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Why are people (including Elon) surprised by the number of Model 3 orders?

Discussion in 'Model 3' started by googlepeakoil, Apr 11, 2016.

  1. googlepeakoil

    googlepeakoil Member

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    as mentioned here and many other places:
    Tesla's Unbelievable Model 3 Pre-Order Mirage: Be Careful What You Wish For

    7 good reasons why I'm not so surprised:
    1. Many geeks / people who love tech have lusted after the Model S for 3 years.
    2. It's been featured in thousands of business news stories far more than most companies their size.
    3. Youtube's of people's reaction time to the Model S doing 0-60 in circa 3 seconds have gone viral - with over 4 million viewings in the first week. If just 10% of those are adults with some disposable income... the result is pretty obvious.
    4. Has a CEO with a strong public image who's worshipped like Steve Jobs was. This gets him strong media / press attention. The only CEO / executive to be on 3 (arguably 4) companies that are worth / gone on to be worth a billion dollars garners a LOT of attention. The companies being (Paypal - is now, Tesla, Space X, Solar City).
    5. Has restrained production output (people know it'll be a slow ramp to 500,000 units. Although it's not speculation - people want to be first. Also the tax break is limited to 200,000 electric cars per manufacturer.
    6. Is affordable and economically sound. Cheap maintenance (electric). Cheap running cost (electric) clean.
    7. Doesn't look horrible. After all of the above - as long as they hadn't put out a butt-ugly car it was obvious for me it was going to be massive. It looks great. The only detractors seem to be 1. nose (people don't like it - and given Tweets might be re-designed) 15" panel - people ALSo want a driver instrument cluster (coming in 2nd unveil hopefully - afterall the steering wheel isnt final), a decent trunk opening space (Elon tweeted he'd look at making it larger - but said it won't be a S style hatchback).
     
  2. Lonnie123

    Lonnie123 Member

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    They just presold like 2-3x the amount of cars the company has made in total over the last 4 years in one day, and then like 4-5x the amount in a week. Not only that, but this isnt a $600 phone, its going to be a $45,000 + car when its all said and done (tax, title, license, delivery, and warranty even on the base model is going to be like $10k). Not to mention you arent even getting the product for (what will likely be) 3 years time.

    I'm sure they expected a nice turn out, but there was 500-800 people at certain locations, its pretty crazy

    Its one thing to speculate on how many people will show up, but its another thing entirely to see that many people actually plunk down $1,000.
     
  3. rnelsonee

    rnelsonee Member

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    There are plenty of prediction threads on here before the reveal that go over people's reasoning. One big reason for low numbers I think is that people need all of the following to reserve: $1,000 in cash to transfer away (cuts out half the population right there), can wait 1.5-3 years for a car (as in, they don't need one sooner, and are confident they'll need on then), *must* be flexible on delivery (got a lease ending in 2 years? Reserving a 3 is a terrible idea), must have access to charging (half the population gone again), and must think $35k-$45k is a reasonable price for car (lots of people cut out then). And, most importantly, must know about the Model 3. I didn't talk to a lot of people, but to those I did, not a single one of my friends/family knew about the reservation on 3/31.

    So I did see very few predictions >100k and that was my top end. But when I thought of reservations from the "top down" sense, specifically "For every Model S on the road, I bet there are X people who really want a Model 3 and can reserve", it changed. I figured X was 5, so on that note, I would have guessed 500k reservations in the first week, so who knows.
     
  4. BluestarE3

    BluestarE3 Active Member

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    I think everyone is surprised because there's no precedent for this in the auto industry. Long lines for a new phone or a fad toy, sure. But never for a big ticket item such as car, especially one that none of the initial 100K+ reservation placers standing in line had even seen pictures of yet.
     
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  5. calisnow

    calisnow Active Member

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    I don't think Elon is surprised - I think people who think he is genuinely surprised are rather gullible.
     
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  6. Frank Schwab

    Frank Schwab Member

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    I think they simply misunderstood how many people see perfection in the cars that Tesla is building.

    It would be hard to estimate numbers for registration to buy a car that won't even be shown for a year or more, for delivery in no less than 18 months and more likely 24 or more, with features that simply aren't known. You can't ask Tesla owners - they're so rabidly pro-Tesla that anyone with half a brain realizes that even talking to them skews your perception wildly. How do you trust your estimates of acceptance of the Model 3 when you've been talking to so many Model S owners?

    The only way would really be to canvas Tesla owners, and non-Tesla owners, and try to determine the expected ordering rate for each. It's possible, but a lot of work (and hence money), things that they probably have higher priorities on. And, they assumption was that it didn't really matter - they were probably pretty sure they'd get tens of thousands of preorders for this step, validating the market, and figured that if they got 100,000 orders two years in advanced they'd be able to cover the build.

    For me, there was no question. The engineer in me simply loves the package they put together with the Model S, and the "teething pains" it went through are no big deal for me. There is no other car on the road that solves my 70 mile a day commute problem and twice-a-year 350 mile each way visit-the-family problem so elegantly. The price I expect to pay is still going to be double what I paid for my current car, but I'm willing to pay that premium to join the club.
     
