Tesla made big headlines when over half a million people reserved the Model 3. Predictions were that most of those orders would be canceled before the cars have been delivered. Green Car Reports learned from Tesla that so far, 60,000 orders have been canceled. The reality is, most orders won’t be fulfilled until 2018. That gives plenty of time for more cancellations.
Investors are worried, because the California automaker burned through tons of cash developing the Model 3. But it’s no big deal if it posts huge sales figures, right?
That’s the problem. Several big problems could make the Model 3 anything but a runaway hit. First and foremost is the price. Sure, you can theoretically get one for $35,000. The reality is if you want a paint color other than black, plus other amenities, the price rockets to $43,000 or more in no time. That’s hardly a vehicle for the people, which was supposed to be the whole point of the Model 3.
Critics are also pointing out that the Model 3 is a sedan. Yes, that’s very astute, I know. But vehicle shoppers don’t want sedans. It’s almost like Tesla didn’t do market research, because it should’ve led with the Model Y, the small crossover. We’re probably a couple years away from that hitting the market, which is when many other electric SUVs will arrive.
Tesla fanboys will balk at these objections. But the production ramp-up Elon Musk revealed would be the sharpest and most dramatic in automotive history. The necessary elements for that to come together don’t seem to be present.