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Should Tesla prioritize Model 3 reservations for current Tesla owners?

Published Mar 16th, 2016 5:55PM EDT
Tesla Model 3 Reservations

On March 31, Tesla will at long last unveil its highly anticipated Model 3 to a select group of journalists and prospective buyers. That same day, interested buyers will be able to put in a pre-order for the car exclusively in Tesla stores. Just one day later, interested buyers will be able to pre-order the car online via Tesla’s website.

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If demand for the Model S is any indication, it stands to reason that consumer interest and demand for the Model 3 – which will be priced at $35,000 before incentives – will be through the roof. What’s more, early indications are that Tesla will actually be able to handle Model 3 demand, something it struggled with when it released both the Model S and the more recent Model X.

Interestingly enough, alerts us to the fact that Tesla has plans to prioritize Model 3 reservations for current Tesla owners.

In an email sent out to Tesla owners, Tesla explained: “As a current owner who has supported Tesla and our mission, your reservation will take priority and be placed ahead of non-owners.”

This begs the question: Is this a smart move on Tesla’s part?

On the one hand, it makes sense from a loyalty perspective. For starters, Tesla understandably wants to reward current owners who are already champions of the brand and the company’s mission. Second, it stands to reason that current Tesla owners are more likely to keep their reservations.

But on the other hand, because the Tesla Model 3 is being positioned as an electric vehicle for the masses, one could reasonably argue that Tesla should try to bring in as many new Tesla customers as it possibly can. To that end, prioritizing current Tesla owners over new prospective buyers might seem like a backwards strategy.

On a related note, because the Tesla Model 3 will become more expensive the longer you wait to buy one, Tesla’s strategy here effectively gives current Tesla owners a greater likelihood of being able to purchase the car at the lowest price possible.

Yoni Heisler Contributing Writer

Yoni Heisler has been writing about Apple and the tech industry at large with over 15 years of experience. A life long expert Mac user and Apple expert, his writing has appeared in Edible Apple, Network World, MacLife, Macworld UK, and TUAW.

When not analyzing the latest happenings with Apple, Yoni enjoys catching Improv shows in Chicago, playing soccer, and cultivating new TV show addictions.