Tesla Model 3
A wheel of a prototype of the Tesla Model 3 on display in front of the factory during a media tour of the Tesla Gigafactory, which will produce batteries for the electric carmaker in Sparks, Nevada, U.S. July 26, 2016. Reuters/James Glover

Tesla CEO Elon Musk has admitted a mistake, and that’s the confusing name for his electric sedan Model 3. He recently revealed that the name has hurt sales, Musk told stock analysts in a quarterly conference.

Thus, the Tesla “S3X” series, which was originally the “SEX” series, may have seemed attractive to many. However, in real life, it has become a bit of a pain for Tesla. Musk has described this as an error that is costing the company. “The joke's on me because it's caused confusion in the marketplace. We're going to be a broken record on this front because we have to clear up an error,” he explained, reports LA Times. Certain potential buyers think that Model 3 is a new version of Model S. Hence, they are holding back.

The billionaire CEO then explained the difference between a model system and a versioning system, stating that the Model 3 is not version 3 of the car. That ways, Tesla is currently on version 4 of Model S. Model 3 will also be version 4 then. Musk acknowledges that it’s very confusing as one is a letter and the other a number. Tesla could be staring at a big problem now, as it is possible that a number of enthusiasts who put in US$1,000 to pre-book Model 3 are expecting the vehicle to be as sophisticated as the Model S.

Apart from the numbering issue, another reason for confusion could be the electric car maker’s unconventional development strategy, reports The Sydney Morning Herald. Musk had a decade-long master plan of producing a super-expensive sports car, then a slightly less-expensive electric sedan and then gradually move on to the production of a low-cost mainstream vehicle. The idea was to churn out a few expensive luxury vehicles to make enough money for the cheaper ones.

However, Tesla fans reportedly got it wrong. They have become so used to smartphone marketing strategies, they started expecting the best of tech in the latest of Tesla releases. In order to solve this problem, there is no other option for Musk but to educate the consumers. The confusion is somewhat acceptable because a owner cannot really build r configure a Model 3 yet. Initially, the upcoming sedan was called Model E. However, Ford objected to this as they too have a vehicle with the same branding.

Musk changed “E” to “3,” changing the line-up to “S3X.” Those who are not aware of the details, the Model 3 is smaller than Model S, and even lacks the large dashboard with buttons and instruments. It is also expected to weigh less. Stay tuned on IBT AU for more updates on Tesla Model 3.