The beginning of the line outside the Tesla showroom at Westfield UTC. Photo by Chris Jennewein
The line began outside the Tesla showroom and snaked through Westfield UTC Mall. Photo by Chris Jennewein

If San Diego’s reaction to Tesla‘s new mid-market electric sedan is any indication, the car will be a big success nationally.

Well over a thousand people lined up outside the Tesla showroom at Westfield UTC to put down $1,000 to reserve the new Model 3. The line snaked through the mall and circled the central plaza shortly after 1 p.m.

Tesla is scheduled to unveil the new $35,000 electric sedan at 8:30 p.m. in its Los Angeles design studio. It won’t be in production until late 2017.

“We’re here to put down $1,000 on a car we haven’t seen,” said one woman in the line, who added she was 246th at 8:30 a.m. when Tesla began taking reservations.

“Not only have we not seen it, but it hasn’t been made,” said another man, who was nonetheless eager to get one.

Tesla hopes the new vehicle, to be built in its highly-automated factory in Fremont, CA, will open up electric cars to a mass market. The cheapest car currently available at Tesla is the Model S, which starts at $70,000.

Chris Jennewein

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.