AWD , Short Range, and non-premium availability speculation.

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#1
I've been giving some thought to AWD and short range timing and the more i do, the more i think we won't see AWD or SR till possibly 2019, or maybe even longer. Here's why.

1.) Tesla needs to sell model 3's... as many as possible, as soon as possible.

Which means they need to focus on improving the current production line speed..Until they run out of ability to sell LR RWD....or they can't improve the speed of the line.. they need to just keep the line pumping cars out the door and spend the minimum time with any part of it offline. We already hear max speed won't be achieved till July.

Considering they haven't yet even offered configuration outside previous owners.. to see if they want LR RWD.. there's clearly no shortage of LR RWD sales to fill. Why would they stop producing 100 LR RWD Premiums for a day only to add the ability to sell 100 SR or AWD or non-premiums with less margin. Absolutely no way.

* In the Short Range case... if they ever really have a battery material shortage.. we might see SR before all the LR buyers are satisfied...
* Maybe when the battery pack production line can operate faster than the rest of the line and can make SR packs without slowing down LR deliveries... and assuming a shipment of SR packs can simply insert into the rest of the line the same as the LR packs.. then SR may appear...

* AWD, again, until the chassis & drive lines are significantly faster than every other part of the line.. they won't risk taking time out from putting cars out the door. I'm assuming AWD touches more parts of the line than bigger or smaller battery packs.. so this could be a really really long time.

* Non-Premium trim. Don't hold your breath . LR and AWD are primarily giga-factory products.. not so with premium trim changes. There's so many things bundled into premium.. so many parts of the production line and logistics involved..... I wouldn't expect to see non-premium on the current production line unless they really start running out of sales for premium trim ... or have to take downtime due to some other reason like battery line, suppliers,.. or overstocked inventory. That means.. we're probably waiting for the fabled 2nd production line before we see an actual $35,000 car.

When will I get my configuration email so i can choose Premium LR RWD? One factor i hadn't previously considered. At some point their production speed may exceed the speed local delivery centers can process paperwork and remove cars from the lot. When that happens it makes sense for them to extend deliveries more significantly across the US to spread out the delivery pressure. .. outside the country though... it's looking like a longer and longer wait. There's no economic pressure for Tesla to export a model 3 when there's demand in the US isn't reducing, and supply rate is looking to be a year behind schedule. Demand isn't likely to decrease much for the $59,000 version. .. demand may decrease for the 35,000 version with more OEM's jumping into the affordable competition.. but sadly that's just another reason for them not to hurry to offer the base model.

Too pessimistic? As sad as it makes me, I'm actually hoping Tesla puts the maximum number of cars on the road and secures a strong company future.. even if it means my base model 3 may be mostly obsolete by the time it's available in my local.

Very curious to hear anyone with more automotive production experiences thoughts on the interplay between different parts of the line. and the operational costs around adding variants.
 
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Michael Russo

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#3
On which aspect do you believe your Model 3 would become obsolete? I'd rather think that the model 3 will age pretty well and get constant updates to stay on the edge...
Great points and it's a good thing for all of us who are likely to have waited three years for their car from reservation to delivery date... ;)

This is almost the model change cycle for some ICE carmakers.. (every time I write these words, I always want to write ICE makers then think better of it... :D)

By the way, 'félicitations pour ce premier message, Bouboune'!!
Where are you in France?
 

Bouboune

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#4
Merci beaucoup Michael!

I'm located in the center of France, in the Loire Valley, not far from Chambord castle... but quite far from the Model 3 delivery centers at the moment...:(
 

Defjukie

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#5
Thoughtful post, fair points all around.

The one point I am not so sure about is the actual level of demand for the tricked-out "first production" version. They are currently producing the car at a snail's pace (only ~2-3k produced total, by all accounts), yet they've already seemingly made a sizeable dent in the employee & current owner groups (as suggested by the fact that they're already inviting owners nationwide).

It's a reasonable assumption, to my feeble mind at least, that the demand for this fully-optioned model will be even lower among the "non-owner" group. The group they're servicing now, after all, has already demonstrated they are willing to pony up $70k+ for a car.

All this is to say, if they get production up to speed soon-ish, they might find themselves at the end of the reservation list relatively sooner than we all expect, if they're only looking to sell the $60k version of this car.
 

Sandy

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#6
Thoughtful post, fair points all around.

The one point I am not so sure about is the actual level of demand for the tricked-out "first production" version. They are currently producing the car at a snail's pace (only ~2-3k produced total, by all accounts), yet they've already seemingly made a sizeable dent in the employee & current owner groups (as suggested by the fact that they're already inviting owners nationwide).
VIN from a week ago:

0bc3bade-75da-44ab-9274-0ed82bb49b8d-jpeg.5074
 

Sandy

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#8
The one point I am not so sure about is the actual level of demand for the tricked-out "first production" version. It's a reasonable assumption, to my feeble mind at least, that the demand for this fully-optioned model will be even lower among the "non-owner" group. The group they're servicing now, after all, has already demonstrated they are willing to pony up $70k+ for a car.
I completely agree with this. The most important variant of the 3 may well be the $35k base version. In my opinion a great car for that money. The current offering gives Tesla margin. The base offering will give them volume. Both important but survival will depend on volume with a positive margin.
 

voip-ninja

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#9
I've been giving some thought to AWD and short range timing and the more i do, the more i think we won't see AWD or SR till possibly 2019, or maybe even longer. Here's why.

