Tesla Model X Delayed Again, First Deliveries Pushed Back To Late 2015


Tesla displayed an interior refresh for their Model X at the 2013 Detroit Auto Show. Photo by Joe Nuxoll.

Tesla displayed an interior refresh for their Model X at the 2013 Detroit Auto Show. Photo by Joe Nuxoll.

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Tesla's Model X electric crossover will be delayed again for additional quality and validation testing, the company said in its latest earnings report. Deliveries will now begin in the third quarter of 2015.

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Putting a positive spin on the situation, Tesla Motors [NSDQ:TSLA said the delay will cost it some short-term profits but will ensure that customers are satisfied with the final product when it does arrive. Tesla says the delay will help it "achieve the best Model X possible" and ramp up production faster than it did with the Model S, albeit later than originally planned.

The company then took a shot at other carmakers, noting that "many other companies do not follow this philosophy ... and may be a more attractive home for investor capital."

When it was unveiled in early 2012 as a prototype, the Model X was expected to begin deliveries in December 2013, but that deadline was extended to December 2014 the following March. This past February, CEO Elon Musk nudged that timeline back a little further, saying deliveries would start in March 2015.

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Tesla has yet to show a final production version, although it has built Beta prototypes that are closer to production-spec than test mules. It also considers the launch of the dual-motor all-wheel-drive system in the Model S "D" to be an aspect of Model X development.

The company said reservations for the gull-winged electric crossover were "rapidly growing," and noted that it shut down production in July to retool for higher volumes of the Model S sedan, as well as the Model X. It reorganized its plant in Fremont, California so pre-production Model X bodies could be built on their own body line without affecting Model S production.

All told, Tesla hopes to be building "more than 2,000 vehicles per week" by the end of 2015, which would bring its annual production to 100,000 vehicles or more.

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