The Model III wasn’t supposed to achieve big-volume production until 2020. Tesla shocked everyone this spring when it shortened that to 2018. But just imagine if the original timeframe were left intact. We’d be nursing ourselves through three more years of nothing but S and X. Seems like an awfully long stretch of nothing new, eh? It would strain the attention span of the average car buyer and allow myriad rivals to tiptoe from back burner to front. For Tesla devotees, those three years would have felt like three decades.
When Musk abbreviated his 2020 deadline to 2018, it sure seemed like bizarre masochism. Not anymore.
Meanwhile, the woolly mammoth in the room is still growing. What mammoth? The number of Model III preorders. The nose-picking press seems to believe the preorders stopped coming in around 400,000 and have since ebbed to 375,000-ish due to people defecting to Model S or just giving up entirely. Well, TeslaMondo thinks the orders never stopped coming and now total at least 500,000. Tesla isn’t keen on discussing it because it’s a big, hairy creature at this point. Best to hang a sheet over it and focus on work, not slaying the beast.
This might also explain why Tesla is taking its sweet time in revealing the Model III interior. Does the company really need more preorders? Does it want to make the current S and X interiors look rickety by showing off the next generation interior? No and no.
Spy photographers will have a heck of a time trying to peer inside the Model III, but that’s where the money shot is, or soon will be. The hindquarters will attract some attention too, as people wonder about Tesla’s casual vow to enlarge the trunk opening so we can fit our fantasy lifestyles inside.