1.) Tesla needs to sell model 3's... as many as possible, as soon as possible.

Which means they need to focus on improving the current production line speed..Until they run out of ability to sell LR RWD....or they can't improve the speed of the line.. they need to just keep the line pumping cars out the door and spend the minimum time with any part of it offline. We already hear max speed won't be achieved till July.

Considering they haven't yet even offered configuration outside previous owners.. to see if they want LR RWD.. there's clearly no shortage of LR RWD sales to fill. Why would they stop producing 100 LR RWD Premiums for a day only to add the ability to sell 100 SR or AWD or non-premiums with less margin. Absolutely no way.

* In the Short Range case... if they ever really have a battery material shortage.. we might see SR before all the LR buyers are satisfied...
* Maybe when the battery pack production line can operate faster than the rest of the line and can make SR packs without slowing down LR deliveries... and assuming a shipment of SR packs can simply insert into the rest of the line the same as the LR packs.. then SR may appear...

* AWD, again, until the chassis & drive lines are significantly faster than every other part of the line.. they won't risk taking time out from putting cars out the door. I'm assuming AWD touches more parts of the line than bigger or smaller battery packs.. so this could be a really really long time.

* Non-Premium trim. Don't hold your breath . LR and AWD are primarily giga-factory products.. not so with premium trim changes. There's so many things bundled into premium.. so many parts of the production line and logistics involved..... I wouldn't expect to see non-premium on the current production line unless they really start running out of sales for premium trim ... or have to take downtime due to some other reason like battery line, suppliers,.. or overstocked inventory. That means.. we're probably waiting for the fabled 2nd production line before we see an actual $35,000 car.

When will I get my configuration email so i can choose Premium LR RWD? One factor i hadn't previously considered. At some point their production speed may exceed the speed local delivery centers can process paperwork and remove cars from the lot. When that happens it makes sense for them to extend deliveries more significantly across the US to spread out the delivery pressure. .. outside the country though... it's looking like a longer and longer wait. There's no economic pressure for Tesla to export a model 3 when there's demand in the US isn't reducing, and supply rate is looking to be a year behind schedule. Demand isn't likely to decrease much for the $59,000 version. .. demand may decrease for the 35,000 version with more OEM's jumping into the affordable competition.. but sadly that's just another reason for them not to hurry to offer the base model.

Too pessimistic? As sad as it makes me, I'm actually hoping Tesla puts the maximum number of cars on the road and secures a strong company future.. even if it means my base model 3 may be mostly obsolete by the time it's available in my local.

Very curious to hear anyone with more automotive production experiences thoughts on the interplay between different parts of the line. and the operational costs around adding variants.
I think SR is likely to show up this year, and primarily for PR reasons. Tesla loudly touted the Model 3 as the "everyman's" Tesla that the typical buyer could afford.... especially with tax credits. I think if for nothing other than PR reasons Tesla will be pushed to deliver at least a few thousands of them this year.

The PR backlash for Tesla if they only ship the $50,000 version of the car and expect those who made a deposit for the SR version to wait 3 years for it seems like it would hurt them. Musk is very image conscious.

AWD version I think you are right. We've seen little to no information that they are anywhere near ready to release the AWD version which I myself am waiting for.

As my current lease is up in September I will have some tough choices to make if AWD is not going to be available this year.
 

garsh

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#10
I think SR is likely to show up this year, and primarily for PR reasons. Tesla loudly touted the Model 3 as the "everyman's" Tesla that the typical buyer could afford.... especially with tax credits.
Elon (and Tesla) have been pretty careful to avoid mentioning the tax credits in conjunction with this car. They give the starting price as $35,000 before any federal or state credits.

Elon originally said that they would start selling high-end models to help recoup production startup costs. The ended up changing those plans in the name of simplicity, and have decided to release this "First Production" model instead, which seems to be the highest-end model without the complication of a second motor.

I too think they'll start selling SR this year, but I think PR is at the bottom of the list of reasons why. They'll eventually run out of customers willing to "settle" for First Production. They'll need to provide some other options to keep demand up.
 
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#11
To be clear i do think the most likely order for options to show up is first SR, almost guaranteed first... then AWD, then base trim..

On which aspect do you believe your Model 3 would become obsolete? I'd rather think that the model 3 will age pretty well and get constant updates to stay on the edge...
Because I'm 'every-man' non-tesla owner and I want the $35,000 model.. but that means they have to offer SR.. and they have to offer base trim, and they have to offer it in quantities big enough to get down the line to me.

