Waiting room at Tesla showroom in Fremont

Photo by Mark Altenberg

Tesla's Big Push To Boost Its Numbers

Crowds at Delivery Center in Fremont

KCBS Radio Morning News
October 01, 2018 - 6:58 am

FREMONT (KCBS Radio) -- Tesla's push to boost third-quarter sales numbers created a weekend traffic jam at the company's Fremont delivery center.

Some buyers who'd expected to pick up their new cars several weeks from now were contacted and urged to make plans for delivery over the weekend.

One of them was Barb Altenberg of Kensington, who told KCBS Radio she and her husband Mark arrived precisely on time for their delivery appointment and wound up waiting 45 minutes to meet with a delivery specialist.

Ice cream truck in Tesla delivery center lot
Photo by Mark Altenberg
"They brought in a food truck and an ice cream truck" for the throng of new Tesla owners, said Altenberg.

The end-of-quarter push was part of an effort by Tesla to boost its sales numbers. Cars aren't counted as "sold" until they're delivered.

CNBC reported Tesla CEO Elon Musk, embroiled in a battle with the Securities and Exchange Commission, had sent emails to Tesla employees on Friday urging an all-out effort to get more deliveries on the books.

On Friday, Musk reportedly wrote, "Ignore all distractions. One more hardcore weekend and we will all be victorious."

By early Sunday, another Musk email reportedly said, "We are very close to achieving profitability and proving the naysayers wrong, but to be certain, we must execute really well."

Mark Altenberg said Tesla employees told him a typical day at the Fremont delivery center sees a few dozen cars handed over to buyers. 

On Saturday, some 400 deliveries were made, "more people than they had ever seen there," Altenberg said. "It was pretty crazy." A horde of unpaid Tesla enthusiasts known as "Tesla Ambassadors" helped familiarize buyers with their new rides.

Mark Altenberg, for one, was impressed with his new Model S. "It's like stepping ten years into the future," he said.