Nobody likes traffic jams, or crowded airports, or busy supermarkets. We use the term “cattle house” to describe the feeling of being dehumanized in herds.
In the interest of preserving what’s left of Tesla’s unusual intimacy with previous customers, and preserving any chance of a positive introduction for newcomers, Tesla should freeze pre-orders. What’s wrong with shutting off the faucet at 400,000, and then reopening it for a “second wave” after half of the first wave is delivered?
Mutual funds sometimes close to new investors temporarily, for a host of good reasons. Want a more relevant example? Retailers do turn customers away if they know they cannot deliver the product in a timely manner. It doesn’t happen often, but it happens. Taking a deposit with no clear path to filling the order only guarantees agita later.
Overall customer experience is an unglamorous metric. In fact, it wasn’t a “metric” in the auto world at all until recently. So it’s not likely to generate headlines, or make history, or provide bragging rights. But overall customer experience, in all its dry glory, is what moves Tesla along.
In its short life, Tesla has established personal rapport with customers. People feel personally invested in the brand. That’s a precious thing in the auto world, where defensive mistrust is, justifiably, the default customer attitude toward the entire business from dealers all the way to corporate HQ in some cases. But letting Model III orders outstrip, say, three years of production threatens to erode that rapport by making people feel like livestock. It also makes Tesla look overwhelmed, even if it’s not yet. Tesla should look confident at all times, not overwhelmed.
So TeslaMondo pounds on this pulpit in the middle of the internet forest with nobody around, and says Wave One of Model III pre-orders should be declared a success and ended.