Tesla didn't expect preorder interest in the new Model 3 to be as high as it is, according to company CEO Elon Musk. The company has amassed 276,000 preorders in the first three days.
In a number of tweets this afternoon, Musk both expressed his appreciation to current and future Tesla owners for their faith in the company, and revealed that Tesla expected one-quarter to one-half as much preorder interest as they have received.
"No one at Tesla thought it would be this high before part 2 of the unveil," Musk said in a tweet.
The company was especially surprised by the number of people who lined up at Tesla stores to place their orders — while online preorders opened at 7:30PM PT on Thursday, customers who went into a Tesla retail location were able to deposit $1,000 and place a preorder Thursday morning.
Token of appreciation for those who lined up coming via mail. Thought maybe 20-30 people per store would line up, not 800. Gifts on order.— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 2, 2016
"[We] thought maybe 20-30 people per store would line up, not 800," said Musk. The company was ordering "tokens of appreciation" for customers who preordered in store, noting that sufficient supplies were on order. The gifts may include a scale Model 3 and "a few other things."
Musk said that all who preorder a Model 3 will receive a gift, but "those who stood in some crazy long lines" will receive something extra. Musk also praised owners of the Tesla Roadster, Model S, and Model X, saying they are "the ones who got us here" and have paid for the development of the Model 3. "They deserve a lot of credit," he said.
Customers who stood in "crazy long lines" at tesla stores will receive a special gift
He promised additional updates later today and then a final update on Wednesday to cover the first week of preorder availability.
@34thrain Maybe 1/4 to 1/2 of what happened. No one at Tesla thought it would be this high before part 2 of the unveil.— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 2, 2016
It's not clear how the massive number of preorders will affect availability — we have reached out to Tesla for comment on an estimated ramp up of production and when buyers could expect to receive their preorders if placed today. To be fair, it's likely that Tesla itself doesn't know what the production ramp would look like more than 18 months ahead of delivery.
Watch: 4K race footage of the Tesla Model 3