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Inventory cars being produced before confirmed customer cars

Discussion in 'Model S: Ordering, Production, Delivery' started by hidbigo, Mar 1, 2016.

  1. hidbigo

    hidbigo Member

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    I was just poking around on ev-cpo.com and discovered something interesting: The San Francisco store has a Model S for sale in its inventory that is identical to the one I ordered in mid-January except for the color of the headliner. Comparing its VIN to those of customer-ordered cars suggests that its VIN was assigned during the first week of February, i.e. 1-2 weeks after my car had its VIN assigned.

    Since the headliner color doesn't seem like something that would affect production scheduling, it seems entirely plausible that my car could have been built instead of (or at least alongside) this particular vehicle. And there are at least two other cars in inventory on the West Coast that have similar VIN numbers and are equipped almost the same as mine (main differences are the decor and no Subzero package).

    This suggests that Tesla is under some circumstances deliberately producing cars for inventory ahead of cars for which they have confirmed "first available" customer orders. Does this make sense, or is there another plausible explanation?
     
  2. AMPd

    AMPd Active Member

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    Inventory cars will always need to be built, they need the cars in showrooms, which get sold and replaced with new cars
    So there will always be inventory models being built alongside orders, if they gave custom orders priority, showrooms would be empty.
     
  3. jaguar36

    jaguar36 Member

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    First off, when the VIN is assigned doesn't necessarily mean anything. Inventory cars could have their VINs assigned before or after a customer does. Its also quite possible that it was a customer car where the customer backed out at the last minute. Lastly it may have been that the service center in SF really needed another couple of loaners and so they got priority. That need good have ogne away now to trade-ins or whatever and they may have put that one back into the CPO pool.

    Bottom line, Don't worry about it.
     
  4. hidbigo

    hidbigo Member

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    Oh, I'm not worried, just curious.

    I'm under the impression that Tesla VIN assignment usually happens when they start sourcing parts for production.

    I thought about the possibility that it could have been a canceled customer order, but that explanation seems less likely than the need for more inventory. After all, why would they have built a nearly-identical customer-ordered car 2-3 weeks sooner if it was ordered 1-2 weeks later?
     
  5. Patrick W

    Patrick W Member

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    I'm confused. I thought *all* Teslas were built to order.

    But this thread seems to indicate that some Teslas a built solely for inventory in Tesla stores which folks can then walk in and buy off the showroom floor without waiting for one to be custom made.

    ???
     
  6. brianman

    brianman Burrito Founder

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    Incorrect assumption.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Prototypes, safety testing, performance testing, marketing, demo, loaner fleet, ...

    There are a lot of reasons to build cars beyond direct customer orders.
     
  7. hidbigo

    hidbigo Member

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    Can you elaborate on why? There are only two choices for headliner, and while white is standard, enough people order black with the Premium Interior that I wouldn't expect there to be a supply chain issue.
     
  8. Drucifer

    Drucifer Active Member

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    Most inventory cars are cars that were made for customers where the customer changed their mind or their financing fell through and they couldn't close the deal.

    Some are made to demonstrate or use specific options (executive seats, 3rd row seats etc) which Tesla wants to have in the demo/loaner fleet.

    Tesla essentially builds the lion's share of cars to order. Order cancellations provide nearly all inventory cars.
     

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