  7. Twiglett

    Twiglett Single pedal driver

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    Nobody expected it though, certainly nothing like the early reservation folks.
    I got to my local gallery 1.5 hours early, expecting to see maybe 10-20 people maximum - only to find 250 people already in line.
    There were over 400 there in the end.
    It was insane.
     
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  8. cpa

    cpa Member

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    A couple more thoughts:

    Charging BEVs is becoming easier each day. Anyone who has a garage has access to 110V/15A, so if their commute is 30-50 miles per day, they can easily charge overnight most of the time. More and more workplaces and shopping centers have 30A charging too. A lot of people will not miss ever going to a crummy gasoline station again. Home, workplace or convenience charging while shopping is much less time consuming, not to mention cleaner (no oil stains, no spills, etc.) My wife said that she never wants to stop at a gasoline station again, so the Model 3 cannot arrive soon enough for her. (She won't drive our S.)

    Less maintenance.

    I wonder what the age demographics is for all the pre-orders. We might discover that a higher-than-average percentage of prospective buyers are much younger than actual.
     
  9. BluestarE3

    BluestarE3 Active Member

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    While waiting for the store to open, I walked the line to see how long it was. The age spread of the crowd was quite diverse -- from hip millennials to retirees like me who don't even have a smartphone. That's what was most impressive to me -- that such a broad spectrum of people knew about Tesla Motors in general and the Model 3 reservation day in particular. Like Elon, I was expecting maybe a few dozen people waiting in line for the store opening. Boy, was I wrong! There were over a hundred already there two hours before the opening, and probably 250 or more by the time the store opened. It was like a tsunami -- totally unexpected and totally overwhelming.
     
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  10. Twiglett

    Twiglett Single pedal driver

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    The diversity is what struck me also - very refreshing :)
     
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  11. Scott Wilcox

    Scott Wilcox Member

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    I know people who are waiting now that they think they will miss the tax credit.

    I would guessing the PXXD version will be one of the fastest cars in a straight line and one of the best handling cars out there and cost less than a Prius for daily operations. Who would want something like that.......everyone.:cool:
     
  12. Sunlight

    Sunlight Member

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    I believe the people who were the MOST surprised (then shocked the dismayed) are the executives and shareholders of other car manufacturers especially the big 3 German ones.............

    A huge chunk of those orders will replace their products so how much revenue is that 'lost'?
     
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  13. BravoSarah

    BravoSarah Member

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    For obvious reasons, I don't think anyone who camped overnight was surprised. (I camped overnight!) :D
     
  14. ItsNotAboutTheMoney

    ItsNotAboutTheMoney Active Member

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    My reasoning wasn't so much about the total potential demand, which I figure to be in the _millions_, but that a combination of awareness, weariness and wariness around Tesla would limit the number of people who'd lay down money.

    Sometimes you hope to be wrong, oh, was I wrong.
     
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  15. malcolm

    malcolm Active Member

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    Technically Elon wasn't surprised that reservation numbers took off, but rather that they took off before Part 2 of the Reveal.

    Elon Musk on Twitter
     
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  16. BravoSarah

    BravoSarah Member

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    Makes me really wonder what they have in store for Part 2!
     
  17. Luke42

    Luke42 Member

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    #17 Luke42, Apr 13, 2016
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2016
    My personal guesses are:
    1. A HUD to replace th dashboard instrument cluster that was missing from the car during the reveal.
    2. A hatchback/wagon/CUV variant of the Model 3, possibly the Model Y.
    3. Details, details, details.

    That's my guess, though 2 may be wishful thinking on my part. But I've got a lot to do between now and 2017, so I'll wait patiently.

    If I were Elon Musk and was planning for Part 2 of the reveal, I'd expect a big increase in enthusiasm after showing those kind of things.
     
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  18. SageBrush

    SageBrush Active Member

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    I was mulling over the 2+ year wait time and wondered if, for at least part of the reservation group, it is actually a perceived advantage.
    • It lets people organize and plan the expense
    • It gives some continuity and sanity to the return a lease, choose another car merry go 'round
    • We get to choose our next car while the one we have still has some life in it, and we get time to sell a car if desired
    • It removes the stress of having choose *now.* For a refundable deposit we get the luxury of mulling over our purchase for two years.
    • We get to 'join the club' for a couple of dollars
    Admittedly, the Tesla is unlike other cars in that we think we are buying the future and we trust Tesla to wow us, but I find I like this future reservation process just fine. I'm surprised.
     
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  19. WarpedOne

    WarpedOne Supreme Premier

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    My guess: autopilot + "Tesla automatic Uber"
     
  20. igotzzoom

    igotzzoom Member

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    And makes me glad I put in my reservation when I did. I didn't camp out, but reserved night of the reveal. Plus I'm in CA. I know I'm going to see a few others on the road before I get mine, but hope I'll have it soon enough where I still get a few turned heads. :eek:
     

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