The Tesla Model 3 might be the year’s hottest EV so far, but not everything has gone smoothly for the electric car company. As revealed by Tesla CEO Elon Musk during a recent quarterly earnings call, about 63,000 customers who reserved the vehicle over the past year have canceled their reservations.
Despite these figures, however, Musk remained unfazed, even providing a pretty unorthodox analogy to illustrate the rationale behind the Model 3 order cancellations. Overall, Musk revealed that the total number of Model 3 reservations reached about 518,000 during the past 12 months. This number, however, has dropped to around 455,000, with around 1,800 new orders being added every day, as noted by a Recode report.
During the recent quarterly earnings call, Musk stated that the 63,000 canceled Model 3 reservations are inconsequential to the overall picture. In classic Musk fashion, the Tesla CEO illustrated his point by using an unusual analogy involving fast food. Hamburgers, to be exact.
“Those cancellations occurred over the course of more than a year. 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?”
In a lot of ways, Musk’s statement does make sense. After all, over the past year, Tesla has been focusing largely on laying the groundwork for the Model 3’s mass production. With the company now ready to start producing the mass-market EV, and the fact that around 1,800 new Model 3 orders are processed on average every day, it would take only a little bit over a month to make up for the 63,000 canceled reservations, as noted in an Inc report.
Despite almost all the pieces already set in place for the Model 3’s mass production, Musk further stated that he was earnest when he described the next few months as “development hell.” Nevertheless, the Tesla CEO reiterated that he is confident his EV firm could keep up with consumer demand and ultimately meet its production goals.
“When I said ‘manufacturing hell,’ I meant it. We know this, we signed up for it. Not blaming hell because we bought the ticket. This is may be the best I’ve ever felt about Tesla, to be frank.”
The Tesla Model 3 is the third part of Elon Musk’s master plan, which was quietly set in motion almost 11 years ago. Musk’s master plan involved building a sports car, the Tesla Roadster, using the money from that to build a performance-grade consumer vehicle, the Tesla Model S and Model X, and using the earnings of those to manufacture a mass-market EV, the Tesla Model 3. If the Model 3’s consistent stream of orders are any indication, it appears that Elon Musk’s master plan is, well, going exactly according to plan.
[Featured Image by Tesla]