Most have likely heard by now, but the tech event bears reporting once again; last Thursday (3/31/16), Tesla finally unveiled its much anticipated Model 3 to the public. Not only was this unveiling a defining moment in the car industry, it was met with equal anticipation in the tech sector which is no small feat today.
Why was Thursday’s public unveiling such a big deal? I will argue that its significance stems from the widespread appeal and media attention it garnered, all without a need for advertising dollars to be spent across the limitless social media channels and news outlets that has become the norm. One Twitter account did all of the talking and that was Elon Musk’s, current CEO and product architect of Tesla Motors.
Definitely going to need to rethink production planning…
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 1, 2016
Token of appreciation for those who lined up coming via mail. Thought maybe 20-30 people per store would line up, not 800. Gifts on order.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 2, 2016
276k Model 3 orders by end of Sat
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 3, 2016
Signing off from impromptu Twitter AMA. Thanks for the suggestions. Btw, we really will have more cow bells.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 4, 2016
While from a business standpoint, this is all great, the true success in Tesla’s new Model 3 is the unanimous admiration of the new affordable car. It is dreamy, futuristic, and battery powered. This is the crux of Tesla’s strategy – unlike its previous models’ unrealistic price range for the majority of consumers, it has slowly developed its technology down its product line to meet the consumers where they stand. It was a huge risk to continuously bleed its cash reserves for R&D purposes, but as Thursday noted – the consumers held up their portion of the “deal,” turning out in masses to spend $1,000 on a refundable, pre-order deposit on the Model 3 which won’t be available until early 2017.
Tesla found itself holding onto cash deposits of over 286,000 consumers at the end of Saturday, over twice the expected amount. TWICE. Demand for the new-wave technology legitimately shattered expectations and that is a very good thing for our world. With tangible proof that the masses are ready for an environmentally friendly, battery powered car, Tesla is at the forefront of the new frontier in electric vehicles.
Elon Musk’s goal was to “to make a car that most people can afford in order to have a substantial impact.” It appears that he has finally succeeded, yet the world will have to remain in neutral until those first production units begin shipping in 2017. The tech-CEO-turned-car expert has proved that when consumers have a true desire for something, social media isn’t the key, nor are any of the industry’s traditional operating procedures. A legitimate product is the engine of success.