Tesla Model 3 Nears 400,000 Orders; Sergio Disses Musk

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems

Orders of the life changing, marriage-saving Tesla Model 3 are poised to hit 400,000, but Fiat Chrysler Automobiles CEO Sergio Marchionne doesn’t think they’ve got the right stuff.

Diarmuid O’Connell, Tesla’s vice-president of business development, confirmed the number of orders at an electric vehicle conference in Amsterdam yesterday, two weeks after the low-priced model’s glitzy unveiling, Electrek has reported.

The numbers seem like a slam dunk win for the electric automaker, but turning those orders into actual cars in a timely fashion is where the trouble lies. Following the launch, Tesla founder Elon Musk said production capacity will need to be ramped up in order to deliver vehicles as fast as possible once production starts in late 2017.

“It’s a success as far as it is right now,” O’Connell said during a question-and-answer session. “The real success will be delivering a great product at the volumes are possible and necessary.”

One industry leader doubts Tesla’s ability to turn a profit with the Model 3, and that man is none other than Sergio, lover of aggressive metaphors and industry partnerships that never happen.

Sergio tossed a wet sweater onto Tesla’s enthusiasm, telling Automotive News Europe that if the Model 3 was able to make money, he’d copy it in a second and add some Italian “flair.”

“I’m am not surprised by the high number of reservations but you have then to build and deliver them and also be profitable,” he said, adding that FCA was in some ways dodging a bullet by not diving headlong into the EV fray.

“Better late than sorry,” he said, probably right before phoning Musk to ask for a meeting.

[Image: Tesla Motors]

Steph Willems
Steph Willems

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  • Laserwizard Laserwizard on Apr 18, 2016

    This whole Tesla thing has all the harmarks of another episode of "American Greed". We hear more about the number of preorders for a car that doesn't exist than we do how hard Musk is working to build the factories to supply the ponzi scheme some legitimacy.

  • WildcatMatt WildcatMatt on Apr 27, 2016

    Huh. FCA makes noises about wanting a merger. FCA makes noises about wanting to farm out small car production. FCA makes noises about how they would make a Tesla Model 3 if it was profitable. Are we looking at a FCA-Tesla tie-up if the new model comes out and doesn't suck?

  • Scott Miata for the win.
  • Kwik_Shift_Pro4X On a list of things to spend my time and money on, doing an EV conversion on a used car is about ten millionth.
  • TheEndlessEnigma No, no I would/will not.
  • ChristianWimmer If I want an EV then I’ll buy an EV. For city use a small EV with a 200-300 km range (aka “should last for a week with A/C or heater usage”) is ideal. But I only have space for one daily driver and that daily driver also needs to be capable of comfortable long-distance cruising at high speeds and no current EV can do this without rapidly draining its battery charge.
  • SCE to AUX I prefer original, no matter what the car is. If the car has some value, then an electric drivetrain lowers its value. But if it's just a used car, why spend a fortune to install an electric drivetrain?