2017 Tesla Model 3 "first production" car, in photo tweeted by Elon Musk on July 9, 2017Enlarge Photo
If ever a car were in "production hell"—to use Tesla CEO Elon Musk's memorable phrase—the Tesla Model 3 is, right around now.
From the first hand-built Model 3s delivered in late July through the end of September, fewer than 300 cars have gone to buyers—far short of the 1,500 predicted by Musk in early July.
That now makes it highly unlikely Tesla will be able to ramp to its projected production pace of 5,000 cars a week by the end of this year.
Reports in The Wall Street Journal have suggested that all Model 3s delivered through the end of last month were essentially hand-assembled, and that Tesla faces challenges with the basic task of welding steel.
But the company still has 455,000 reservations outstanding for the Model 3, each accompanied by a deposit of $1,000, and an eager and seemingly patient buyer pool waiting for the car.
In light of this "production hell," we were curious to see how our Twitter followers felt about the Model 3's prospects over the next year.
In a year, the Tesla Model 3 will be ...— Green Car Reports (@GreenCarReports) October 16, 2017
Let it never be said that our survey participants are anything but Tesla fans, supporters, and advocates.
Fully 41 percent of respondents supported the notion that one year from now, the Tesla Model 3 will be "the world's most popular EV."
We assume that means "selling at the highest rate" rather than "highest total cumulative sales." Unfortunately Twitter surveys limit our character count, which discourages specificity.
But, to be clear, four out of 10 participants think the Model 3 will be selling at a higher rate, globally, than not only the Chevrolet Bolt EV, Nissan Leaf, and Toyota Prius Prime but also every Chinese electric vehicle.
Another 25 percent thinks the Model 3 will be "selling well, no problems," if not perhaps the undisputed champ on the top of the podium.
And a further 22 percent opted for the "OK, but has competition" answer, meaning the Model 3 will be one of several electric cars competing more or less equally for supremacy.
Tesla Model 3 found on CraigslistEnlarge Photo
A mere 12 percent of survey respondents said that in a year, the Tesla Model 3 would be "struggling," our most pessimistic survey option.
All of this indicates a strong faith among respondents in Tesla's ability to get the Model 3 into reliable, high-quality, high-volume production over the next 12 months.
It's almost tempting to survey our Twitter followers to see how many have already put down one of those $1,000 reservations for a place in the Model 3 queue.
As always, please note that our Twitter polls are far from scientifically accurate, since participants are self-selected and the number of responses is low against our overall readership.