Tesla unveiled the Model X last week and first impressions have been extremely favorable across the board. From safety and performance unmatched by any SUV to the unique windshield and Falcon-Wing doors, the Model X impressed quite a few people including tens of thousands of reservation holders who placed $5,000 to $40,000 deposits to be among the first to get the vehicle. Some of them have been waiting for 3 years to get the all-electric SUV.
But even after the official launch of the vehicle, most reservation holders (estimated 25,000 to 30,000) don’t know when they will get their car or even what it will cost. Availability
Tesla delivered the first few Model X’s on stage at the unveiling to a select few customers including: Google co-founder Sergey Brin, Tesla board members Steve Jurvetson and Ira Ehrenpreis. The cars were from Tesla’s “Founder” series, which are reserved for important company insiders (Brin was an early investor in Tesla).
Apart from the limited Founder Model X’s, Tesla also offers two versions of the Model X.
There’s the Signature Model X which requires a $40,000 deposit to reserve. There are about 1,200 Signature Model X reservation holders and they were all invited to configure their car on Tesla’s website and place their order prior to last week’s launch event, but none of them have reported having been assigned a delivery date.
The other version is simply the production model. The number of production Model X reservation holders is estimated to be between 25,000 and 30,000. We spoke to a few reservations holders and they reported being told by Tesla that in January 2016 they will be able to configure their car and get to know when they can expect delivery.
We contacted Tesla about the availability of the Model X, but the press department hasn’t yet responded.
To be fair, Tesla CEO Elon Musk has been saying for a while that the Model X production ramp up will be slow. The Model X was originally supposed to launch in 2013, but after a few delays Tesla committed to a Q3 2015 launch. By having a launch event on Sept 29th, one day before the end of quarter, they technically respected the schedule, but they only delivered a few “Founder” vehicles and now with the lack of information about the ramp up of production, the timing looks suspicious…
Morgan Stanley’s Adam Jonas reduced his price target on Tesla’s stock from $465 to $450 after the launch of the Model X due to the starting price being more expensive than expected. Consequently, he reduced his 2016 delivery estimate of the SUV to 20,000 units.
During the whole Model X presentation, CEO Elon Musk never mentioned the price of the vehicle, but a $132,000 price tag has been circulating in the media. The figure first showed up a month ago when Tesla first brought online its design studio for Signature Model X reservation holders to configure their cars.
At that time, the $132,000 price tag was for the performance version of the Model X (P90D), which was the only available version of the vehicle to configure. After the launch, Tesla released information about the non-performance version of the Model X with a 90 kWh battery pack (90D).
There’s a $20,000 difference between the 90D and P90D version of the Model S, but even though EPA ratings and specifications have been released for both versions of the Model X, the $132,000 starting price remains the only price being reported.
Elon Musk previously confirmed that the Model X will cost $5,000 more than a Model S with the same options and later said that a less expensive version of the Model X will come in “12 months”. Both tweets haven’t been deleted yet so we can assume that those numbers still stand.
Based on the price tag currently circulating in the media, most people assume that the less expensive version of the Model X planned for production costs $132,000. But what is the starting price of the Model X 90D?
Here’s something to consider: Tesla has a the first year of Model X sales already booked. Even if some of those folks defect, many more people will want to get their hands on a Model X this year and will be willing to pay a big premium to get one. As soon as Tesla can fill all of their orders for high end Model X’s, they will likely announce more budget friendly (or in the case of Tesla not outrageous). Until then, Tesla would probably like to put potential mid/lower end Tesla buyers at the more rapidly and economically produced Model S.
Yet the lack of information about availability and the pricing inconsistencies can be rather frustrating for reservation holders and potential buyers. Elon Musk confirmed that the company has seen a “very big” uptick in Model S orders after the revealed of the Model S, maybe some reservation holders decided to give up on waiting for the Model X and ordered a Model S instead?
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Talking about Model Xs which are priced $5K higher than equally equipped Model Ss without making them available, shows, that E. Musk does not care about ‘normal’ buyers, as long as he can cash in on the ‘ludicrous’ type.
The number of cancelled X reservations indicates that his current sales strategy is backfiring.
It would be more plausible to let us configure/order 90Ds now, even if they are only deliverable in late 2016.