Tesla’s Model 3 makes debut in Greenwich

Photo of Macaela J. Bennett

While it’s not for sale on site, Tesla’s new Model 3 is now on display at the electric car company’s Greenwich Avenue showroom.

The sedan with a starting price of $35,000 arrived in Greenwich on Friday morning and will be available for customers to view and explore “indefinitely,” according to the company. The new model has attracted nearly half a million pre-orders and is being rolled out to showrooms across the country, including six in the tri-state area.

Greenwich small-business owner Dominick Vivona was among those visiting the showroom Friday. Vivona reserved a Model 3 within 15 minutes of its availability more than two years ago, he said.

Following a visit to California, he’d “felt the push to go all electric with my next car purchase.” He looked at electric vehicles made by other manufacturers but opted to wait for Tesla’s Model 3, because “it seemed like Elon Musk was trying to do something very cool and futuristic.” The car’s cost after thousands in tax rebates was also attractive, Vivona said.

After experiencing the car Friday, he noticed a few details that he didn’t love but said, overall, they aren’t “deal breakers” and seeing the car was “reassuring. ...What is a deal breaker for this year is if I can receive the car in time before tax rebates start to expire,” he said.

Connecticut state law prohibits the direct sale of vehicles to consumers, as opposed to through a franchise dealership, so buyers must visit another state, such as New York, that permits Tesla’s direct-sale business model.

For the fourth year in a row, Tesla lobbied for legislation that would allow it to sell in Connecticut, but the bill wasn’t brought to the floor for a vote before the session concluded this spring. Despite not being able sell in Connecticut, there are about 1,500 Tesla vehicles registered in the state, a company spokesperson has said.

Interested buyers can reserve a Model 3 online, with a $1,000 reservation fee. Tesla has built more than 36,000 Model 3 cars, according to Bloomberg estimates.

Tesla’s Greenwich showroom is at 340 Greenwich Ave.

Contact the writer at mbennett@greenwichtime.com; Twitter @Macaela_