By: Andy Moylan, Senior Project Director
It’s no secret that Tesla received more orders for the Model 3 than anticipated on the first day. According to Tesla, the current reservation count is around 373,000 for this premium-brand’s EV that can travel 210 miles on a charge, especially considering the largely attainable base price of $35,000.
Some of our Morpace MyDrivingPower community members placed a $1,000 deposit on a Tesla Model 3, so we wanted to hear more on what these influencers thought of the introduction and the deposit experience.
As unique as the Tesla Model 3 is, so was its introduction…for an automotive product, that is. The unveiling created a high-tech and energetic atmosphere that was more reminiscent of a technology product than that of an automobile. This was more than a car on a stage with the drape pulled off, followed by a series of conventional speeches. MyDrivingPower members referenced similarities to Apple including comparisons between Elon Musk and Steve Jobs in terms of their presentation styles, and they don’t believe any other automotive manufacturer could generate this kind of buzz.
“Clever PR getting the community excited and speculating, feels like Apple in the old days when Steve Jobs would come on stage and do the ‘oh and one more thing’.”
“The introduction process was very Silicon Valley; it was far more fun and genuine than the typical unveilings at auto shows.”
Tesla did something that positively no other automaker could execute with such fanfare. Tesla enjoys a brand halo that no others can seem to match. They have a hardcore fan base that admires their dedication to electric vehicles—there are no internal combustion engines in the line-up, not even as a backup. The large, tablet-like touch screen in the center of the dashboard (complimented by a rumored high-tech Heads Up Display), advanced battery technology, a proliferating supercharging network, and the Autopilot feature speaks more high-tech than any other brand.
“No one else builds or supports cars the way Tesla does (supercharging, styling, performance, updates and ownership experience).”
All of the initial orders provided Tesla with a substantial cash infusion to continue the development and launch of the Model 3. Some MyDrivingPower members recognize that they are essentially loaning Tesla the funds necessary to bring this vehicle to market.
“I had no problem loaning Tesla a grand for however long it takes to deliver the Model 3.”
“I am eager to support what they’ve created and break free from the traditional automakers.”
Tesla offered online ordering as well as taking in-person orders at Tesla stores. Most of the community members went to their nearest Tesla store (in some cases, a 90 minute drive one way) and stood in line for hours. Despite the long wait, they enjoyed the camaraderie with other EV enthusiasts and felt like they were part of something historical. Placing a deposit at the store also gave some a feeling of confirmation because they delivered it to an actual Tesla employee. Those that ordered online preferred to avoid the lines and placed the deposit from the comfort of their homes.
“I needed an early Model 3 to minimize my time without a car in that gap between my lease expiration and when I take delivery of the Tesla. This is why I waited in line to secure the earliest possible reservation number.”
“As a current owner, I was invited to put my name into a lottery for a ticket to the announcement, but after hearing horror stories about the last one, I decided to pass and watch it at home. I simply went to the website at 7:30 and entered my order without a hitch.”
So why would members be willing to put down a deposit for a car with a design and a feature list that is not yet finalized? Because there is a level of trust, based primarily on the design, performance, and safety associated with previous models—notably, the larger Model S. Members are confident that these traits will carry over to the Model 3.
“The reason I chose Tesla so far is because I know they have a history of producing beautiful cars with a lot of tech packed into them. They also believe in the future of their cars with constant software updates.”
“Based on my co-workers’ experience who have the Model S and my brief exposure to driving that car, coupled with Tesla’s commitment to the success of BEVs, I’m all in.”
So, the deposits are in. But, how long do they plan to wait for their vehicle? Will they take the base vehicle offered, or build up their future car with additional features or options? There is more to come as we continue the conversation with our community.