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Tesla Faces Accelerating Rate of Model 3 Refunds

According to new U.S. data from analytics company Second Measure, Tesla is facing an accelerated rate of Model 3 refunds. As of the end of April, some 23 percent of all Model 3 deposits in the U.S. had been refunded. “Model 3 deposits are fully refundable up until the customer configures a car by selecting features and paying an additional fee of $2,500,” notes Second Measure. “After configuration, vehicles are typically delivered in just a few weeks.” Recode reports: These cancellations aren’t necessarily bad for Tesla, since its production rate is nowhere near as high as it needs to be to fulfill the more than 450,000 reservations it still has. Last quarter, it delivered just 8,180 Model 3s. Presumably, potential Tesla customers could make a deposit again when production is more regular. The potential longer-term harm would be in alienating them so that they choose a different brand of car altogether. About 60 percent of Model 3 reservations so far in the U.S. were made back in April 2016, when Tesla first began taking deposits. About 18 percent of the total refunds on the Model 3 happened this past April, the largest share out of any month, according to Second Measure. That’s when Musk explained that Model 3s would be delayed six to nine months. A Tesla spokesperson said that Second Measure’s data does not align with its internal data, but would not be more specific as to how far off it is. But the analytics company’s numbers did match up to Tesla’s numbers last August, “when CEO Elon Musk disclosed that there were 455,000 net reservations out of 518,000 gross reservations, suggesting 63,000 cancelations and a 12 percent cancellation rate,” reports TechCrunch.

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