Tesla’s Current Approach To Model X – Anti-Sell And Avoid Stoking Demand

3 years ago by Mark Kane 23

Tesla Model X

Tesla Model X

Tesla Model X

Tesla Model X

Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk was asked about Model X demand during the recent Q2 conference.  He responded saying that demand is huge, despite the automaker actively trying to anti-sell this model:

“I guess what’s important to appreciate for the X, that there — let’s just put the orders in context. There are no cars available for a test drive. There is no information about the cars in our stores because we’re only selling the S. In fact, if somebody comes in who wants to buy the X, we try to convince them to buy the S. So we anti-sell it. And we don’t really provide all that much information or details about the car or provide [indiscernible] on when you can get it. Despite all that, there’s huge demand from around the world for the X.”

Because Model X is delayed to until Spring 2015 (start of series production), Tesla would rather sell you Model S and this is what the automaker intends to try to do for quite awhile.

Tesla notes that nobody wants to vex customers by forcing them to wait too long on their dream car (China, where some customers fell into rage after long waiting for Model S, would be a good example of that).

For now, unofficial data indicates that reservations for Model X are close to 15,000, from which maybe just 3,000 are outside of the US.

But we do wonder how this anit-sell tactic will work for Tesla.  It’s got to be the first time we’ve heard an automaker say it’s trying to anti-sell a product and attempting to avoid stoking demand.

What do you make of this unique selling anit-selling approach?

Tesla Model X

Tesla Model X

Source: Seeking Alpha via Business Insider

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23 responses to "Tesla’s Current Approach To Model X – Anti-Sell And Avoid Stoking Demand"

  1. kdawg says:

    I wonder for how long they will have to “anti-sell” the Model III?

    1. Steven says:

      They’ve already started. I went into the King of Prussia location, and just for laughs asked what the could tell me about the three. Their response, “Why wait for the three, when you can treat yourself to an S now.”

  2. Brian says:

    “It’s got to be the first time we’ve heard an automaker say it’s trying to anti-sell a product”

    Really? You’ve never heard of a for-profit company trying to turn would-be buyers of a future product into buyers of a currently available product?

  3. Nelson says:

    I’m not too sure about anti-selling the Model X, but I am pretty sure I saw the Model X in last night’s CBS episode of “Extant” show with Halle Berry.

    NPNS! SBF!
    Volt#671

    1. kdawg says:

      Looks like a few ppl saw it a month ago too. Must be their regular driver. (still haven’t seen the show)
      http://www.teslamotors.com/forum/forums/first-model-x-tv

      1. Rob Stark says:

        The lead in Extant drives a BMW i3.

        But in the future Tesla has 80% market share in the USA or at least it appears that way in the show.

        1. Bonaire says:

          Wall Street wants you to think so. The future is always brighter than the present.

    2. BraveLilToaster says:

      That reminds me of how one of the more recent James Bond movies featured several electric and fuel cell cars that didn’t exist yet. Mostly they were proposed conversions like the Ford Focus, so it was just a matter of a little dubbing.

  4. Taser54 says:

    That’s just Musk being Musk. They’re trying to sell the Model X alright.

    1. Bonaire says:

      Looks like reservations are about 40 per calendar day now based on teslamotorsclub reservation tracking. Not a big deal. Just more news fodder. China still is not really doing a lot of ordering. 2200 total MX orders now. I have to assume their orders are primariy MS of a few more thousand.

      1. Bonaire says:

        Sorry, it shows 1865 MX for China as of Aug 4. I was off on the estimate above.

  5. pjwood says:

    BMW can sell 363 i3’s a month, and do a much better job than GM making it look like demand is strong, but 15,000 reservations?

    1. BMW claimed 100,000 “reservations” for the i3, the “first premium electric car”.

      BMW wins the total BS award from me.

  6. jmac says:

    Model S sales are far from over. Tesla has the whole right hand drive world before them, about 2 billion people who “drive on the wrong side of the road”

    They include among others Japan, Hong Kong and Singapore, South Africa, several African nations, Australia, and of course England, Scotland, Wales, numerous Caribbean Islands like Jamaica, and the over one billion souls of India. Also, Cyprus, Bangladesh and the Bahamas. just to name a few.

    Big job to expand markets, build right and left hand drive vehicles on a single production line with chronic 18650 cells shortages from Panasonic.

    Hence, Tesla’s new Giga-factory project..

    With about 18,000 Model X orders…..

    Hey … what’s Musk supposed to do ?

    He is apparently faced with not enough production lines and perhaps more importantly not enough battery cells.

    1. kdawg says:

      Japan will be interesting. Especially w/all the hydrogen talk, and $20k incentives for Toyota. I’m guessing Tesla won’t get any incentives, pffft.

  7. jmac says:

    To kdawg,

    Yes, well Japan is indeed a weird place.

    Just like our other beloved island archipelago, England. The English still reverence the Queen just as the Japanese still honor the Emperor.

    Both societies are highly stratified according to class distinctions, and so on. But, this is the subject for sociologists and historians.

    The problem is that Japan has been accused n
    many times of systematically hindering foreign auto imports in favor of home-grown, Japanese brands.

    I think that to this very day, the Japanese still do not list foreign import sales alongside sales from domestic Japanese manufacturers. (Saving Face ?)

    Imports are listed under a separate category.

    Some have gone so far as to accused the Japanese of actively conspiring to keep foreign auto imports out of japan. Imagine that !!!

    In all of 2013, there were NO reported EV sales by Western manufacturers in Japan.

  8. Tom 911 says:

    But how tall are those doors when open????

    1. Rich says:

      Good question.

  9. CyberKnife says:

    What should back seat passengers do to get out if the X gets rolled over? I still have not gotten a feeling tesla have ironed out the issues with it or justify it’s practicalities. If they just want it different from other suv, I think they would have benefited more if they devoted the resources to getting the car deliver on time…

    1. TomArt says:

      It’s my understanding that the middle hinge can break away, allowing for escape in such unusual circumstances – I do not know if that was ever confirmed or not – it runs in the back of my mind that it was covered in an interview, but who knows when that was…

    2. Anon says:

      Although not impossible, it would be VERY difficult to roll a Model X– just like the NHTSA found, when trying to test the Model S. Those heavy batteries in the bottom, really stabilize the vehicle. We’re not talking “Ford Explorer” syndrome here…

      Also, today’s vehicles use tempered SAFETY GLASS, which turns into tiny crumbles when purposely broken to exit a vehicle via a window, in just such a circumstance. So your concern about the rear doors, is simply not justified, even if the doors aren’t partially detachable…

  10. Phr3d says:

    They can’t anti-sell the X, it was what a percentage of prospective Tesla purchasers wanted all along. They had to choose between mass-market appeal and Whoah! looks and performance (looks of course, subjective).
    Looks won and bottom-line says it was the right move.
    But us X-ers were always here, and Tesla knows that. The X is delayed for hopefully Very Good reasons, as it needs to be a hit with Grocery-getters like the MS was with the exclusivity-set, and will (thankfully) get the model-association benefits, like all other upper-echelon marques.
    Course, if they charge the Same price(more) for an X that is a comparative Dog, they’ll get their asses handed to them via 15,000 Patient customers, LOL. Originally it was supposed to cost Less than the Flag-S-hip, a ‘middle’ model.

  11. Kalle says:

    This antiselling technique is nothing new,
    Infact, all other car manufacturers seem to do it to their electric models in favor for their petrol cars