Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ: TSLA) will deliver the first Model X before the end of September. The company’s visionary CEO Elon Musk has confirmed this delivery himself, but he’s known to promise a lot and fail a bit along the way. The truth is, this isn’t the first time a date has been set for the Model X’s release. Our infographic, which can be seen below, takes a look at the history of the failures. launch of the Model X.
This time it’s more real. Tesla Motors has kept its promise of a Q3 2015 release since November of last year, and Elon Musk himself has repeatedly said the first delivery will come before the end of September. On Wednesday, July 7, he said he expected Tesla Motors sales to double following the release of the Model X.
As that hope grows, Tesla fans are still wondering what went so bad with Model X, which first premiered in 2012, to delay its release for so long. Here’s a look at the issues that plagued production.
Tesla Motors focuses on Model S
Maybe Elon Musk and the other Tesla Motors executives weren’t expecting the Model S to sell at 2013 levels or maybe they changed their plan for the future of the company. halfway through the design of the Model X.
In March 2013, Mr. Musk said he and his team were “consciously pushing back the schedule to allow us to focus on his production and product improvements in the Model S.” More than two years later, the Model S has saw many improvements and the demand for the car is still high.
Tesla Motors manufactured 35,000 Model S units in 2014 and managed to sell almost all of them. The company started to add hardware needed for the autopilot last September and is just waiting to release a software update to allow people’s cars to drive themselves, in a limited way of course.
New versions of the Model S have also been released by Tesla Motors, including the D models and the new 70 kWh Model which replaced the 60 kWh Model S. launched on April 8.
Those awful and beautiful doors of the Model X
The Falcon winged doors on the Model X are going to be the biggest point of contention for those who buy the car. Some people really like them. Some, like Mark Wilson at Fast business, think they are part of a “pornographic attempt at eroticism”.
According to Wilson, who wrote about the design after its first appearance in 2012, “Not a single statement in design is confident enough to say, ‘I’m a Tesla, dammit. Instead, the designers attached these doors to scream instead. “
Tesla Motors may have erred out of overconfidence when it presented the Model X design in 2012. After showing the world those Falcon wing doors, it just couldn’t take them back. The problems with hawk winged doors are the same as with any seagull winged doors ever made.
Right after the February 2014 delay in the Model X launch, it was rumored that Tesla Motors was struggling to properly seal the Falcon wing doors. Musk said after that time that the Model X needed “creative problem-solving.”
Patrick Archambault of Goldman Sachs managed to get more information from Mr. Musk during a call to shareholders in November 2014. Mr. Musk explained that making a good car was not difficult for Tesla Motors, but “doing doing much of something consistently that is going to last a long time is extremely difficult.
He went on to say that the issues with the powertrain and other technologies in the car were mostly resolved because they were the same as used in the Model S. The doors were still having issues due to their novelty “we add. some of the really new stuff that really isn’t there that never really existed in a useful way.
Elon Musk Needs Model X Perfection
In March 2014, more than a year after he was supposed to launch the Model X, Mr. Musk took some, but only part, of the blame for the delay in releasing the car.
Explaining the delays of the Model X at that time, in February of the same year Tesla Motors said the Model X would be on the road by December, Mr Musk said: “I’m kind of a perfectionist “.
“I really insist that the production version be better than anything we’ve demonstrated before,” Musk told Bloomberg at the same time.
Elon Musk doesn’t just want to pull out a car, and he can’t afford to. He needs create a cultural phenomenon with the Model X in the same way he did with the Model S.
Releasing a Model X with gaskets that break after two years won’t do the trick for Tesla Motors, and neither will a hawk-wing door appear to be less of a feature and more of a gimmick. Everything about the Model X has to be on point, and Elon Musk won’t let it out of sight until he does.
At the moment, Tesla Motors seems to be happy with the Model X. In February, Mr Musk said the design for the car was finished. This does not mean that there will not be challenges ahead, but that means we might actually see the SUV in early fall.
Tesla Motors is getting ready for Model X
We know the Tesla Motors Model X is in production because Brad Erikson of Pacific Crest visited the factory when the the company’s staff were trained on how to assemble the car, but Tesla Motors says we won’t get any updates on the specs until the first car leaves its Fremont plant and reaches its first buyer.
Meanwhile, more than 20,000 people have loaned Tesla Motors $ 5,000 to secure their unit from a car they don’t know much about. A smaller group shelled out $ 40,000 to get a signature version of the Model X, although it no longer has to be deposited.
Tesla still has three months before it has to bring the first Model X out of its factory. However, rumors are circulating that the company will get a small batch of these Signature Model X SUVs early to ensure the first deliveries of the device well before the end of the quarter.
With the company’s shares falling sharply in recent trades, and Elon Musk being known for make big announcements when shareholders lose confidence, the shipment of the first Model X could arrive at any time.
Steve Jurvetson, who invested in Tesla Motors early on, received his Model S over two weeks before the car starts normal shipping to buyers. Mr. Jurvetson, or Mr. Musk himself, could be driving a Model X sooner than most realize.