The holdup and lack of updates is causing some reservation holders to jump ship.
Tesla’s handover party, where it will hand the keys of the first 30 Model 3 sedans to early customers, is set to take place this Friday and Model 3 reservation holders around the world couldn't be happier. They are eagerly waiting to see if Musk will give them any news on their entry-level electric cars because as it seems, Tesla hasn’t given any Model 3 reservation holders an update on the status of their cars, when they can start to spec them out, and when full payment must be delivered.
A report by Bloomberg finds that many of these customers are anxious at the radio static. Tesla said information would be released at the handover party where Musk will announce progress and could even give definitive delivery dates, but some owners can't wait and are backing out entirely, cancelling their orders and getting a full refund on the $1,000 deposit. While patience could be a virtue for reservation holders, that’s not the case for all. Current federal tax credits favor those who got onto the reservation list earlier as it only provides the $7,500 tax credit for the first 200,000 cars an automaker sells. With 372,000 people holding reservations as of last Spring, the tax credit is bound to run out somewhere during Model 3 production.
It would be in Musk’s best interest to find a way to order the reservations in a way that’s optimal. At current, the order in which reservation holders will get their cars is staggered, with Tesla employees going first, followed by current Tesla owners, and finally filing in the rest with Model 3s sent to preorder holders on the east and west coast. Additionally, Tesla will produce base trims of the Model 3 first before moving onto more feature-heavy cars. Considering these variables, Tesla needs to figure out how to cater to its loyal customers while also getting customers new to the brand on board—especially those that could benefit most from the tax incentive—and after that, order Model 3 deliveries by selected packages and options. Good luck sorting that by Friday.