Reservations for the Tesla Model 3 continue to rise – despite Tesla's best efforts to 'antisell' it.
The Tesla Model 3 is the most important car in the electric automaker's line-up, set to bring EVs to the mass market as a more affordable alternative to the Model S when it enters production this summer. You wouldn't think that, however, after reading comments by CEO Elon Musk at a recent conference call. Despite reservations passing the 400,000 mark, Musk revealed that he's on a mission to "antisell" the Model 3. "We antisell the Model 3, but our net reservations continue to climb week after week," he said.
"No advertising, antiselling, nothing to test drive . . . still grows every week." While the lack of promotion for the Model 3 makes sense considering Tesla has managed to secure over 400,000 reservations without investing in any advertising, 'antiselling' the mass market EV seems like a strange strategy to some. However, Musk is trying to temper expectations for the Model 3, fearing that customers are perceiving it as a superior successor to the Model S when it's an entry-level EV positioned below it. "We're doing our best to clear up that confusion so people do not think that Model 3 is somehow superior to Model S," he said at the conference call.
"Model S will be better than Model 3, as it should be because it's a more expensive car." Tesla will be continuing its 'antiselling' strategy for the Model 3 for the next six to nine months. Car and Driver reports that Tesla sold 25,051 units of the Model S and Model X vehicles worldwide in the first quarter of the year, which is on track for the 100,000 annual global sales target for both models combined. While Tesla only produced 84,000 cars last year, it aims to produce 500,000 vehicles in 2018, with the aim to sell one-million cars in 2020 – a target which Musk said the company is "quite likely" to achieve. Of course, the success of the Model 3 will depend on Tesla's ability to meet the demand.
Initially, it plans to produce up to 5,000 Model 3 cars per week, which will double to 10,000 per week "at some point in 2018." 100 new retail, delivery, and service locations are also being opened in preparation of the Model 3's arrival, as well as new Tesla-owned body-repair shops. The Model 3 isn't the only new Tesla on the horizon, either. The entry-level sedan will be followed by the Model Y in late 2019 or 2020, a compact SUV which will ride on a different platform than the Model 3 to increase production, Musk revealed at the conference call. Then there's the Tesla semi-truck due to be revealed in September.
It won't be as complex to build as some have feared since it will be built mostly from Model 3 parts, including multiple Model 3 motors. While no details were shared about the mystery Tesla pickup, Musk hinted that it could come sooner than you think, suggesting that the semi-truck and pickup "are not going to be separated that widely in time."