Tesla recently updated the estimated delivery time for new Tesla Model 3 orders on its online design studio to reflect the current state of reservations relative to expected production capacity. People who place new orders now are being told that the order won’t be fulfilled until mid 2018 or later.
The “current state of reservations” is reportedly a Model 3 order backlog of more than 400,000 units.
Until Tesla updated the delivery estimates a week or so ago, those who placed a new Model 3 reservation were told that the earliest their order would be fulfilled would be late 2017.
As a reminder, first deliveries are currently expected to begin sometime in late 2017. Employees of Tesla and SpaceX will get priority, and the very first deliveries will be limited to California and the rest of the West Coast. Delivery fulfillment will then work its way east across the mountain states and the Midwest to the East Coast. This approach to order fulfillment is being taken so that if there are any problems with the first deliveries, they can be rectified quickly. Production is still expected to begin in mid 2017.
While there are no certainties as far as when Tesla will actually begin production of the Model 3, and when first deliveries will begin, remember that the Model 3 was designed from the ground up with ease of manufacturing in mind. The model was designed specifically so that it could be manufactured relatively easily, with quality being consistently good.
So, assuming that the launch will be similar to the Model X launch is probably not a good idea. The Model X is probably one of the most complex production vehicles ever created, and the Model 3 was reportedly designed to be one of the easiest to manufacture. I’m skeptical that the two launches will be very similar.