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Here’s What Skeptics of Tesla’s $35,000 Model 3 Aren’t Saying

Last Updated September 23, 2020 12:32 PM
W. E. Messamore
Last Updated September 23, 2020 12:32 PM

Over at CNN Business, they’re asking : is this week’s arrival of a $35,000 Tesla Model 3 “too little, too late?”

How did they come up with such a negative question to ask about the Tesla Model 3 ?

Despite the six to nine month waiting list for a new Tesla, which is down from prior wait times of 12 to 18 months, people are still lining up with a $1,000 cash deposit to wait months for the electric vehicle:

“Tesla said the new wait time for both its long-range and dual-motor version and its performance version of the Model 3 is now six to nine months, down from 12 to 18 months previously. The new wait time for its standard-battery Model 3 is six to 12 months, down from 12 to 18 months before.” – The M.F.  May 22, 2018

Too little, too late? The Tesla Model 3’s out-of-this-world resale values speak to the strong demand for these cars, and Tesla, Inc.’s prospects as an automaker.

Tesla Model S and Model 3’s Class-Leading Resale Values Show Stout Demand

Resale Value Is A Good Measure of An Auto Manufacturer’s Quality

In December, Evan Nex wrote at  Inside EVs:

“It’s always fun to talk about Elon Musk’s tweets and tokes [e.g. ], but when it comes to predicting long-term financial prospects of Tesla, savvy observers understand that the two metrics that matter are the demand for the company’s products and the margin of profit it earns on each unit. So, if TSLA stock slips in response to an unguarded comment by the Iron Man, consider it a buying opportunity. If you see evidence that demand for Teslas is flagging, then you can start to worry.”

A sensible approach. Nex continues:

“One way to gauge the level of demand for an automaker’s vehicles is to examine how their value holds up in the used market. Generally speaking, vehicles that are more in-demand depreciate less.”

Nex cites a Minneapolis and New York-based venture capital firm, Loup Ventures, which says it surveyed available used car data and found that after 50,000 miles, a typical Tesla Model S loses 28% of its retail value.

Model 3: An Unusually High Resale Value For a Luxury Car

Even someone who puts just a little over 15,000 miles a year on the bulletproof Toyota Tacoma loses more of the truck’s original retail value, according to KBB.

That’s even better resale value than the Lexus LS 460, which loses 32% of its retail value after 50,000 miles. And Lexus makes vehicles with legendary resale values.

They’ve made cars that are still burning rubber at a million miles .

Loup Ventures concludes from the same data that the Model S’s competitors in the luxury sedan class lose an average of 38% of their original retail value.

If Model S resale values are any indication of the demand for Teslas, they indicate the electric motor car company will have no problem getting more orders.

Used Tesla Model 3 Prices Are Unbelievable

Tesla, Model 3, Elon Musk, Tesla Model 3
Source: Tesla

Looking at used 2018 Tesla Model 3s on AutoTrader,  in addition to what CarGurus  ranks Fair, Good, and Great deals on used Model 3s, the resale values are out of this world.

People are listing lightly used Tesla Model 3s with 1,500 miles, 10,000 miles, or 15,000 miles for what they’re retailing for brand new from Elon Musk’s factory.

These are not factory certified pre-owned either; rather, they are just very low-mile used Teslas. And they’re selling for right at retail price even with the miles, use, and the two-owner title.

But buyers don’t have to go on a waiting list for a used Model 3.

Elon Musk Chatter

Elon Musk just hired  the prosecutor that went after Enron to defend him against an SEC charge of contempt of court for tweeting Tesla production estimates…

And then revising them 20% down hours later , saying he mistweeted earlier.

Do we really need a contempt of court battle over this?

Can’t Elon Musk put a disclaimer on his Twitter profile that says:

Elon’s only human. He’s not responsible for errors or omissions.

Car dealers’ websites do it.

They’re humans too.

If the official Twitter account for Tesla did something like that, then the SEC might have more credibility hauling them off to court. That’s the company itself. It’s official.

But Elon Musk is still one human individual.

Maybe anybody who does make any sudden Tesla stock purchases or sales based on Elon Musk’s tweets is responsible for their own approach to investing, not Elon Musk.