Tesla’s plan from the beginning has been straightforward: Release an expensive sportscar (the Roadster) and use the money from its sales to build a couple of mid-range vehicles, the Model S sedan and Model X SUV. Then use the money from those vehicles to build a low-cost electric car for the masses.
That strategy reached fruition last Thursday when Tesla CEO Elon Musk unveiled the Model 3, which will ship next year. Within 24 hours, more than 180,000 people had plunked down $1,000 to reserve one of the cars. As of April 2, preorders stood at 276,000 — more than the total sales of all previous Teslas to date, as this chart from Statista shows.
Now, all Tesla has to do is actually build them.
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