Tesla is now going to take orders for its Model 3 electric sedan through the United States and Canada with no reservations required.
Prior to this, those who wanted to own Model 3 had to pay $1000 as deposit to secure a slot in line to buy the car. Now, anyone living in North America can order a vehicle through Tesla’s website.
Those who have already reserved a Model 3 sedan early aided Tesla to get a feel of the market’s demand for the cars well before the company was manufacturing them. Their Model 3 deposits also gave Tesla some sort of an interest-free loan.
Reservation orders as well as new customers are required to pay a $2,500 deposit to move their Model 3 orders forward. The deposits go toward the total cost of their cars. The $2,500 to $3,500 total deposit is going to be unrefundable once the automaker designates a vehicle identification number to the customer, usually a few days after they placed the order.
The company has required $2,500 deposits from people trying to buy its earlier Model S and Model X vehicles.
Customer who wanted refunds both on their $1000 reservation and $2,500 deposits in recent weeks disclosed that Tesla repays reservations in about two weeks, though refunds of the $2,500 deposits are paid directly to their credit cards within a few days.
The company also stated that orders for the Model 3 will be filled in priority order based on a variety of factors that include whether the customer placed a reservation or not, the date of the order, their choice of vehicle configuration, as well as the location of the delivery, according to the company.
The company also said that it plans to give reservation holders the priority to buy those cars first once Tesla makes new Model 3 options available. Some reservation holders are awaiting the base version of the Model 3, which Tesla has promised to sell for a very affordable price of $35,000. Others are eyeing the Dual Motor and Dual Motor Performance versions of the Model 3.
So far, Tesla has managed to manufacture versions with premium features, such as longer range, a higher top speed and all-wheel drive, which cost between $49,000 and $72,000.
Tesla finished the first quarter with a cash balance of $2.7 billion. It added then that it expects to spend $3 billion.
Deposits for Model 3 vehicles could give Tesla some of the cash that it needs without being required to further dilute earnings through issuing debt or stock sales. Premium Model 3s could also help Tesla in its quest to achieve profitability this year as the company tries to encourage customers to commit to higher-priced cars.