Hooniverse Asks: Office Pool- When Do You Think Tesla Will Deliver Its First Model 3?

Model 3
We all know that the Tesla Model 3 is the new iPhone in that everybody who’s somebody is going to want one. The last time I looked, the company had nearly half a million preorders for the car, and it’s supposed to start getting into the hands of those first lucky owners in late 2017.
Here’s the thing though. The Model 3 is Tesla’s fourth product and all three of its predecessors have missed their target launch dates. Not only that but the Model 3 represents not just a new product, but, according to Tesla founder and horrible public speaker Elon Musk, a new way of building cars. At least at his company.
To help, last week Tesla lured away from Audi production czar Peter Hochholdinger to head the electric car company’s production planning. That’s all well and good, but it opens up the door to us to try and figure when exactly they will actually start deliveries. What do you think, will Tesla meet their late 2017 deadline? Or maybe not? What year and month do you predict will see the first Model 3s go silently rolling off the assembly line?
Image: Tesla Motors

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  1. Maymar Avatar

    Before I buy my next daily driver, which is really all that matters to me. I figure it’ll be about two years before I really start seeing them on the road (plenty of Model S’s around here, but I think the only Model X’s I’ve seen were in Phoenix).

    1. kogashiwa Avatar

      Same, pretty much. There’s no (or is there one?) Superchargers in Manitoba anyway, so by the time they’re in full production – and after a year or so of it to work out bugs – I’d expect there would be more infrastructure as well, so, timing could work out well for me.
      But just to put a number: first keys in the mitt of the first owner (wait do these things even have keys?) in May 2018.

      1. Maymar Avatar

        How do you feel about driving to Brainerd, MN to charge? Looks like that’s the closest Supercharger to Manitoba.

        1. kogashiwa Avatar

          Think I’m going to need a bit more practical option than that, since I’d be out of juice before I got there 🙂

  2. Sjalabais Avatar

    I feel like disputing that half-a-million-preorders number. Can’t really believe it – coincidentally, that’s about one year’s worth of Volvos. Then again, waiting in line for an overpriced, unreliable phone just goes way over my head, too, so who knows what drives people to preorder non-existing cars.
    People are excited, but delivering the vehicle in about 18 months, with new hires now, seems overly ambitious. I have no clue how far in the process they have come though, so I’m surely not qualified to guess.

    1. Alff Avatar

      I’ve seen 400K preorders quoted elsewhere.

      1. Sjalabais Avatar

        Me, too. Still an unfathomable number. In the US, there are about 125 million households, so every 312th could have placed an order. Do they really get big numbers outside of the US? Norwegian subsidies appear to run out soon, so another #1 sell in tiny Norway doesn’t seem likely.

    2. wunno sev Avatar
      wunno sev

      it’s 400k $1000 preorders that are fully refundable. really it’s just a loan that you get to exchange later for a chance to buy a Model 3 before anyone else. Tesla gets to keep the interest on your loan if you decide you’re no longer interested in the car by the time it comes out.
      i fully expect a large number of prospective buyers to back out, and that’ll probably be just fine with Tesla.

  3. engineerd Avatar

    My prediction is it will be late 2018. Call it September. By then, roughly half of the people who signed up for a pre-order will forgo the $1000 deposit and buy something else. Maybe a Fusion. This will be problematic for Tesla’s production plans.

  4. smalleyxb122 Avatar

    If Elon & Co. can abandon making shit difficult for the sake of being different (see 1-piece glass roof), they still have a chance of hitting the 4th quarter 2017 for first consumer delivery. They know what they are doing with electric propulsion. The Model 3 isn’t breaking any new ground aside from cost.
    But…this is still Elon Musk and it’s going to be at least a year after the projection before the first realcustomer car is delivered. They may sell a few pre-production units to family members to technically meet their promised delivery date, but the first car that is built on the real production line won’t be delivered until at least 4th qtr 2018 (maybe September to just sneak into the 3rd qtr, so that it is “less than a year” late).
    Official guess for official delivery of official production: Wednesday, September 26, 2018.

  5. Alff Avatar

    April 19, 2018.

    1. Sjalabais Avatar

      April 1st?

  6. GTXcellent Avatar

    Two thousand and never?
    Well, maybe sometime in 2019-20, but it’ll twice as expensive as promised
    (why yes, I am bitter and disappointed about being told of an expected delivery date, only to see that date go by and be kept waiting with no new word or update. Does it show?)

  7. Kyle Allen Avatar

    Hopefully never. Hoping the go belly up before

    1. Sjalabais Avatar


    2. hearsetrax Avatar

      I’ve said it b4 : ” that I figure that the model 3 will be the sword Mr Elon will impale himself on ”
      making promises that could happen, but then maybe on that same day people of all types will learn to get along

  8. neight428 Avatar

    I can’t decide how I feel about anything Tesla does. I want to like them and hate them at the same time but can’t decide to actually do either. It’s interesting product, but cars in that price range always are. They’re cashing in on the noble cause/business/racket continuum of whatever stage commoditized/politicized “green” movement has become. I find the whole notion rather tiresome, but without it, Tesla certainly wouldn’t exist along with Musk’s entire business model.

    1. Lokki Avatar

      I have to agree that Tesla’s business model seems to be built on a combination of virtue-signaling and industry-level government subsidies. With the price of gasoline and the cost of putting a charger in one’s garage, the idea of actually saving any money on fuel seems fanciful. Saving the planet with a couple hundred thousand cars among 16 million sold annually in the U.S. alone also seems optimistic. Still they’re a cool toy and I wouldn’t mind leasing one. Yet, I wonder how well this business model makes the leap from cool niche toy to practical family car choice. I also wonder what happens if Tesla really manages to sell 200,000 or so of the Model 3. That creates a huge demand for service and repair services. Are they ready for the backside of the business? Finally I wonder about the depreciation of a used Model 3. Does one uninstall the garage supercharger et al and stuff it in the trunk for trade in or does the used-buyer pay full ticket for one from Tesla?
      Wandering back to the original question though, I find it a bit worrying that they’re only bringing in a ‘real’ production guy this late in the game. Either a lot of assembly line flow decisions are already baked in and will have to be lived with unless changed at great expense and lost time, or nothing has been been built yet, which is cheaper, but suggests that there not a snowshoe’s chance in Heaven that they can have the assembly line up and running in a year. Every system with more than one moving part requires some adjustments, and the number of moving parts in an automated automotive assembly line boggles the mind.
      My bet is for a few ‘face-savers’ for press reviews in June 2018 and mid-April 2019, before the first ‘regular citizen’ gets a car.

  9. njhoon Avatar

    about six months before Hyperloop starts to do test runs.

  10. Kyle Allen Avatar

    I hate Bougie cars that these tree huggers own. Tesla and every Hybrid on the planet. Love the people who drive these thinking they are actually making a difference. People are just plain gullible now a days. Not to mention, they are some of the ugliest cars ever produced. And a SUV with stupid rear doors are just stupid. GO AWAY ELON!!! FAR FAR FAR AWAY

    1. Maymar Avatar

      Hey, at least Elon is trying to make stupidly quick electric cars that you buy for reasons beyond saving the Peruvian Wailing Fruitbat
      . You’re hardly a joyless ecoweenie if you’re using Ludicrous mode.

  11. Rover 1 Avatar
    Rover 1

    Top marks to Tesla for reprising the Renault Caravelle front styling. All they need do as an extra is offer the chrome bumper as an option.

    1. Vairship Avatar

      And the “spare tire behind the front license plate”!

  12. Andrew Netherton Avatar
    Andrew Netherton

    I happen to have a pool for this very question going… care to add your answers there?

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