Watching Tesla—and Teslas—has become practically a spectator sport, especially for those who live near the factory.
As production of the company's most popular car, the Model 3, has ramped up that sport has become easier—at least for people in the San Francisco Bay Area.
It seems all that production has outstripped the company's delivery systems and left tens of thousands of Teslas parked in lots all over the region. Those packed parking lots have become the talk of fans, observers, and financial analysts, some of whom go to great lengths to count the cars by model to gauge production of the company's critical Model 3.
Several of the lots surround Tesla's Fremont, California factory, filling up parking lots of hotels and business parks.
Some observers have questioned what's going on, and whether the cars are ready for delivery or waiting to be reworked for some factory flaw or another.
Green Car Reports reached out to Tesla to ask about the documented photos and even drone videos of the lots and the company declined to comment.
Target $TSLA: Episode Seven (The Lathrop Shuffle) Let's start with the bottom line: in the past week there has been a big increase in activity at Lathrop, but we believe the total car population, now split between Louise and Harlan, is still very high, possibly higher than ever. pic.twitter.com/iUdljRrB0i— Machine Planet (@Paul91701736) August 21, 2018
That has not stopped speculators from trying to count the cars or draw conclusions from their mere existence.
One of the largest lots is in Lathrop, California, outside Stockton in the San Joaquin Valley, near major railroad lines and not far from the Tesla factory.
Twitter user @CrayonResearch has estimated more than 2,900 cars may have been sitting at the Lathrop facility at the end of July.
Fellow Twitter user Machine Planet, who takes surveys of the lots every week or two, notes that the company has also begun storing cars at an adjacent facility in Lathrop.
@nick_thesun are you interested in this - colleague of husband’s brand new $78,000 dollar Tesla Model 3- in a gleaming interior of whiteness, 3 white door pads and, um one brown one. Nobody had noticed pic.twitter.com/kSuABacTml— Angela Dowden (@DietWrite) August 15, 2018
It's possible that Tesla is just staging cars for delivery to other parts of the country. It's also possible, especially given the large buildings at these locations, that the company is doing some final inspections and corrections at the facilities, which was reported Tuesday by Business Insider.
One thing seems certain: Intense scrutiny and speculation about the company are unlikely to die down any time soon.