The hundreds of thousands of customers who have plunked down deposits for the mass-market Tesla Model 3 electric car are finally getting a glimpse of what they’re buying.
As you can see, the car is basic black. In a follow-up tweet, Musk noted that Ira Ehrenpreis, an early investor in Tesla who’s also on the company’s board, had the rights to the first Model 3 because he was the first to put down a full deposit.
However, Musk added in Twitter shorthand that he “gave those rights to me as my 46th bday present. Tks Ira!”
Musk, who turned 46 on June 28, said the first-paid, first-served requirement is a “hard rule.”
“I have first Roadster and X, but not first S,” he said.
Over the past 15 months, an estimated 400,000-plus customers have put down money for the car, which carries a base price of $35,000. That’s way less than Tesla’s Model 3 and Model X, and Musk expects to sell way more of the cars.
But not right away. This month, Musk said the first 30 customers would get their Model 3’s at a party on July 28. He projected that another 100 would be produced in August, 1,500 in September, and 20,000 in December.
As rapid as that ramp-up sounds, not as many cars will be available this year as originally expected. And some analysts are skeptical that Tesla will be able to hit the 500,000-a-year production target that Musk set for 2018. That skepticism contributed to this week’s drop in Tesla’s share price, at a time when you’d think investors would be celebrating the Model 3’s official debut.