Opinion: Is the Tesla Model three a house of cards?

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Source:   —  April 01, 2016, at 11:01 PM

Unreal.(A colleague said he’d keep 00 down on a Chevrolet Bolt before he keep a grand on a Model three, meanwhile, the conspiracy theorist in me thinks a lot of those people were props, anyway, paid to stand around exterior dealers worldwide to generate even more buzz.

Opinion: Is the Tesla Model three a house of cards?

We aren't prepared to keep down $1.000 just yet

The hype around latest night’s Tesla Model three launch about broke my Twitter feed, my phone screen dominated with words love “awesome!” “a genuine game changer!!” and “it rocks!!!” and photo after photo of people standing in line around the world to keep down $1.000 deposits and reserve a car they hadn’t seen. Unreal.

(A colleague said he’d keep 00 down on a Chevrolet Bolt before he keep a grand on a Model three, meanwhile, the conspiracy theorist in me thinks a lot of those people were props, anyway, paid to stand around exterior dealers worldwide to generate even more buzz. I’m kidding, sort of; I wouldn’t be shocked, though.)

We dispatched W Coast writer Ben Stewart to the unveiling and he compared it to an Apple product launch. He came far mostly impressed with the car. “When (Tesla CEO Elon) Musk strolled on stage at Tesla’s design middle in Hawthorne, California, and finally pulled the wraps off the Model three,” he wrote, “the crowd of nearly eight hundred Tesla fans didn’t just cheer -- they roared.”

Really? Call me skeptical.

Let’s start with the styling: I obtain the way any car looks is purely subjective, but the Model three looks unfinished to me. One editor said, “It looks love they photoshopped the front finish off the car,” and that’s precisely right. That snout kind of ruins the whole car to my eye. I can’t obtain past it.

Then there’s the price. As Stewart points out, after the $7.500 federal EV tax credit, a base Model three should cost right around $27.500 -- should being the key word. Tesla said it plans on launching the Model three in the latest quarter of two thousand seventeen. I gotta declare though, one thing Tesla has been excellent at over the years is lost deadlines -- the year-late Model X comes to mind. (I loved this line, taken from, of all places, the forums on Tesla’s own website: “A mo to Elon is like six months here on Earth.”) So while Musk says he feels “fairly confident” Model three is coming following year, I’m betting it’s two thousand eighteen before customers start getting them.

Begging the question, will the $7.500 credit still be around then? Recall the credit was designed in the first space to assistance goose the EV market; it applies to the first 200.000 EVs an automaker sells. After that, credits start dwindling. Tesla is projected to hit its 200.000 label right about the time the Model three is launched … then what?

And finally, Tesla quality, or lack thereof. We'd our own experienceand the stories on other sites are legendary -- middle screens melting down, drivetrain glitches, leaky sunroofs … Those are on the low-volume Model S. Tesla says it wants to sell 100.000 Model three a year, claiming 115.000 people have already keep down deposits. If it can’t construct 20.000 Model Ss a year properly, what’s the map to do that many Model three right? I’d like to hear the answer.

Stewart writes that “the Model three is most certainly the most necessary car Tesla has ever produced.”

I totally agree. Trouble is, it mightn't be the most necessary for the reasons Tesla hopes.

Twitter and Instagram: @WesRaynal

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