Musk confirms Australian Tesla Model 3 delivery date
THE long wait - of more than two and a half years - may be over for Australian customers who had put down refundable $1500 deposits on the Tesla Model 3.
Patient Australian customers finally have a firm-ish answer to when deliveries will start in Australia, thanks to Tesla boss Elon Musk revealing on Twitter that the first examples would arrive "around mid 2019".
The answer was in response to a question from an Australian customer whose delivery date had disappeared from the local website - previously the time frame was given as late next year. The first deposits were paid in March 2016.
The timeline for Australian deliveries will trigger a busy period for new electric vehicles in Australia, given the anticipated entry of big players Audi and Mercedes-Benz in the following six months.
Musk's announcement follows an the news delivered to investors that Tesla produced a record number of Model 3s (53,239) in the third quarter which is double the number for the previous quarter.
Tesla gives quarterly sales figures only, not exact monthly sales data. By best estimates, the Model 3 is now among the 15 top selling vehicles in the US, eclipsing popular models such as the Toyota Corolla and, last month, going well ahead of the rival BMW 3 Series and Mercedes-Benz C-Class.
Following the ramp up in production to fill the pent-up demand, the Model 3 has been showered with quality complaints - such a bumpers falling off in the rain.
However, Tesla has not started production of the base Model 3. Tesla sales in the third quarter of were limited to more expensive variants, rather the headline making $US35,000 model that was initially announced.
In Australia the cheapest Model 3 would be $66,610 before taxes and import duties are applied, which would push it closer to $80,000 drive-away. This price is on par with a Mercedes-Benz C300 or and Audi A4 2.0 TFSI quattro.
The most expensive model is the all-wheel drive dual motor performance variant, P100D, which is meant to compete with performance compact sedans such as the BMW M3 and Mercedes-AMG C63.