, they build a bunch of demonstrator vehicles out of a higher numbered VIN section.
Or, perhaps cars destined for Canada come out of a different pool?

They aren't always completely sequential...


Oct 20, 2012
Sutton West, ON
The Canadian Signature VINs started at 2000, leaving a gap from the highest US Signatures. However, there are tons of reasons why they wouldn't deliver them sequentially, such as transport time, options produced, customer delays, availability of a DS, etc. If they waited until 3000 was delivered to deliver 3001, the entire delivery routine would slow to a crawl as they could only be delivering one car at a time around the world!


Active Member
Oct 26, 2012
Santa Cruz, CA
Cars start production in VIN order. After that, problems that need fixing can hold cars back from finishing (a failed quality test will need rectification and retesting), so even coming off the line you no longer have VIN order. Finally you will obviously see factory pickups with VINs much higher than cars that needed to be shipped.

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