Tesla has just registered 26,275 Model 3 VINs in 2 batches, yesterday and today.
98% of those VINs are for dual-motor or all-wheel-drive units, and 72% of them are international. VIN registrations tend to run several weeks ahead of production, but have been used by Model 3 watchers to first estimate production and then gauge the mix of all-wheel-drive vs rear-wheel units being made.
Now, these VINs give us an idea of how Tesla is focusing of international demand. Tesla has a stockpile of US VINs, so the news doesn’t necessarily mean that 72% of production will be for the international market.
Before this batch of registration, Tesla’s highest total was 13,629 Model 3s registered at one time (all RWD). That was on October 25, 2018 (probably in preparation for making a batch of the newly announced Tesla Model 3 Mid Range). As you can see, this new batch is almost twice as large!
Giving some credit where it’s due, “Troy Teslike” predicted at the end of December that Tesla would acquire a gigantic batch of VINs this month. He also explains why you shouldn’t use Tesla VINs to try to estimate production and sales:
Europe or China?
Unfortunately, we can’t tell if Tesla is building these new cars for Europe or China, or most likely both. The Tesla bears always need something to worry about and one of their current versions of “the sky is falling” is that Tesla will foolishly build thousands of Model 3s and ship them to Europe before they get approval to sell them in Europe (called homologation). It is argued that this will cause Tesla to spend time and money to rework the cars and miss first quarter expectations.
Although this is certainly possible, Tesla said before the holidays that it expected approval soon after the holidays, or about now. In the next week, expect either an announcement that Tesla received final approval or expect to see more articles from the shorts that the sky is falling, or both.
Free Supercharging (for Europe & Maybe China)
As we reported a month ago, there was no easy way for Europeans to use a referral code to get 9 months of free supercharging at that time. When you try to use a regular link like https://ts.la/paul92237, it still brings a page that lets you order a Model S or X.
You need to send an email to buildmy3EMEA@tesla.com with the word “Referral” in the subject line. In the body of your email, include your name and contact information, the reservation number (starts with RN), and the referral code you’d like to use. Mine is paul92237 — or you can use someone else’s.
This is the method to use if you have already configured your Model 3, which is a workaround for Europeans until Tesla changes the website options. Note that it may take a few days for Tesla to update your order.
But what about those in China? Can they use it? If I was ordering a car in China, I would try using the same instructions, but email email@example.com instead.
It’s certainly good news that Tesla is registering so many VINs. It shows Tesla is planning to continue to produce Model 3s at a high volume and possibly even increase production, even though demand is usually soft in the first quarter and especially soft in the US after a big fourth quarter push and a small increase in the effective price when taking into account the reduction in tax credit and the reduction in price on all US Tesla vehicles.
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