There are around 400,000 of them, and they’re getting impatient. Not only the raft of Model 3 reservation holders, but a passel of stock-market and automotive pundits want details on how many Model 3s are out there, and how quickly they’re being produced.
Bloomberg is the latest to create a tool to estimate the number of Model 3s rolling out of the Fremont factory, using Vehicle Identification Numbers (VINs).
Bloomberg’s Model 3 tracker uses two methods to gather VIN data. The first source is the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) web site, which reports how many VINs Tesla has registered for Model 3s at any given time. The limitation of this method is that automakers register VINs in large batches that anticipate planned production, so some of the numbers represent cars soon to be produced, but not yet on the road.
For a second data set, Bloomberg scours the internet for VINs posted on social media by Tesla customers and fans. Some hard-core fans report the VINs of any Model 3s they see in the wild. Bloomberg also invites owners and spotters to report VINs directly to its tracking system.
Bloomberg’s data gurus compare the two datasets with Tesla’s reported production and come up with their best estimate of current Model 3 action. So, what’s the verdict? Bloomberg believes that (as of mid-February 2018) Tesla has manufactured 7,535 Model 3s, and is now building around 956 per week.