It's more than you think.
In transforming itself from a disruptor into a full-fledged manufacturer of automobiles, Tesla has had to clear a long run of hurdles. And one of them is inventory. American new-car shoppers are more accustomed to buying off the lot, after all, than special-ordering their next ride. But the electric-automaker appears to be handling that particular challenge, too.
As 2018 was winding to a close, Electrek reported that Tesla had some 3,300 examples of the Model 3 on standby, ready to be purchased. That apparently works out to about half a week's worth of production.
More to the point, it goes to show that Musk and company can keep ahead of demand – which is not something it was able to do just a few months ago as manufacturing trouble saw it falling far behind its targets.
The overstock may not be a simple matter of keeping up with the market, though. Tesla was expecting a surge in demand as federal tax credits for its electric vehicles were due to expire at the end of the year, making a Model 3 about $7,500 more expensive in 2019 than it was in 2018.
It may be too early to say whether that bump in demand ended up clearing out a significant part of Tesla's inventory. But more interesting than the company's ability to ramp up production will be to see how the drop in tax credits will affect its sales in the coming years.
With the Model S, Model X, and Model 3 now in full production, Tesla plans on expanding its lineup with further models like the new Roadster, the Model Y crossover, the Semi truck, and an electric pickup that we're expecting to follow in the near future.