PALO ALTO, California — Orders for the 2017 Tesla Model 3 hit the 276,000 mark as of Saturday, a stunning endorsement by car shoppers for the automaker's first mass-market vehicle.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk kept up a continual stream of tweets about the Model 3 throughout the weekend, noting that he expects the average selling price of the Model 3 with an average mix of options to be $42,000.
In that case, the initial orders have an estimated retail value of about $11.6 billion.
During the car's unveiling last week, Tesla said the Model 3 would start at $35,000.
Musk also said that a "token of appreciation" is on the way via e-mail to consumers who lined up for the car. It was not clear what that gift might be.
"Thought maybe 20-30 people per store would line up, not 800," Musk tweeted.
At some Tesla stores, the line for the car snaked around the block.
The Model 3 order requires a refundable $1,000 deposit.
"All efforts are focused on accelerating the ramp," Musk wrote.
He added: "Future of electric cars looks bright!"
A final report on Model 3 orders will be published on Wednesday, Musk said.
In response to a question from one of his 3.6 million Twitter followers that asked: "Any chance of an electric truck?" Musk replied "def on the cards for the future."
Edmunds says: Tesla is rewriting the book on automotive marketing with the launch of the Model 3, as car shoppers go crazy for the affordable EV.