Tesla Model X Delayed Again
Electric Crossover Due Q3 2015
Tesla released its third-quarter results yesterday, including a letter to investors that detailed the company’s earnings over the last three months. The investor letter stated that the company’s Model X fullsize crossover would be released in the third quarter of 2015, a few months later than previously expected.
Tesla gave several reasons for the delay, saying that the company decided on giving the vehicle “significantly more validation testing time to achieve the best Model X possible.” While that extra testing time means that the thousands of people who have reserved a Model X will have to wait a bit longer for their crossovers, it also means that the company will be able to ramp up production more quickly.
If that’s the case, then Tesla is likely learning from the mistakes it made with the 2012 launch of the Model S sedan. Demand for that vehicle very quickly outstripped production capacity, but if Tesla’s claims about the Model X timetable are accurate, then the company will hopefully be able to keep up with demand. We also hope the Model X’s longer development time will cure some of the problems very early Tesla owners experienced, like drive-unit failure and software glitches.
The Model X and the Model S will be manufactured on the same Fremont, California, assembly line, which isn’t surprising given the vehicles will share just about everything but bodies and interiors. Interestingly, initial production of the Model X’s bodyshell will be separate from the Model S, allowing the company to prevent a slowdown of Model S production. Additionally, the company’s assembly lines and paint shops will be expanded, allowing for a significant increase in production capacity.
Keeping production appropriately high is vital to Tesla, whose Model S sedan consistently breaks its own sales records. The company predicts that its 2014 sales will be 50 percent higher than 2013, when it sold 22,450 vehicles. Tesla also says that adding the Model X to the mix next year will increase sales another 50 percent, which means that 2015 might be the first year that Tesla sells more than 50,000 vehicles.
We’re a bit bummed to hear that the all-electric crossover is still almost a year away, but at the same time, it seems like Tesla is doing the right thing by making sure the Model X will be fully screwed together before it launches.