Tesla Model 3 Creates Feeding Frenzy At Tesla Stores In LA

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Nobody wants to buy an electric car! They are only 1% of the market! The infrastructure isn’t there! Sound familiar? Those are the constant refrains you hear from mainstream auto companies and dealers all the time.

How, then, to explain the frenzy that took place at two Tesla stores in California recently when the company put examples of its Model 3 midsize sedan on display? Lines out the door, people clamoring for a chance to sit in one, and an excited buzz that Brooke Crothers, a Forbes contributor, described as being just as frenetic as the launch of the iPhone X.

The cars Tesla put on display are the same ones it is building right now at its factory in Fremont, California — long-range, rear-wheel-drive cars with the premium interior upgrade and Autopilot. Those cars list for $49,000. Of course, list price is what people will pay for them, as Tesla has eliminated the joyful experience of haggling like rug merchants with dealers.

Instead of a traditional dealer network, Tesla likes to showcase its products at what are known as “stores” — traditional retail spaces in popular shopping malls where shoppers visit upscale retailers like Nordstrom. It’s no coincidence that there is often an Apple store nearby. A Model 3 is being featured now at the Stanford Shopping Center in Palo Alto and one at the Century City mall in Los Angeles (one of the locations Elon Musk himself popped into on reservation day).

If anyone was worried about “production hell” on the Model 3 assembly line, it didn’t seem to dampen the spirits of those waiting in line for a peek at the cars. A customer who orders a Model 3 today will have to be patient. There are approximately 400,000 people with reservations for one in line already. Tesla won’t begin building other versions of the car — ones with standard range or dual motors — for a year or more, according to all some reports.

For the doubters and naysayers out there, for the short sellers who expect Tesla to crash and burn in the coming months, the lines of people vying for a chance to actually touch and sit in a Model 3 should be a warning signal. The Model 3 may be the most sought after product in history. Who were those people standing in line at the Stanford Shopping Mall or Century City Mall this week? Were they naysayers or short sellers? Or were they excited future customers?

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Steve Hanley

Steve writes about the interface between technology and sustainability from his home in Florida or anywhere else The Force may lead him. He is proud to be "woke" and doesn't really give a damn why the glass broke. He believes passionately in what Socrates said 3000 years ago: "The secret to change is to focus all of your energy not on fighting the old but on building the new." You can follow him on Substack and LinkedIn but not on Fakebook or any social media platforms controlled by narcissistic yahoos.

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