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Tesla Model 3 Release Date: What Can I Expect For A Deposit Today?

Tesla Model 3 TSLA Autopilot NASDAQ:TSLA

Tesla Inc is charging ahead with the Model 3. The $35,000 electric car is likely to be a best seller in the year ahead. It’s going to be a hot commodity and a major status symbol. Demand is greatly outstripping the forecasted supply however, and those just learning about the car are wondering when they might find Model 3 in their driveways?

Tesla Inc Model 3 Deliver Date
Source: Tesla Motors

For the time being at least, those that pay a Model 3 deposit can only make an educated guess. Tesla has never been one to stick to its own schedule. On top of that the firm isn’t the most transparent about its production. That leaves us with a lot of known unknowns. Given the firm’s past production problems there’s also a myriad of unknown unknowns weighing on any guess.

When is the Tesla Model 3 release date?

Tesla Inc won’t be able to deliver a Model 3 to everyone who wants one. That’s because the firm’s production is very constrained, at least to start with. If you’re a Tesla employee, you might be lucky enough to get your hands on the car in July or August. If you’re one of the unlucky 7 billion, however, you could be waiting a long time for your Model 3 release date.

Here’s what we do know: Tesla Inc will let you know it’s building your car about 6 weeks before delivery. The firm will send you on a VIN number and ask you to confirm your order. That should give you enough time to secure financing for the car.

With a Model 3 deposit today when will my car arrive?

Tesla is very ambitious with its delivery targets, and the firm has almost never met its own schedule in the past. That means it’s important to have realistic expectations for your personal Model 3 delivery date. If you go to the Tesla web site right now and look to put down a deposit, you will see a line that says : “Delivery estimate for new reservations is mid 2018 or later.”

It’s the “or later” part of that phrase that you should be thinking about before handing over $1,000. That’s a major mystery to everyone. At this stage even those who work in Tesla probably don’t know what that means. They’ll be monitoring the progress of the builds as the pass through. From that they’ll try to make the dates more accurate.

Some Model 3 release date drivers

Although we don’t know when Tesla Inc will set the Model 3 delivery date for deposits made today, you can make a better guess than the “or later” the firm currently leaves buyers with. If you’re going to put down a Model 3 deposit, here’s a few things to keep in mind that will help you make that calculation.

You’re number 400,000+: Tesla has already locked in 400,000 reservations for the firm’s affordable EV. If you book today you’re likely going to end up at the very end of that queue.

Expect a slow start: Tesla’s latest 10-Q gives the firm’s estimate for production. It says it can reach “5,000 vehicles per week at some point in 2017 and to 10,000 vehicles per week at some point in 2018.” People on Wall Street seem to think that’s an optimistic forecast.

Tesla only has one factory: Right now Tesla Motors builds about 2,000 cars per week. If it manages to add 8,000 per week Model 3 builds, its factory in Fremont will be bursting at the seams. If it started doing that today, something that’s not very likely, it would have worked through the backlog only by the middle of next year.

Geography matters: Tesla may be willing to ship its first builds to addresses closest to its Fremont factory. This seems to be certainly true to start with, but will likely get less important as time goes on. That said if you want to put down a deposit in Dubai or Switzerland don’t expect to see your Model 3 delivery any time soon.

What else can go wrong?

Things go wrong at Tesla Inc : Elon Musk’s firm has never found a deadline it couldn’t stretch, skew, or downright break. Don’t expect that to change with the Model 3, the firm’s biggest product to date.

What’s the likely Model 3 delivery date? Given the real production constraints, and the Tesla-centric problems, don’t expect to get your Model 3 before the end of 2018 if you put down a deposit today. Early in 2019 is a conservative date you can likely use to make a good decision. Beware, however, that nobody really knows what’s going on at Tesla. Things at the firm have been known to change very quickly.

Model 3 delivery date advice

There is always the chance that something will go wrong with the Model 3 release date schedule. That means there’s quite a lot of people who should take a wait-and-see approach. If you really need a new car, a Tesla Model 3 just isn’t for you. Putting down a deposit today will result in nothing but the promise of future delivery. That’s not good enough for people who need a replacement soon.

There’s a lot to be excited when it comes to the Model 3, but there’s also a lot to be skeptical about. If you want the Model 3 to be the car you rely on every day, you may be better off waiting until Tesla Inc ramps up production. If you don’t you risk being at the bottom of the list for the next couple of years.

Once Tesla Motors has ramped production up above 5,000 the firm’s path will become more predictable. Those for whom the Model 3 deposit is a truly big risk should probably wait for the firm to hit that milestone before buying in.

Investors bet on Tesla Inc boom

Tesla Inc stock has been booming in the run up to the Model 3 delivery date. It’s important for buyers to not read too much into that, however. Traders haven’t really cared about the delay in deliveries in the past. Wall Street firms have been ready to forgive Tesla’s many sins as it heads toward a bright future.

Tesla stock has risen by almost 75 percent since the start of the years. Traders are focused on two things: scalability of production and gross margin. Delivery dates are certainly connected to the first, but not to the second. What Wall Street is really looking for, at first, is a great product.

If you’re thinking about giving Elon Musk a $1000 loan in order to secure an “or later” Model 3, you already believe it’s going to be a great product. Use skepticism and realism when thinking about the delivery date and you’re not going to run into any problem. The future, if Wall Street and Elon Musk are right, is bound to be electric. If you put down a Model 3 deposit today, you’re going to be part of that future sooner rather than later, so what does a couple of months delay really matter?

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