2018 is without a doubt a defining year for Tesla and its Model 3. Many analysists have maintained that the car may be a make-or-break proposition for the maverick automaker. Recent developments show that that may be in the process of being decided, and if you’re Tesla, there are reasons to be optimistic.
At first glance that may seem not to be the case: those looking to place their orders online are now being told that the timeline for delivery, which had just recently been reduced to 1-3 months (for the rear-wheel-drive and Performance versions) is now back to 2-4 months, for all versions.
Given the company’s ongoing problems with attaining production targets, this could be seen as a worrisome setback.
It appears, however, that this latest change in the timeline is driven mainly by increased demand for the Model 3 variants in question.
This jump in demand comes after it was confirmed that the U.S. EV Tax Credit was going to remain in place at least through December 2018 - reassuring news to many hesitant buyers who had been worried that the Trump administration might give the credit the ax. Then, Tesla gave the green light for any all consumers (in the U.S. at least) to place orders on the long-range version of the Model 3.
These two factors are likely explanations for the increased delivery delay. Demand outstripping supply is never bad news for a company, especially as Tesla appears to be maintaining its pace of production at or near targeted levels.
Tesla recently estimated that it currently has around 10,000 Model 3 cars in transit to buyers.
Evidently, many North American consumers have made the leap and placed their orders now to ensure they have their Model 3 in hand before the end of the year (as per the potentially expiring tax credit). So you can expect to start seeing a bunch more Model 3s on roads in the coming months!