But can you be one of the first to drive it?
Telsa knew it had struck gold the moment it announced open preorders for the upcoming Model 3 sedan. The company received over $11 billion in preorders in less than a week, from people who hadn't even seen the car yet. We still don't know what the final design looks like, but interior spy shots left us a bit disappointed. Even worse, the people who preordered the car still have no idea when they will get their cars. In the meantime, Tesla hasn't been quiet about trying to get potential Model 3 buyers to switch to a more expensive Model S.
People who preordered the Model 3 may finally have something tangible to look forward to. According to Electreck, Tesla has started to reach out to preorder customers to let them know that test drives of the Model 3 will begin in late 2017. The message specifies that current reservation holders will be given priority to drive the new car and casually mentions that Model S and Model X test drives are available right now. We admire that Tesla is trying to sell its more expensive models using the lure of getting them right away, but people preordered the Model 3 because they were mystified by the prospect of a Tesla that was actually affordable for the masses. Tesla CEO Elon Musk actually has a word for this practice, "anti-selling."
Model 3 reservations already make up a year's worth of production, so Tesla is trying to alleviate some of the demand by converting people to a Model S or Model X. We think this could work if the Model S was even close to the same price as the Model 3. The Model S starts at $68,000, which is almost double what the Model 3 is rumored to start at. The only way Tesla is going to get out of this is if people are so disappointed by the final Model 3 that they simply cancel their preorder.