Twitter user @JakeLangford6, who posts under the "$TSLA" cashtag on Twitter, has done some cyber-sleuthing and claims to have uncovered a "massive" Tesla Model 3 inventory stockpile. In a thread posted early this week, Jake, a self-proclaimed member of the Tesla "shorty ground force", explained how he reached his striking conclusion. He opened his thread by saying:
"Tesla has an inventory problem. There is a massive amount of 2018 Model 3 vehicles available for immediate delivery in the US. Here is a list of nearly 11,000 model 3s we've found."
He first went to Tesla's own Model 3 configuration webpage. After getting through several of the steps to order a vehicle, he took a closer look at the website's source code, where he noticed a JSON object (web design code) for a function called "Inventory Match".
Background: head over to the Model 3 Config page https://t.co/vQp4SLkKbt. Click through a config until you get to "Step 5 Payment". Once here, right click to view page source. Towards bottom of the page within the JSON object you will see "inventory_match_enabled" set to false. pic.twitter.com/YdIUqtfcA2— Jake F (@JakeLangford6) February 19, 2019
From there, he went on to explain how this is a not-yet-enabled function that is going to eventually help match buyers with inventory when they order, ostensibly saving Tesla a step internally. In other words, the ordering web app will talk with Tesla's inventory management systems to pair buyers with cars based on their requests.
Eventually this will be toggled to help match buyers & inventory. This webapp is still in its infancy, and Tesla was kind enough to provide us a full description of its purpose: "Application to help drive inventory sales by presenting a unified and simplified configurator" pic.twitter.com/fKhbF16R2k— Jake F (@JakeLangford6) February 19, 2019
Jake then explained that when the company does enable the function, it's going to provide a VIN number for every order. Upon doing so, the website will append a VIN number to the end of a URL for every particular order, matching the order with a Tesla whose VIN is in the system at Tesla.
Using this logic, Jake worked backward to note that if one were so inclined to simply "just guess and check any potentially valid VIN" that the corresponding website source code would turn up information on the vehicle you've selected, including odometer, price, discounts, location, etc.
If you find an Inventory VIN, the web source has a JSON object with specs on the vehicle include odometer reading, price, discounts, location, etc. These have been tracked since early January. It appears only vehicles that are in their final inventory lot are added (manually)— Jake F (@JakeLangford6) February 19, 2019
Download the data and check it out for yourself. You can look up any of the vehicles that are still in inventory by adding the VIN after "https://t.co/J9Fs511qty". Not all are still shown in inventory, but latest queries show over 8500 still active inventory.— Jake F (@JakeLangford6) February 19, 2019
He then includes links to two Pastebin posts where he lists the 2018 and 2019 inventory he found, seemingly using this method. Those lists look like this:
And the data of what he found, presented in several charts.
He even claims to have stumbled upon the VIN number of vehicles that have been flooded, but are still included in the company's inventory. Theoretically, one could purchase a flooded vehicle by using its VIN number on the company's website, according to Jake.
Who wants to buy this FLOODED one out of inventory? Full VIN is 5YJ3E1EB7KF191970 and it is still available! Only $43k after all your gas savings. https://t.co/Aqx9cxumsy— Jake F (@JakeLangford6) February 19, 2019
These allegations of inventory stockpiling come just days after Tesla slashed prices on the Model 3 for the second time in 36 days. All versions of the Model 3 saw a price reduction of $1100, which lowered the starting price of the vehicle to $42,900. This followed a $2000 price cut on all Tesla vehicles that was announced in early January in order to try and offset the reduction in the United States federal tax credit that Tesla vehicles qualify for.
The news also came after Tesla's referral program ended at the beginning of February.
You can view Jake's entire Twitter thread on the company's inventory here.