Trevor, the founder of the Tesla Model 3 Owners Club, posted an update today with some of the production details and options at launch for the soon-to-be-released Tesla Model 3. He specifically noted that things are going to get moving very quickly and that it’s time to “hold onto your hats” because Model 3 is going to start rolling out fast and furious over the next few weeks.
[Editor’s Note: Note that this follows a history of bold rumors Trevor has picked up and presented as highly likely … rumors that played out and have given Trevor a quite reliable track record. Someone may be breaking their work contract or supplier NDA, but it seems to be a real human, not a nefarious prankster.]
A Simple Configurator
Trevor related that his insider shared a bit about the configurator, confirming that it would indeed only be offering a choice of color and wheel size. Elon Musk said as much in the recent annual shareholder meeting but it was not clear if those would be the only options. From this update, it appears that is the case. The sparse options would be in place for about the first 3 months until production is stabilized and begins to ramp up.
He confirmed that the configurator will show all options whether or not they are available along with the timing in which they are expected. That allows reservation holders to see how long they will have to wait for a must-have feature like a glass roof or all-wheel drive (AWD) before locking in the final order … or waiting another 6 months for it.
Survey results from our new EV report. Responses came from over 2,000 EV drivers across 26 European countries, 49 of 50 US states, and 9 Canadian provinces. Responses were segmented according to region — North America vs Europe — and type of electric car — plug-in hybrid vs Tesla vs non-Tesla fully electric car.
The simplification goes even further with the source confirming that only one interior option would be available at launch — black. The source shared that the interior is “very good” and that people are going to be happy with it. That’s an interesting comment given how polarizing the interior has been to date. Many technology-friendly people appreciate the simplification of the user interface with no gauge cluster, which speaks to the fully autonomous future of the vehicle, but it has similarly encountered a fair share of backlash.
— Julez (@JULEZ_91) June 13, 2017
— Tesla Owners Online (@Model3Owners) June 12, 2017
As no major changes to the layout of the dash are expected, this likely speaks more to fixing ergonomic and functionality issues from the Model S and Model X than about the polarizing look of the Model 3 interiors we have seen to date. Expect options like ergonomically accessible cupholders, more functional armrests, door pockets, a standard center console and the like. In typical Tesla fashion, I would not expect these to merely replace their legacy ancestors but would look for Tesla to level up the vehicle with them in a new way.
The wood trim on the dash was confirmed to be real wood — not fake. Though, the species of the wood was not confirmed. (Talk about getting into detailed questions!) This wood trim will allegedly be complemented by the alcantara on the door panels — though, as on the Model S and X, it will likely be offered only on higher-optioned vehicles and not available at launch.
Tesla has shared previously that production and deliveries will both start in July and the unnamed source has confirmed as much but with a new angle: production will start ASAP, with thousands of Model 3s rolling off the lines almost immediately for deliveries at the end of July.
This point confirms a rumor Trevor had also heard back in February and reinforces the importance of keeping production simple at first to ensure Tesla can ramp up as reliably and quickly as possible while maintaining high-quality builds. Not having to check an order sheet for every individual vehicle allows the production line workers, programmers, and quality assurance workers to focus on delivering their part of the process without being distracted by non-value add details. They can also get used to potential issues/bugs with a small number of options/variations before having to manage a more complicated range.
As production ramps up in the 4th quarter, options will likely be added into the mix, like the AWD option that Tesla CEO Elon Musk confirmed would arrive later this year or in the 1st quarter of 2018.
This is great news for all those who are looking for Tesla to succeed and for a successful Model 3 launch, but it may come as a downer for folks looking for higher-optioned vehicles this calendar year.
Tesla is still broadly expected to hold part 3 of the Model 3 unveiling in July, where it will hand over the first few deliveries to customers, reveal the final production version of the Model 3, and officially open the Model 3 configurator to the first few thousand reservation holders. The first few thousand reservation holders are expected to be Tesla and SpaceX employees, who were allowed to make reservations 2 weeks before the general public.
After employees, existing Tesla owners on the West Coast of the US are at the top of the queue. Other geographies, non-Tesla owners, and reservations placed later will be farther down the line — how much farther is practically impossible to predict until volume production is rolling or we get more precise information from Elon and crew. The exact method Tesla is using to balance these priorities has not been shared, but Tesla is expected to clarify this as part of the launch either as an overt statement or over time as reservation holders are invited to configure their vehicles. [Editor’s Note: Some of the underlying points are clear: employees are more committed to the company’s success and won’t negatively troll if their cars have bugs; early Tesla buyers and enthusiasts are in a similar boat (but not as directly tied to the company unless they’ve invested a lot of money into it as well … which many of us have); keeping deliveries near the factories and within one state (California) makes it easier to recall them if an issue pops up early in production (naturally, it would be a royal PITA if Tesla had Model 3 scattered across the US, Norway, China, Australia, etc., and discovered it needed to recall the first 100,000 Model 3s over a slight manufacturing issue). We just don’t have a good sense yet when exactly Tesla will decide it’s safe and logical to open up production for broader populations and more distant geographies.]
July is on track to be a historic month in automotive history, and for Tesla. The future is now!
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Source: Model 3 Owners Club