Since March 31, Tesla has received almost 400,000 reservations for its upcoming Model 3 sedan. This is an important car for the company as it is designed to start at $35,000. The company says it will have 215 miles of range. All those reservations have caused quite a stir at traditional car companies. They are still selling cars the old fashioned way, with phony sales and cash back schemes, while Tesla has people lining up to pay full price for a car that won’t even go into production for another 18 months.
All those reservations have helped boost Tesla’s share price. That got analyst Anton Wahlman wondering. Even thought the company says reservations are limited to two per person or address, what if there were people out there order a dozen or more? That could mean the number of reservations was greatly inflated. Wahlman decided to find out.
He went online to Tesla’s website. Within a short period of time, he had reserved 20 cars. Since all reservations require a full refundable deposit, Wahlman has nothing to lose. Then he made the classic mistake. He bragged about his accomplishment online.
The people at Yahoo! Finance noticed Wahlman’s gambit and decided to try it for themselves. Within a few minutes, they had reserved four cars. As long as they used a credit card, the Tesla website was happy to accept as many as reservations as Yahoo! wanted to make.
It didn’t take long for all this to reach the ears of Elon Musk. He soon had his minions searching the Model 3 database, looking for evidence that the number of reservations was inflated by people reserving multiple cars. Then he tweeted out the good news.
@MrBoylan System scan detected only 0.2% of orders with same email and physical address. Those have been purged.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 30, 2016
The result of the analysis revealed that there were about as many people reserving more than their fair share of Model 3’s as welfare recipients who test positive for illegal drug use. Now the only questions are, what percentage of reservations will be converted into orders when the Model 3 design configurator goes live in about 18 months and how many of those will be built with Ludicrous Mode enabled.