The pre-orders are more impressive when you think the new car may not-begin to reach customers for another 18 months or more.
Tesla Chief Executive Elon Musk tweeted on last week that the Model 3, which is slated to go into production in late 2017, will sell at an average price of $42,000, including the price of options and additional features, which would give the initial flurry of orders an estimated retail value of $10.6 billion.
The base price is half that of Tesla’s luxury Model S and the Model X, which start at $70,000, for example.
He also revealed the Model 3 will be able to go zero to 60mph in less than six seconds, saying: ‘At Tesla, we don’t make slow cars’.
‘It’s going to be an incredibly safe car,’ Musk said when he first presented the Model 3 at the company’s design studio in Hawthorne California on Thursday night.
Model 3 design sketches pic.twitter.com/P5ucOBRUZ7
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 3, 2016
‘We really believe with Tesla that safety has to come first, it’s paramount. It will be 5-star in every category’.
Reservations for the Model 3 are $1,000 a piece, so the company could also have some $275 million up front to work with, not counting the reservations that are still rolling in. Although the reservations are fully refundable and be cancelled at any time.
The company’s 5.3 million-square-foot factory in Fremont, Calif. is supposed to have the capacity for 500,000 units, so Tesla has plenty of room to grow.
Musk said deliveries for the car will begin at the end of next year.
‘I do feel fairly confident it will be next year,’ Musk joked to the amped up crowd, before repeating the car’s widely-publicised $35,000 price tag.
‘I want to emphasise that even if you buy no options at all, this will still be an amazing car,’ he said.
At the end of his speech Musk revealed that the Model 3, the fourth by the brand, was already a success – with the total number of orders surpassing 115,000 in 24 hours.
‘You did it!’ members of the audience screamed in support of Musk.
Online ordering began an hour earlier then planned on Thursday amid signs of heavy demand. Musk said the company wanted to ensure there was ‘no server overload’.