Just three weeks after Elon Musk introduced the Model 3 to the world, the number of reservations for Tesla’s mass market EV is already close to surpassing 400,000. And while rival car companies may not be in panic mode just yet, there’s no question that they’ve been caught a little bit off guard.
In turn, we’ve started to see auto manufacturers and executives more freely throw a few jabs in Tesla’s direction. Just last week, for example, GM executive Dan Nicholson threw some shade at Tesla over the fact that the Model 3, in contrast to the Chevy Bolt, won’t truly launch until 2018.
“I am very proud of the Chevrolet Bolt that’s coming out, which will be the first to market as a long-range affordable battery electric vehicle,” Nicholson said. “It will have more than 200 miles of range and it will be in production by the end of 2016, so it’s not necessary to put down $1,000 and wait until 2018 or some time after that.”
Also getting in on some of the anti-Tesla action is Nissan. Earlier this week, the Japanese-based auto manufacturer rolled out a new ad campaign touting the fact that you can pick up a Nissan Leaf today without the prolonged waiting period that comes along with making a Model 3 reservation.
Nissan has now turned those reservations into fodder for its own advertising for the electric Nissan Leaf.
“No one should have any reservations about getting an electric car today,” trumpets a Nissan ad that appears around the country today. The ads appear in Friday’s New York Times, Los Angeles Times, USA Today and The Wall Street Journal, reminding consumers that Nissan has been mass-producing the all-electric Leaf since 2010.
The ads also ask rhetorically, “Why wait when you can drive an all-electric Leaf now? And why drop $1,000 to stand in line when you can get $4,000 cash back and best-in-class range?”
Valid questions, to be sure, but it’s hard to imagine anything slowing down the Tesla Model 3 hype train at this point.