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The First European Customer Takes Delivery Of A Tesla Model 3!

The first European customer has taken delivery of his Tesla Model 3 today after what felt like an endless stream of delays since it was first announced nearly 3 years ago.

The first European customer has taken delivery of his Tesla Model 3 today after what felt like an endless stream of delays since it was first announced nearly 3 years ago.

Fred is from Oldenzaal in the Netherlands and has been a long-time supporter of Tesla, even going so far as to travel to the Tesla “mothership” at its automotive factory in Fremont, California, to lobby for the Netherlands.

The road to the Model 3 making it to Europe has been a struggle every step of the way and that pain continued up through yesterday, when Tesla had an extra day of delay stemming from issues getting the cars off the boat and out of the port. But those issues have been resolved and Tesla was able to get the cars onto trucks heading off to its service centers across western Europe for delivery to Tesla’s customers.

Thanks to impressive online tracking data for freighters, the ship carrying the first load of Tesla Model 3s overseas, the Glovis Captain, was followed every step of the way by interested parties from around the world, including multiple analyses of its cargo capacity, route to port, and estimated timing.

Note: If you have a Model 3, Model S, or Model X on the way (and the order was in before February 2), but you didn’t use a referral code for 6 months of free Supercharging (or 9 months if you didn’t test drive the car), then you can still use my referral code (kyle623) on the Tesla webpage where you ordered the car.

If you’re in Europe and have already placed your order without a referral code, you can send an email to buildmy3EMEA@tesla.com with the word “Referral” in the subject line to get one added. Just put your name, contact information, reservation number (starts with RN), and the referral code you’d like to use in the body of the email. (Thanks to Paul for discovering that.)

Moving forward, Tesla is scheduled to fill up a boat every couple days, with the first few expected to head towards Europe before sending a few on to customers in China. The first quarter of 2019 is a critical quarter for Tesla as it seeks to balance the number of vehicles it has floating on the high seas with quarterly revenues and profitability.

Putting too many cars out to sea at any given time leaves more than $150 million per boatload ($50,000/car × ~3,000 cars/shipment) off of the balance sheet for several weeks longer than it would take to get them to customers in North America. Couple that challenge with price cuts that the company has opened up in the last few weeks to open up the car to more buyers around the world and Tesla is facing a rough quarter, financially speaking.

On the demand side, however, Tesla continues to roll around in more demand than it can possibly sink its teeth into, as the company focuses its efforts on slicing off as many pennies per car as it can to realize its goal of delivering a $35,000 Standard Range Tesla Model 3. Building a Model 3 at that price point remains an elusive goal for the company, and as of the Q4 2018 earnings call, it won’t be available for at least 6 more months. That’s the same lead time for the Standard Range Model 3 that the company has stated for the last 6 months as it works to get the cost down.

Opening up its higher end configurations of the Tesla Model 3 to European and Chinese customers allows the company to continue building higher margin vehicles as it puts the finishing touches on the Standard Range vehicle. From all accounts, demand for the Model 3 continues unabated, with CEO Elon Musk saying on the Q4 2018 earnings call that he estimates global demand for the Model 3 to be around 700,000–800,000 vehicles per year.

 
 
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Written By

I'm a tech geek passionately in search of actionable ways to reduce the negative impact my life has on the planet, save money and reduce stress. Live intentionally, make conscious decisions, love more, act responsibly, play. The more you know, the less you need. As an activist investor, Kyle owns long term holdings in Tesla, Lightning eMotors, Arcimoto, and SolarEdge.

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