Friday is apparently The Big Day for the Model 3. It's the day Elon Musk has scheduled an event to hand over the first 30 Model 3's to their owners.
There's a slight wrinkle though - nobody knows what the finished spec of the car is, or even 100% what it looks like. The photos and videos that surfaced two weeks ago were supposed to be the first cars off the production line. Or not. And nobody knows at all what the interior looks like because there've been no photos or renderings and the ones shown off at the original event were known to be mock-ups.
The other problem is the sub-version. It doesn't matter if you wanted a fully-loaded 4WD version with a sunroof, Tesla will hand over the simplest, most basic versions on Friday. Musk has said previously that the initial production run will only be the bare-bones stripped-down version in an attempt to not replicate the over-complex Model X fiasco.
Or not. Nobody really knows, least of all the owners. Tesla hasn't contacted the people on the deposit list. (see this Bloomberg article). So right now, 30 people will be (or not) getting cars on friday, but those 30 people don't know who they are yet. In all reality they're most likely to be employees. Of the other owners, nobody has been contacted about final price, spec or delivery dates. That's troublesome because most people don't have $40k lying around to drop on a whim so they need to arrange financing, but without an actual price or date, they can't do that.
Tesla said originally that 373,000 people put down deposits on the car but that number hasn't been updated since mid-2016. What we DO know is that in the absence of ANY information from Tesla, some of those have now cancelled their reservations and received their money back. But again, we don't know HOW many that is. Of those still holding a deposit, many of them might pull the plug depending on what they see on friday.
The other option is that on Friday, Tesla just open up the order portal and if those people are not paying attention (and/or when the website crashes), they could lose their place in the line even if they DID put a deposit down.
Readers of this blog know I have no time for Musk or Tesla, hence my (sadly too) frequent bashing of the both of them. But be honest - if you look at the clown show going on right now, would YOU want to give that company any money?
Is the Tesla 3 going to be the No Man's Sky of cars?