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Model 3 configuration page opening close to start of production for external orders

Discussion in 'Model 3: Ordering, Production, Delivery' started by ecarfan, Feb 22, 2017.

  1. ecarfan

    ecarfan Well-Known Member

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    In the Q1 2017 conference call that is still going on, Elon just said that the Model 3 configurator will open for internal orders (Tesla and SpaceX employees) sometime before full production starts in July 2017 and will open for external orders close to the time that production begins.
     
  2. Aljohn

    Aljohn Member

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    True... but he also indicated the Design Center would be available in about 4 months to reservation holders. If Tesla follows the methodology used for the Model X -- especially due to the volume, I would anticipate they will invite on a order priority basis. That is: as reservations orders are coming close the the production Q, Tesla will give those holders access to the Design and configuration site and withhold access to all others.

    For the X, this system prevented the chaos of thousands of reservation holders from "playing" with configurations far in advance of any opportunity to actually complete an order. So although the Design and Configuration may be open, anticipate some sort of invitation system in the first months -- 400,000 reservation holders turned on all at once could be catastrophic.

    Obviously, when the first reservation holders gain access, screen captures, options, prices etc. may flood the forums and internet. So even though the 400K reservation holders may not be able to actually configure a Model 3 on the Tesla site, they may have insight to a lot of information early on.
     
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  3. BED2

    BED2 Member

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    I'm hoping we'll be able to actually physically see a final model 3 before being asked to configure. Is that wrong to assume? This is my first Tesla.
     
  4. ecarfan

    ecarfan Well-Known Member

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    I would not assume that. It will depend on how early your reservation is, when you are able to configure and where you are located. Model 3 demand is obviously off the charts. I do not expect Tesla to put a demo Model 3 in every Tesla showroom by the end of this year.
     
  5. evp

    evp Nerd

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    There are those of us who would drive to California to demo-ride the Model 3 before finalizing our order. One hopes there will be some possibly limited number of demo units to drive somewhere on the planet.
     
  6. apacheguy

    apacheguy S Sig #255

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    Wait. July 2017? I thought M3 production didn't begin until late 2017. We don't even have a beta yet.
     
  7. ecarfan

    ecarfan Well-Known Member

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    M3 production will start in July 2017 as per Elon on the Q1 2017 earnings call yesterday. Initial production will be for employee reservations. We do not know when cars will start being produced for public reservations.
     
  8. apacheguy

    apacheguy S Sig #255

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    That's super aggressive. Don't most car manufacturers have betas 4 months before production begins? All we have is a prototype at this point.
     
  9. ecarfan

    ecarfan Well-Known Member

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    There is information out that there that Tesla has started building beta Model 3 vehicles this month.
     
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  10. MrRandyB

    MrRandyB Member

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    Important part of the shareholders letter:

    “Model 3 vehicle development, supply chain and manufacturing are on track to support volume deliveries in the second half of 2017. In early February, we began building Model 3 prototypes as part of our ongoing testing of the vehicle design and manufacturing processes. Initial crash test results have been positive, and all Model 3-related sourcing is on plan to support the start of production in July. Installation of Model 3 manufacturing equipment is underway in Fremont and at Gigafactory 1, where in January, we began production of battery cells for energy storage products, which have the same form-factor as the cells that will be used in Model 3.”
     
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  11. dsvick

    dsvick Active Member

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    Keep in mind too that a lot of it depends on what Tesla considers a prototype and a beta, different manufacturers will have different names. There are a lot of similar names that are used interchangeable quite often. Normally there are prototypes then pre-production or betas then production vehicles. You can also have mules in there as well for testing specific things, but mules don't necessarily have to the same body.

    I would almost consider the first ones we saw last year as the prototypes along with any others they may have built since then that we didn't see. The ones being built now I would consider the pre-production or beta units. There wont be many of them, maybe a few dozen and they'll test the line, make sure all the pieces parts go together and that tab A really does fit into slot B, do some crash testing, and probably some road testing in camouflaged ones.
     
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  12. shrspeedblade

    shrspeedblade Member

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    What? How are we supposed to crash the sight if we all can't spend several hours a day fantasizing away over countless configurations and obsessing over every detail?!!!
    :D
     
  13. Aljohn

    Aljohn Member

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    A "lesson-learned" by Tesla with the Model X was there were a number of owners who delayed configuration before actually seeing the vehicle in person. This was a departure from the Model S launch. Since the Model X vehicles were scarce, there were no vehicles in the Tesla Stores and those being delivered were kept under raps. Also, those who dared the civility of answering a question on the forums faced a cyber death by 100 more questions.

