Tesla is continuing to see demand for its first mass market car, the Model 3, with an average of 1,800 new orders a day.
But on its quarterly earnings call, CEO Elon Musk revealed about 63,000 people have cancelled their Model 3 preorders. The number of orders went from approximately 518,000 to 455,000, Musk said.
“Those cancellations occurred over the course of more than a year,” Musk said on the call. “I think [these numbers] are inconsequential. With a small amount of effort we can easily drive the Model 3 reservation number to something much higher but there’s no point. It’s like if you’re a restaurant and you’re serving hamburgers and there’s like an hour and a half wait for hamburgers, do you really want to encourage more people to order more hamburgers?”
Still, those ordering Model 3s today will likely not receive their cars until the end of 2018 at the earliest.
Musk didn’t change its guidance on the production ramp of its mainstream vehicle, expecting to manufacture 5,000 Model 3 cars a week by the end of 2017.
Musk said he has no doubt that the company will be able to reach a production rate of 10,000 cars a week by sometime in 2018.
While Musk reiterated the difficulty of the next few months, he also said he’s never felt better about the company.
“When I said ‘manufacturing hell,’ I meant it,” he said on the call. “We know this, we signed up for it. Not blaming hell because we bought the ticket.
“This is maybe the best I've ever felt about Tesla, to be frank,” he continued.
Musk said the company has learned a great deal from the mistakes made with Model S and X production. For one, he said he overreached on the technology included in the first generation of its SUV, the Model X.
“We are very confident about costs [of Model 3 production],” he said.
“When we make mistakes it's because we're stupid, not because we’re trying to mislead anyone,” Musk continued. “We aspire to be less dumb over time."
The CEO, who splits his time among Tesla, SpaceX and now The Boring Company, also gave more information about the compact SUV the company expects to produce. Originally the car, tentatively called Model Y, was going to be built on an entirely new manufacturing platform. But Musk said there “will be significant carryover” from Model 3 production in order to bring the compact SUV to market faster.
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