Cancellations for Model 3 orders have picked up in recent weeks. Refunds now outpace deposits for Tesla’s new mass-market electric car, according to Needham & Co. analyst Rajvindra Gill. Tesla disputes that.
In an analyst note delivered to clients Thursday, Gill cited extended wait times for the car, the expiration of a $7,500 tax credit, and the fact that Tesla has not yet made the $35,000 base model of the car available for purchase yet.
About one in every four Model 3 orders is canceled, Gill said, double the rate from a year ago. Customers have to put down a refundable $1,000 deposit to reserve a Model 3, then pay another $2,500 to choose their specific version. They pay the rest when the car is delivered.
The wait time for a Model 3 is about 4 months to a year, and base model customers could wait until 2020, Gill said.
A Tesla spokesperson denied that Model 3 cancellations exceed new orders. The spokesperson also said the wait times that Gill cites are outdated. Tesla’s website currently lists wait times from 1 month to 9 months.