EDITORS PLEASE NOTE - THIS STORY CORRECTS EDIT 5201, MAKING CLEAR IT IS NORTH AMERICAN BUYERS IN LINE 2.
PLEASE MAKE NO FURTHER USE OF 5201.
When Elon Musk touted the Model 3 sedan as the Tesla for the masses three years ago - fans lined up around the block and camped out to put down a thousand dollars to reserve one.
In July 2017 Musk boasted that over half a million buyers were on the list.
Those bullish about the electric car company on Wall Street pointed to the lengthy waiting list as evidence of a bright future.
But Reuters reporter Alexandria Sage learned exclusively from two sources that the list has been plucked clean of current buyers in North America for now.
SOUNDBITE: REUTERS CORRESPONDENT ALEXANDRIA SAGE, (ENGLISH) SAYING: "What This means is that there is nobody left on this reservation list who is willing to buy the cars that are being sold now.
Presumably there is all sorts of demand for a lower price.
Thirty five thousand dollar version of the car.
That's what was originally promised back in 2016.
But right now Tesla is only selling higher priced versions.
And these customers, anybody who wanted to buy those higher priced Teslas have already been satisfied." Trying to lure more drivers, Tesla on Tuesday cut the price of its Model 3 - a rear-wheel drive with a mid-range battery - by over a thousand dollars to just under $43 grand.
But that's still far from a cheaper shorter-range Model3 promised for the masses.
Musk says it's possible Tesla will start making them mid-year.
The success of the Model 3 is crucial to Tesla's hopes of long-term profitability SOUNDBITE: REUTERS CORRESPONDENT ALEXANDRIA SAGE, (ENGLISH) SAYING: "Elon Musk says demand for the Model 3 is insanely high.
He says there's no problem with demand.
The problem he says is affordability that people can't afford to buy the car at the prices for which the car is offered now.
But they are not offering a lower price car." And for now the Model 3s rolling out of Tesla's California factory are going to Chinese and European buyers.