Non-premium trim is maybe the biggest change to the line. With the production ramp not getting a second line until maybe mid-year.. I'll actually be surprised if they offer a fully base model in 2018. (Ok, i'd take a glass roof option if i could just pick one)

Yes the Tesla OTA updates will help it age well... but for 35,000 in 2019.. I'd predict the model 3 base features will just be average.. not outstanding like they are now.
By 2019, now we're starting to see a few used premium model 3's for $35-40k possibly.
By 2019, we're seeing a lot more competitors offering bigger ranges, and a lot more battery tech.. more actually competitive cars.
By 2019, we're hearing more about tesla's plans to eliminate the 12v system... I just have a feeling this is going to a huge feature opener.

Basically by 2019, i think the value of what you can do with $35k will make choosing a base model 3 harder and harder.

I think SR is likely to show up this year, and primarily for PR reasons. Tesla loudly touted the Model 3 as the "everyman's" Tesla that the typical buyer could afford.... especially with tax credits. I think if for nothing other than PR reasons Tesla will be pushed to deliver at least a few thousands of them this year.
SR might happen... but to actually hit the promised 35k, they have to do both SR and base trim. We may see a few hundred, or a few thousand right at the end of the year.. but at this time it seems almost impossible base models will be widely available within 12 months. Unless Tesla knowingly takes big margin losses just to put downward pricing pressure on other car manufacturers...which fits their mission statement.. but maybe not their best long term impact.

As my current lease is up in September I will have some tough choices to make if AWD is not going to be available this year.
There is some hope for you.. because AWD is a priced up option, not down... and I think can be done mostly in gigafactory without affecting freemont. they might make it available... it can make them money.. and it looks good for progress to add options. But if you want AWD without premium trim... i think you're waiting again... Or quite honestly.. early dual motor model S's will be coming into your price range pretty soon.
 
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#12
Just occured to me they might add more margin options before base options.. White interior for example.

Does anyone think they might offer a long range performance option before AWD, or before SR base?

is AWD a pre-requisite for P?

What's the acronym for that?
LRDP? LRAP? P-AW-LR?
DLRP?

Base trim, AWD, Ludicrous, Long Range = BALLR?
 

oey192

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#13
AWD isn’t technically necessary for a performance model (e.g. they used to make a P85 Model S) but a performance model with AWD is going to be superior to a performance model with RWD only. I would be ridiculously surprised if they made a performance Model 3 that wasn’t AWD. Everything that I’m aware of that they have publicly stated has indicated that the performance model would be st the same time as or after the AWD model
 

NRG4All

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#16
I completely agree with this. The most important variant of the 3 may well be the $35k base version. In my opinion a great car for that money. The current offering gives Tesla margin. The base offering will give them volume. Both important but survival will depend on volume with a positive margin.
I suspect that the market may not just be two factions. Perhaps it could be three factions. To some people like me (~ 200 miles to a large metropolitan area over many mountains) there may be a demand for a 300 mile Model 3. And that would be at half the price of a ~300 mile Model S. Thus, it would make sense to utilize this market and when that shows signs of weakening, to then introduce the lowest cost and margin $35,000 Model 3. This would also allow for further build-out of the Supercharger infrastructure which would allow for the 220 mile, $35,000 Model 3 to also be used nearly everywhere a 300 mile Model 3 would be able to go.
 

MichelT3

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#17
3 being such a competitive model, there are different groups interested in it. It's NOT or, but and.
Recent info in the configuration pages indicates that AWD will come very soon. https://electrek.co/2018/01/20/tesla-model-3-dual-motor-fleet-registered/

SR will come later, just as non-PUP, white, etc. Step by step. But I expect that all options (maybe apart from P) will be offered this calendar year.
I can understand that people might choose a base model (not an SR...). But I will max mine out (apart from 19", P and FSD), because when I finally buy such an innovative car from new, I will want a car that is best suited to my desires / needs. And I plan to keep it a long time, like 10-15 years.

Sadly, being in Europe I probably will need to wait another 2 years. Advantage is that all options will be available.
Disadvantage is that I will need to get another car as an in-between. Because my current one is falling apart and won't last another two winters. Looked today at other EV's. None of them is an option. CPO Model S could be, but is too expensive (as expensive as my Model 3).
 
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#18
AWD vin's registered.... well I'd be happy to be wrong on the order of options. In my defense though.. i did say they were more likely to add price up options than lower price ones. I wonder how much data they have on options people are postponing their order for.

They do need volume.. but their volume problems are production, not lack of option right now.

I'd really love to hear from a fly on the wall... or someone who knows more about manufacturing.. the likely operational trade-offs to adding each type of option. AWD, SR, Base Trim
 

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#19

danzgator

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#20
Because I'm 'every-man' non-tesla owner and I want the $35,000 model.. but that means they have to offer SR.. and they have to offer base trim, and they have to offer it in quantities big enough to get down the line to me.
Why wouldn't you take the SR with PUP in +/- mid 2018 to fall 2018 and have a guaranteed $7,500 tax credit? If you wait for SR and standard trim you are almost definitely losing $3,750-$7,500 in tax credits. So, why not basically just get yourself PUP for free?