From the source linked below, the following is an excerpt from a recently published newsletter from Tesla Motors:
"If you custom-order your car online, in showrooms or by phone today, you could have your car in time for Christmas."
The source then speculates that Tesla Motors sales must be down, if delivery times are now much shorter, so they contacted Tesla spokeswoman Rachel Konrad to confirm. In response, she states:
"We are just over 850 deliveries. Like all major manufacturers in production (and those who keep books according to generally accepted accounting principles), we count sales and revenue when cars are delivered. Now that we are ramped up in production, we do not provide data on the order."
In my view, since delivery times are a simple function of supply versus demand, it is clear that production rates have simply caught up with demand, and Tesla Motors is clearing out an order backlog that at one time had customers waiting dozens of months to receive their vehicle. Now that delivery times are short, and more stores are opening, I expect Tesla Motors sales to increase, especially when showrooms actually have inventory on hand, which would allow the customer to drive home with their vehicle that day.
It is of interest that the recently introduced Tesla Motors Model S, which will begin deliveries in late 2011, already has a order backlog of over 1,000. Perhaps some Tesla Roadster sales were siphoned off by a vehicle that Tesla Motors won't ship for two years. Still, having inventory of Tesla Roadsters on site for the Tesla Motors stores will be an enormous benefit to sales.