The Role Customers Played in Building Tesla

The one thing that everyone including Tesla detractors as well as its supporters can agree about Tesla is that the electric car marker has always had demand exceed expectations.

Demand has always stayed ahead of supply from the day Tesla unveiled its 1st generation Roadster on July 19, 2006.

Tesla sold its first signature 100 Roadsters in just three weeks after the unveil. By December 2006 Tesla had 250 customers for Roadster , who paid $100,000 each.

A cool $25 million on hand, even before Tesla got anywhere closer to production. Tesla added another 150 reservations before the end of May 2007.

Tesla Model S followed the same trajectory of Roadster. 

“Tesla unveiled Model S sedan in March 26, 2009, but it took Tesla nearly three more years to start customer delivery, which began on June 22, 2012

Immediately after the launch, Tesla started accepting Model S reservations for a $5000 fee. Tesla had 520 reservations within a week after the launch and by May 2009, Tesla had already crossed 1,000 reservations.

By December 2012, Tesla had a total of 15,000 net reservations.” – All About Tesla in 1Page

But Model 3 broke all the records

Tesla started accepting reservations ($1000) for Model 3 on March 31, 2016, the same day Tesla had scheduled to unveil the car.

Number of reservations

  • At the time of unveil: 115,000
  • 24 hours: 180,000
  • Two days: 232,000
  • July 2017 – 455,000
  • March 2018 –  more than 450,000

Tesla started accepting customer deposits for Tesla Semi and Tesla Roadster 2020 since March 2017.

Reservation Costs:

  • The Founders Series Semi – $200,000 (L)
  • Semi – $20,000
  • Founders Series Roadster – $250,000 (L)
  • Roadster – $50,000

The continuous flow of customer deposits helped Tesla immensely, by strengthening the company’s financial position.  Customer deposits increased from $283 million in Q1-2015 to $984 million by the end of first quarter of the current fiscal.

Tesla Customer Deposits
Tesla Customer Deposits

With demand holding up for all Tesla products, the deposits should continue to remain strong through the rest of the year. Considering Tesla’s tight rope walk between spending and raising capital,  customers deposits have played a huge role in Tesla’s growth.

Please take a look at Tesla in 1Page, to know more about Tesla’s history, performance, success, failures, financials and everything that you need to know about Tesla.