Tesla volunteers said they believed they were helping to improve the environment and preserve American jobs by aiding the electric-car maker's end-of-quarter push that achieved a record 83,500 deliveries for July-September.
Volunteers were Tesla owners who gave vehicle orientations to new buyers.
"If you've never owned a Tesla, it can be a longer conversation," said Phil Gorski, president of the Tesla Owners Club of Portland, Ore. "If there were new folks, or older folks, or people who just needed an extra hand, some of our volunteers were with customers for upwards of 45 minutes to an hour."
Tesla said last week it sold 55,840 Model 3 sedans, 14,470 Model S sedans and 13,190 Model X crossovers in the quarter. The company exceeded its guidance of 50,000 to 55,000 Model 3s for the quarter. Tesla mobilized its volunteer army as the company's yearlong struggle to increase Model 3 production, which CEO Elon Musk termed "production hell," gave way to "delivery logistics hell."
Gorski said club members began volunteering shortly after Musk encouraging owners to help with deliveries. Tesla provided guidelines for volunteers.
Owners from Oregon and southwest Washington helped between Sept. 22 and Sept. 30, Gorski said, with as many as 15 showing up each day on weekends. Tesla's main delivery center in Portland was open until 11 p.m. Sept. 29 and 10 p.m. Sept. 30 to handle the push, Gorski said.
"People were frustrated. It took a lot longer than they expected," he said. "But no one was angry and no one made a scene."