Tesla’s first Model 3 showcase draws crowds at Stanford Shopping Center

Annelies Lindemans, 47, of San Jose, a Tesla Model 3 reservation holder,adjusts the mirror on a display model of the car at the electric sedan's first appearance in a Tesla showroom, on Friday, Jan. 12 at Stanford Shopping Center in Palo Alto, Calif. (Ethan Baron/Bay Area News Group)

PALO ALTO — Tesla’s entry-level sedan may be suffering production delays, but that didn’t quash the excitement at the first-ever appearance of the Model 3 in a Tesla showroom Friday at Stanford Shopping Center in Palo Alto.

The company opened the doors of its showroom in the ritzy mall at 10 a.m. and by noon a steady stream of people was coming in to check out the vehicle — Tesla’s bid to bring an electric vehicle to the mass market — and sit inside it.

Many who showed up already had Model 3 reservations.

Pleasanton nuclear physicist Anuj Purwar had stood in line with hundreds of other people at the same showroom two years ago, to put in his order for the Model 3 — sight unseen — when Tesla started taking pre-orders.

Since then, he’s caught sight of a few of the cars on the road, but “it’s very different to see it in the showroom,” he said.

“It actually looks bigger. It seems quite spacious,” Purwar said.

The Model 3 has suffered production problems leading to delivery delays, and by putting it on display, Tesla is signaling that it’s approaching a strong production rate, analystis said, but also taking a risk it may frustrate reservation holders by showing them a car they can’t yet have.

For James Bentajado, a 27-year-old nurse from Milpitas, the effect was somewhat different. “There have been too many delays,” he said, and the “magic” of the Model 3 was starting to fade for him.

“Now I got to sit in the car — that has brought my momentum back. I’m totally going to continue waiting for the Model 3,” he said.

A long-time Tesla fan, Bentajado only started envisioning himself behind the wheel of one after company CEO Elon Musk revealed plans for the relatively affordable Model 3, which starts at $35,000.

“That …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Business

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