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For those who worship at the altar of Tesla (TSLA), another (financial) offering can be made.
Tesla has once again, albeit quietly, made reservations available for the second-gen Tesla Roadster.
On the company website, potential buyers can now put down a $5,000 deposit via credit card, then follow that up with a wire transfer for $45,000 within 10 days to secure a reservation.
The website says the $5,000 credit card deposit is “fully refundable,” but there’s no word on whether the wire transfer is or not. And good luck finding out what the MSRP is for the roadster, because it isn’t listed.
Of course, it’s all very odd for a car that was unveiled back in 2017 and still hasn’t been produced. At that time, when reservations were last open, the Roadster had a base price of $200,000, with a Founders Edition trim that listed for $250,000.
At last week’s Giga Rodeo celebrating the opening of Tesla's Texas factory, CEO Elon Musk gave an update on the Roadster, claiming it would go into production in 2023, following the beginning of production of the CyberTruck.
For Tesla, the announcement of a new product and subsequent delayed rollout isn’t new (see the base Model 3, Model Y, Tesla Semi, and the aforementioned CyberTruck). But for a product with a potential eye-watering price tag, not knowing a firm MSRP or an official delivery date can make putting down a big deposit a massive leap of faith.
For example, just take a look at some of the replies to my initial tweet about the Roadster reservations opening up:
C'mon y'all. Credit where credit is due. It's a legit kickstarter campaign.
— Matt Case (@1LogicMaster) April 12, 2022
One of the most valuable companies in the world running a GoFundMe
— Donkey Lips (@salutemyshortz) April 12, 2022
On the flip-side, there are others who see nothing wrong with it:
And yet Tesla gets deposits from people who want to be the first to own one when it becomes available. This example actually shows the strength of the companies following.
— Dawood (@70Dawood) April 12, 2022
For anyone that has invested in TSLA it's just pocket change.
— Robert Warren (@ROBERTWARRENNB) April 12, 2022
Of course, the Roadster was never meant to be a high volume vehicle for Tesla. Instead, it's a "halo" car, offering a glimpse of the technology Tesla says it will soon have on offer — like a 250 mph top speed, 620 miles of range, and cold air thrusters for extra boost.
It’s just that potential buyers — who only get their money back if Tesla cancels the vehicle — have to take a huge leap of faith that the car will eventually be released. Just ask those reservation holders who plunked down $250,000 five years ago to see if their faith has been tested.