Musk’s volunteer army out in force at buzzing Tesla outlets

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Employees unload Tesla Model 3s from a car carrier outside the company's delivery center in Marina Del Rey, California on 29 September. Photo coins: BLOOMBERG

Elon Musk was charged and quickly settled with the SEC? Whatever. The big news for Janet Beach finally got her hands on the wheel of the Tesla Model 3 that she ordered 18 months ago.

"I bought it without driving, that's how much confidence I have," said Beach, who picked up her red sedan in Bellevue, Wash. She has not lost confidence in the company that created it, or in its CEO. Controversy is to be expected. "There must be a little negative comment while pursuing his dream to change the world."

Tesla Model 3 customers who waited months for orders can finally leave the site.

There was a lot of that kind of talk during the weekend, because Tesla Inc. counted until the last hours of the quarter and ended at midnight on Sunday and counted how many electric cars it could produce and deliver to customers.

Will Tesla show that there is sufficient demand for electric cars to enter the mainstream – and as money makers?

Musk has given the assurance that the company is about to fall out of the red after it has reported its biggest loss in the last quarter and that the production of the Model 3 is finally humming.

He told employees in an e-mail from Bloomberg News that profitability was in sight. When the last pressure to boost deliveries beats the clock with big numbers, he said: "we will achieve an epic victory that exceeds all expectations."

He had been just as happy as ever at the weekend, seemingly undisturbed by the Securities and Exchange Commission's fraud case that accused him of falsely claiming in a tweet that he had the finance to queue to go private . A settlement agreement reached on Saturday requires Musk to give up his position as chairman for three years while remaining CEO.

"Ignore all distractions," said Musk Friday in another email message to Bloomberg News employees. "Another hardcore weekend and we will prevail."

Showroom scenes

In the suburb of Highland Park in Chicago, more than 75 people ended up in the Tesla service center and another 50 people were waiting outside. In the community of Marina del Rey in Los Angeles, a steady stream of customers arrived as towed trailers were pulled to unload vehicles stored in Burbank. In Coral Gables, Fla., A showroom attendant who refused to be named said that deliveries had to be planned hourly per hour to prevent congestion.

It was not immediately clear how many outlets in the United States were doing record-high volumes; the one in Brooklyn, for example, was pretty quiet on Saturday morning.

Others were so busy that volunteers showed up to help the staff. Andrew Doane, who has a Model S sedan, Model X crossover and Model 3 and is president of the Tesla Owners Club from the Mid-Atlantic region, has gathered club members to serve at delivery centers in Virginia and Maryland, and has a worked .

"This weekend is the hinge point," he said, describing it as a turning point not only for the company, but for the shift away from the internal combustion engine.

Vinod Kothapa has contributed to this transformation. He picked up a new black Model X on Saturday in the delivery center in Fremont, California, just on the road from the company's only car factory.

"Fossil fuels pollute the planet and increase global temperatures," Kothapa said. "I want oil to be worthless."

Rumor mill

Tesla was already able to announce the production and delivery figures for the quarter on Monday. The rumor mill is swinging, with speculation that Tesla locations wanted to transfer cars to new owners at a rate of at least 120 per day. A volunteer in Austin, Texas, said on Twitter that his group was getting ready to push out 240 vehicles before midnight Sunday.

Cathie Wood, the CEO of Ark Investments and a shareholder of Tesla, said she heard of the settlement of Musk with the SEC while she was waiting to buy her Model 3 at a store full of stores in Westchester County, N.Y.

"That one store was planned to deliver 250 cars today, and no waiting," Wood said on Twitter. "The Model 3 comes from a different world!"

Because the basic version of $ 35,000 of Model 3 is still not being produced, the average sales price is far beyond that. The company released specifications in May for a faster and more powerful version of the car that approached the $ 80,000 mark.

Tesla delivered model 3 sedans in the second quarter of 18449, according to the company's latest shareholder letter. Goldman Sachs analyst David Tamberrino, who has a sell rating on the shares, estimates the deliveries in the third quarter at around 52,000 – an almost triple increase.

If that is the number, Tesla would be about to close the books about his long loss period. No car company has ever been able to build and sell electric vehicles in a profitable way.

& # 39; Great & # 39; result

Tesla fans are of the opinion that the Musk company will be the first to have a long life. "Big car and big oil want him to fail, there's a lot of business interest in him that does not work," said Bob Jorth of Kalamazoo, Mich., Who ordered his Model 3 in February 2017 and picked it up on Saturday. It is his first electric car; he had run a gas-electric hybrid. "It is a natural progression away from the internal combustion engine, and I am very excited."

In Tysons, Virginia, Tesla employees stood at the door to greet customers. Rodney Tanner, a Model 3 owner from nearby Bethesda, Maryland, was one of the volunteers who helped.

"What Tesla is trying to do to become a profitable, successful car manufacturer is such a tough challenge," Tanner said, stunned that the company only existed 10 years ago and is now establishing that it is convinced that it the best car on the road. "I am here to give them a little limp and let other owners know that the end result is amazing."