Posted on July 12, 2017 by Matt Pressman
The Tesla Model 3 is about to change everything. Bloomberg reports, "It’s finally here: The Model 3, Tesla’s $35,000 electric gamechanger. A single black Model 3 rolled off the production line Friday with a serial number all its own, kicking off a company-defining six months. The car will belong to Elon Musk, Tesla’s CEO and co-founder... Tesla has already taken in roughly half a billion dollars in Model 3 deposits, at $1,000 apiece, and its proposed ramp-up schedule would have it rivaling well-established U.S. market peers like BMW and Mercedes by year’s end."
Above: Tesla Model 3's mass market pricing will help accelerate the company's face-off with fossil fuel powered Big Auto (Image: Mediakix*)
The production ramp will start slowly. "Tesla plans to hand over the keys to 30 cars at a launch celebration on July 28. It then envisions building 100 cars—less than three a day—for the month of August, according to a series of Twitter posts by Musk last week. September will bring another 1,500 cars, and the ramp will build to a rate of 20,000 cars a month by December, Musk said. It’s an aggressive schedule that will more than double Tesla’s total production rate in six months, and then quintuple it by the end of next year."
How big an impact will this make in the auto industry? "If Tesla achieves all of Musk’s targets, it will build more battery-powered cars next year than all of the world’s automakers combined in 2016. U.S. sales under Musk’s 2018 targets would significantly outpace the BMW 3 Series and the Mercedes C-Class, the best-selling small luxury cars in the country."
Above: A look at Tesla Model 3 SN1 (Youtube: TehBestGamer505)
Nevertheless, challenges lie ahead. "The only thing standing between Tesla and being the world’s first mass-market electric carmaker is proving it can build, deliver, and service enormous numbers of these vehicles." To allay concerns regarding Tesla's ability to service so many new Model 3s, the company posted a new video (see below) to announce 100 new service centers, 350 additional service vans, and 1,400 new technicians.
Above: Tesla showcases its unique approach to service (Youtube: Tesla)
So now that we've finally laid eyes on the production Model 3, how is it different from Tesla's pre-alpha prototype? According to Electrek, " The most obvious change is the front end which appears sharper and not as flat as what was shown on the pre-alpha prototypes just over a year ago... [and] the rear bumper also appears to extend longer on the production unit than on the pre-alpha. Those changes appear to be aimed at better aerodynamic performance, which would make sense since CEO Elon Musk said that they were aiming to achieve a segment-leading drag coefficient of 0.21."
Above: Comparing the pre-alpha prototype with production SN1 (Source: Electrek)
Regardless of its good looks, Model 3 will surely reach a younger audience due to its lower price point. And, it's also attracting younger investors. According to CNBC, "As goes Silicon Valley, so goes millennials' money." It turns out that Tesla is one of Millennials' top five investments — placing #4 along with Apple, Facebook, Amazon, and Netflix according to TD Ameritrade. And, in the past six months, Tesla's stock (although volatile) has rocketed upwards on the promise of the company's new Model 3. For a deeper look at how the Model 3 has impacted the company, the auto industry, and Wall Street — check out the infographic from Mediakix* below.
*Infographic: Mediakix; Editor's note: Tesla [NASDAQ: TSLA] stock price changes daily and has experienced market volatility (to say the least) over the past few weeks/months. Therefore, data in this infographic reflects prior stock price based on past performance. Musk has also updated his Model 3 production forecast to include a 20,000 car run rate in December. In addition, although the infographic shows $0 spent on advertising, Tesla has since begun to spend only $6/car on advertising.