    Following the Founders' Series and as the Model X went into limited production, Tesla created the Model X Tour which went across the US from Store to Store typically in three and four day sessions in each location. There were a limited number of "test drives", but many could sign up to come and see the Model X. Here in Atlanta people from 3 states came to see the X. The Model X's were packed on trailers and moved every week and were even accompanied by a mobile Super Charger (Generator on a Truck). This quieted the need to see the vehicle, and was a great response from Tesla to alleviate consumer angst. In May of 2016 I went to a local Tesla Store opening. No one in the store had even seen a Model X. I volunteered my X for display, and spent the next two hours watching people enamored by all things X.

    All that said, it would seem Tesla may consider the same with the Model 3. Great luck to all the reservations holders.
     
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  14. dsvick

    dsvick Active Member

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    If they do end up doing that I hope they have multiple sets of them. If not, and they spent a week at each location it would take about two years for a single set to make the rounds.
     
  15. McRat

    McRat Active Member

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    IMO = they should open the config as late as possible, and keep the internal sales completely NDA.

    Why? They cannot have a solid fix on pricing until they are in retail production. It would be dangerous to lose any money on the Model 3, as in potentially fatal.

    EDIT - However, if cash becomes a big problem, they will have to open ordering early with a large down payments just to keep solvent.
     
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  16. Aljohn

    Aljohn Member

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    There were multiples sets of the X traveling in several geographies. I would expect the same. I think there were three in Atlanta.... one stayed in the Store and two for drives. All very supervised and they had a Tesla team that traveled with them.
     
  17. Red Sage

    Red Sage The Cybernetic Samurai

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    As I've mentioned elsewhere, it would not be a bad idea to start sending Model 3 to Tesla Stores/Galleries ahead of those for Delivery.

    Think of it this way... Tesla currently has about 100 locations across the U.S. Assuming that were to increase to 200 locations by the end of 2017, they may be able to get by with only two cars per location for up to three months at a time. So, one for the showroom, and one for test rides. That would be 400 cars.

    Elon has already said their initial build rate would be 1,000 units per week, increasing steadily to 2,000 then through 4,000 to eventually get to 5,000 per week by year end. Just for the current stores that would be 20% of one week's cars at the lowest Production rate. After three months, the test drive car becomes a loaner, the showroom car is used for test drives, and a new car arrives for the showroom. Easy.

    I think a lot more Customers would be relieved to see the final product before putting their order through than would be angered at not having received their car yet. Besides, when Production is at 5,000+ per week, 400 cars is only 8% or less. And they wouldn't necessarily build all those demo cars at once. Maybe only 2% every other week, or even every other month. So the demo cars could go to Tesla Stores/Galleries just ahead of anticipated Deliveries to an area.

    So, maybe not nationwide, but certainly in California, there may be Model 3 demo cars on hand at Tesla Stores during Q4 2017.
     
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  18. dsvick

    dsvick Active Member

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    I think the first wave or two of people that configure will have to do it sight unseen. Even if they got a car to each SC right away and they ran test drives all day it would still take a couple of weeks to get just the line waiters through a test drive.
    I'd love to be able to, at least, sit in it if not take it for an actual drive before buying. However, if waiting to schedule a test drive would push me back more than a few weeks, I'd probably pass on it.
     
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  19. ecarfan

    ecarfan Well-Known Member

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    The first several thousand people to configure their Model 3 will be Tesla and SpaceX employees. It has been speculated that those people will be given access to the Model 3 beta prototypes that Tesla has stated began being built last month. I think it is quite possible that will happen.

    Now, if by "first wave or two of people" you mean people who are not employees and will be in the first group of Model 3 deliveries, which are reservation holders who are currently Tesla owners and who live on the West Coast of the US, then I agree that those people may not be offered a personal inspection and/or test drive of a Model 3 before they finalize the configuration of their car.

    However, because by the time that public group needs to configure their 3 at least 5,000 cars (my personal estimate) will have been produced and delivered to employees, which will likely take several months to accomplish (since production ramp up will not go from zero to 1,000/week in just a few weeks, it will take months, i.e. "more than one month") so it seems possible that by that time Tesla may well provide 20 to 50 new Model 3 vehicles to West Coast showrooms.

    The latter scenario is the one that I think is more likely.
     
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  20. dsvick

    dsvick Active Member

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    Yep, I meant us regular people, after the employees. You do have point though, since they'll be rolling things East they maybe able to just build cars for the showrooms a month or so before configuration opens in an area and get the cars there a couple weeks before that. I guess it depends on how fast they move from one area to the next and how many people get to configure at once.
     
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