Click here if you are having trouble viewing the gallery and video on your mobile device.
PALO ALTO – Tesla’s entry-level can not wait for production delays, but did not get excited at the first-ever appearance of the Model 3 in a Tesla Friday showroom at Stanford Shopping Center in Palo Alto.
The company opened the doors of its showroom in the ritzy mall at 10:00 am by a steady stream of people – Tesla’s bid to bring an electric vehicle to the mass market – and sit inside it.
Many people who showed up already had Model 3 reservations.
Pleasanton nuclear physicist Anuj Purwar had stood in line with hundreds of other people at the same showroom two years ago, to be in his order for the Model 3 – unseen sight – when Tesla started taking pre-orders.
Start your day with the Bay Area and beyond. Sign up for our new Morning Report weekday newsletter .
Since then, he’s caught sight of a few of the cars on the road, but “it’s very different to see it in the showroom,” he said.
“It actually looks bigger. It seems quite spacious, “Purwar said.
The Model 3 has suffered from production problems, and by putting it on display, Tesla is signaling that it’s approaching a strong production rate, analysts said, but also taking a risk ‘t yet have.
For James Bentajado, a 27-year-old nurse from Milpitas, the effect was somewhat different. “There have been too many delays,” he said, and the “magic” of the Model 3 was starting to fade for him.
“Now I got to sit in the car – that has brought my momentum back. I’m totally going to continue waiting for Model 3, “he said.
A long-time Tesla fan, Bentajado only started envisioning himself owning one after company CEO Elon Musk revealed plans for the relatively affordable Model 3, which starts at $ 35,000.
“That really piqued my interest in getting a Model 3,” Bentajado said.
Annelies Lindemans, 47, of San Jose, a Tesla Model 3 reservation holder, adjusts the mirror on a display model of the car at the electric sedan’s first appearance in a Tesla showroom, on Friday, Jan. 12 at Stanford Shopping Center in Palo Alto, Calif. (Ethan Baron / Bay Area News Group) Though the Model 3 on display – indefinitely, a part of a gradual rollout in the United States – Tesla store in Los Angeles – was dark gray, and San Jose human resources professional Annelies Lindemans is waiting for the red one she put a $ 1,000 deposit on, she, too, was eager to see it on display, as she’s “slightly obsessed” with the car.
“I’ve counted 21 on the roads. I’ve seen every color. I will stay excited until I finally get my car, “said Lindemans, 47.
Tesla, which has been plagued by production with every model of electric vehicle, has two advertised holdups in Model 3 manufacturing, and most recently set its sights on 5,000 cars. Anyone ordering a Model will now be received in 12 to 18 months, according to Tesla.
Tesla’s public statements are almost half million Model 3s have been reserved.
“You would like to think that the reason they’re putting it into showrooms is they think they’re going to dramatically increase the production rate,” said CFRA analyst Efraim Levy. “It’s hard to tell if they’re really ready for that.”
Tesla “to stoke demand for when they get their production optimized,” Levy said. “People who do not have reservations yet, when they see something in the dealership, that will stimulate additional orders.”
With a $ 50,000 premium version of the Model 3 in the mall showroom, Tesla has an opportunity to up-sell reservists who have not yet decided which add-ons they want, Levy said, such as the long-range battery 310-mile range compared to 210 miles for the basic car.
“When you give someone a chance, it creates additional demand for those features,” Levy said.
Tesla is producing a premium version first, and will invite reservation holders who want the standard to make that selection early this year, according to the company.
Still, Model 3 reservation holders impatient with the delays may find the showroom displays aggravating, Levy said.
“You can increase frustration for people not getting their vehicles – they see it and now they do not have it,” he said.
But exceptionally irritated would-be Model 3 owners are likely not a big worry for Tesla, said Karl Brauer, executive publisher for Blue Book Kelley and Autotrader.
There are three kinds of people, Brauer said: the majority, who have no interest in the cars; a much smaller group of hard-core fans; and a tiny number of people who have a Model 3 and are upset by the delays. The fans will accept the holdups, and the number of disenchanted people is probably so small to be inconsequential for the company, Brauer said.
However, if Musk is going to deliver on its promise to bring an electric vehicle to the masses, Tesla will have to make up Model 3s a year, Brauer said.
“I do not know how long he can continue to tell us he’ll have … high-volume production capabilities without actually having them,” Brauer said. “That may be OK with some of his customers. But you have Wall Street and investors watching as well. “