After posting blockbuster quarterly results that pleasantly surprised Wall Street on Wednesday, Tesla has shown renewed signs that its Model 3 production ramp is gaining strength. On early Thursday, Tesla registered its largest single batch of Model 3 VINs yet, comprised of 13,629 vehicles, all of which are estimated to be RWD.
With this latest filing, Tesla had registered a total of 169,791 Model 3 to date. The absence of AWD VINs also bodes well for the demand for the Model 3’s newest variant — the Mid Range Model 3 — which utilizes a single motor at the rear, and costs less than the Long Range RWD Model 3, which starts at 49,000 before incentives.
— Model 3 VINs (@Model3VINs) October 25, 2018
The arrival of the Mid Range Model 3 came as a surprise for the vehicle’s reservation holders, particularly since the variant has not been announced prior to its launch. When the Model 3 was unveiled, Tesla had listed two RWD variants of the vehicle — a 220-mile Standard range version that starts at $35,000 and a 310-mile Long Range variant that starts at $49,000. The Mid Range Model 3, which has a range of 260 miles per charge, cost $45,000 when it was unveiled, though the price of the electric sedan was raised to $46,000 earlier this week.
The Mid Range Model 3 appears to be Tesla’s way of offering a lower-cost option for reservation holders who are holding out for the release of the $35,000 base Model 3. After the $7,500 tax credit and estimated gas savings, after all, the Mid Range Model 3’s cost of ownership falls to around $33,200. Elon Musk referenced the newly-announced Model 3 variant in the recently-held earnings call.
“We’re trying to provide (the) most affordable electric car options that we can. And so as we can — we just don’t have the ability to get to the $35,000 car right away. We thought this might be a way to offer it as an intermediate step. And that’s really it,” Musk said.
Considering the new wave of RWD VIN registrations, as well as the vehicle’s $1,000 price increase just days after it was released, it appears that the demand for the Mid Range Model 3 is quite notable. Since Elon Musk announced the car on Twitter, for one, Tesla had registered more than 18,000 RWD Model 3 VINs. Considering that the Long Range RWD variant is only available off-menu for now, it seems safe to infer that the majority of the vehicles corresponding to Tesla’s new VIN filings are Mid Range Model 3s.
While Tesla delivered a blockbuster third quarter, the company’s fourth-quarter performance seems poised to be even more impressive. This Q4, Gigafactory 1 is expected to receive upgrades in the form of new Grohmann Machines that would make battery pack production cheaper and faster, as well as upgraded battery cell production lines from Panasonic. In terms of VIN registrations, October seems poised to set records for the company, with Tesla registering more than 51,000 VINs since the month began.
What is even more impressive is that Tesla is only partly done with its Model 3 production ramp, considering that the company is aiming to hit a production rate of 10,000 units of the electric car per week. Elon Musk proved optimistic about the ongoing ramp for the vehicle, though, as shown in his statements during the recent earnings call.
“Yeah, very minimal to get (Model 3 production) to 7,000 a week. And then I mean that’s really just basically solving improving our time of the existing lines, and we can do 7,000 a week. So and then it gets a little harder as you start to go above 7,000, it would need — at least bringing lines down in Fremont for significant upgrades to get to 10k,” Musk said.