Back in March, 400,000-plus Tesla fans lined up outside showrooms to reserve their Tesla Model 3s. One Tesla employee nearly let a lucky craigslist shopper skip the line.
Sure, the price for the early-production Tesla Model 3 was nearly three times what the car is supposed to retail for at $150,000, but early access to the latest and greatest costs money. That the vehicle was an early production model stamped with VIN number 209 might have made it more collectible than other Model 3s. This could be the first collectible Tesla.
AN INSIDE JOB
The listing has since been removed, but it is widely held that the car for sale was in possession of a Tesla employee. Since employees have early access to the Model 3 before it hits showroom floors, that makes sense.
This person would have received a significant profit for the 2000-mile Tesla Model 3, and could probably have bought another were they sneaky enough. The owner posted his listing to Monterey, California and listed the car available in Santa Cruz. One savvy shopper was quick enough to save the listing on Craigslist Adsaver.
OWN THE CAR OF THE FUTURE
In the listing, the would-be seller has positive things to say about the upcoming entry-level Tesla. He notes that “fit and finish are excellent for an early production model,” and there are a few photographs included, one of which shows the car’s large main touchscreen.
Unfortunately for would-be buyers, since the car was already registered it does not qualify for the $7500 tax credit. Be that as it may, if you’ve got $150k to drop on a pre-production Tesla, you’re probably able to get by without the tax credit. It does feature the premium sound system and aero wheels.
The car is listed as silver in color and rear-wheel drive, unlike its big-brother Model S which used to be available in RWD but now only comes in AWD guise. It also includes the 310-mile long-range battery, which is a serious perk in an electric car, particularly with Tesla tightening the reins on charging stations. Cars without this battery have a range of 220 miles.
Tesla has refused to comment on the matter. Even though the Tesla Model 3 is not the first Tesla to come to market, it represents a significant step as the “everyman’s car” that Elon Musk promised Tesla would build. Previous models have been impractical or too expensive to make Tesla a mass-market competitor, but the Model 3 can change all that. There’s been so much hype on this car that books were even written about it a year before it was released. Still, $150k is a lot.
Only 260 Model 3s have actually been built as-of-yet, which partially explains the high price the seller was looking for. Tesla has stopped reservations for the new car for the most part until production can catch up to demand.
The posting was removed by the author, so it is impossible to know whether any action was taken against the employee by Tesla. In the midst of swirling conversations about the conditions for employees inside of Elon Musk’s revolutionary company, the media will be eager to know whose idea it was to sell the car and what happened to them.
Photo Credit: Tesla