Tesla is raking in the orders for the Model 3, and its shares are going along for the ride.
CEO Elon Musk on Sunday tweeted an update on the number of Model 3 orders his company has received:
276k Model 3 orders by end of Sat
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 3, 2016
So, 276,000 orders (and counting) for the Model 3, Tesla’s mass-market electric car that was unveiled March 31, over three days. The car’s official price is $35,000, although Musk tweeted last week that he expected options to bump the average price up to $42,000. Total potential revenue: Nearly $11.6 billion.
The higher-than-expected demand has boosted the shares of the Palo Alto company. They’re trading at a six-month high, up about 5 percent today to $250.22. That lift, plus the $1,ooo-a-pop reservation fee, should help address some of the concerns about Tesla’s cash flow and its ability to produce all these cars; some analysts expect the company to need to raise more cash.
Musk, who has 3.68 million Twitter followers, has helped the Model 3 hype along on Twitter, where he did what he called “an impromptu AMA (ask me anything) over the weekend as he responded to questions on the Twittersphere.
From those tweets, we learned a little more about Tesla and its latest electric car, which the company says will be delivered starting in late 2017:
• The Model 3’s steering controls will look different from what people saw — no dashboard behind the steering wheel — during last week’s unveiling, Musk said. Musk, who knows a thing or two about spacecraft because he’s also SpaceX’s CEO, said the Model 3’s steering system would “feel like a spaceship.”
• How will Tesla keep up with all the demand? Answering a question about whether there would be a delay in getting Model 3s in Britain, Musk said no but added that Tesla would need to “build a factory in Europe to serve long-term regional demand as Fremont reaches max capacity.”
• To give an idea of how the numbers have blown past projections, Musk tweeted, “token of appreciation for those who lined up coming via mail. Thought maybe 20-30 people per store would line up, not 800. Gifts on order.”
By the way, Barclays analyst Brian Johnson had reportedly estimated that Tesla would get 250,000 to 300,000 orders for the Model 3 by the end of June.
• Can Musk run his companies and keep up the constant Twitter updates about orders for the red-hot Model 3? He said there will be one last update Wednesday to give a one-week total, but after that “all efforts focused on accelerating the ramp.”
Photo: The Tesla Factory complex in Fremont, Calif., on Thursday, Jan. 28, 2016. (LiPo Ching/Bay Area News Group)