IMO when you have a waiting list 500K long tells me a few things that could go wrong.
1) a lot of people want to get something that’s hot (topical) blah blah a new Tesla however once 100K are on the street it’s not so cool and new anymore so people who care about that might not want it see this happen with cars once they are out 1-2 years. There might be a downtrend due to that once it’s a year or two and lots more on the street.
2) people wanted the $35K car and the $7500 rebate. Not a lot of $35K being made and the rebate won’t last forever so that might lead to a downtrend once rebate expires. This will give a leg up the the competition.
3) people can’t or don’t want to wait forever will get something else and to me EV is not a killer app it’s just a car so if I’m getting something for transportation I can choose from 100 different cars/suvs in this price range.
4) other companies will fill this area, might be with EV or hybrids but basically anything with 4 wheels and an engine to drive me to work this is not something Tesla is a the only game in town.
5) some people might not care for the model 3. I know people early on the list who passed because they were underwhelmed.
6) **this is a key point. The 500K list might be the majority number of people who wanted the model 3 overall. Like they figured they’d get one what’s the harm of getting on the list. This is part of the hard core Tesla fans. This problem is like say TNA. Sure there is a good demand but once they sell 500 pins the rest of the market will be satisfied with the resale of TNA not like they will need to make 200 a year forever. I was watching a documentary about the AMC pacer where they said the first year demand was through the roof so they sold double what they had projected problem was the next year everyone who wanted one had bought one so the sales tanked.
I see this a lot with cars take S2000 can’t make enough for first few years and then after a bit there is no market, sure they still sell some but there is no crying demand after a few years when all the guys who really want one got one. The sales level off and then slide and then they stop making them.
It’s possible the 500k waiting list is a mirage where some just want the rebate (soon gone) and some want the new/fresh car which will soon be one of hundred thousands (not new/fresh after a while). So I don’t expect the demand to be super high for long like to project hundreds of thousand sales / year. There are a lot of things helping the big waiting list that overall might let air out of the sales. Yes hundreds of thousands want one, but will that be recurring or more of a one off from Tesla fans who were priced out of the S/X due to six figure price tag.
Loss of rebate
Loss of newness
Other competitors that will newer or fresher
People who want one already factored in and once they buy less Tesla super fans left and folks can buy used so less demand for new