As we have been reporting, Tesla is rapidly moving away from its ‘anti-selling’ of the Model 3 with now sales commission for its staff when selling the Performance version and moving away from the reservation process.
Now Tesla is trying to put more people inside the cars with test drives – especially in the performance version with an expanding fleet.
Tesla started giving the first Model 3 test drives to reservation holders in the Bay Area as part of a pilot program ahead of the broader launch of the test drives.
The goal is to get to help reservation holders who are on the fence to place their orders.
About 30,000 people have already taken delivery of the Model 3 and the vast majority of them have never driven the Model 3 before ordering it.
A source familiar with the matter told Electrek that Tesla completed 497 test drives in the first week of the pilot program between the 4 stores that were part of it.
According to the same source, the automaker received over 30,000 requests to test drive the Model 3.
Many of those people will end up being able to test drive the new Performance Model 3 as CEO Elon Musk confirmed that they built a fleet of 100 Performance Model 3 vehicles for test drives:
Should be very soon. We’ve already made around 100 Model 3 Performance cars for test drives in stores.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) July 10, 2018
Tesla apparently plans to have Performance Model 3 vehicles in all stores by the end of the month as it tries to push the more expensive version of the Model 3.
The automaker is attempting to be profitable by the end of the year and achieve a positive gross margin on Model 3 production as it ramps up beyond 5,000 units per week.
It seems like every day we get a new piece of information pointing toward Tesla really pushing to sell the Performance version of the Model 3.
I have no problem with it since it is likely what will make the standard version sustainable – though Tesla still needs to deliver that version.
Now what I am most interested in is how those test drives will affect demand.
Tesla made a bold claim when it said that the rate of new orders will be higher than the production rate after the test drive program is up and running.
Having driven the car, I know it will boost demand, but it’s another thing to say that it will be at over 5,000 per week. Tesla still has a significant backlog of orders and reservations to go through before accounting for new orders.
It will be interesting. What do you think? Let us know in the comment section below.