Ford Buys Its Own Tesla Model X For $199,950, Or $55,000 Over Sticker Price

2 years ago by Eric Loveday 48

Tesla Model X

Tesla Model X – The One Purchased By Ford Is White, Not Black, Which Immediately Makes It Slower Because…Well, Black Is Best

Tesla Model X

Tesla Model X

In the automotive industry, it’s common for automakers to purchase vehicle from competitors for testing purposes. However, it’s uncommon to pay $55,000 over sticker price to obtain such a vehicle.

That’s precisely what Ford did to acquire a Tesla Model X.

As Bloomberg reports:

“Ford Motor Co. paid $199,950 — $55,000 more than the sticker price — to buy one of the first SUVs made by Tesla Motors Inc., according to vehicle registration documents obtained by Bloomberg.”

Since the early Model X SUVs required pre-orders be placed several years ago, Ford had to obtain one in an unusual way.

Bloomberg explains:

“Registration records show that Ford purchased the vehicle March 1. The original owner, a California coin dealer, bought it as part of Tesla’s customer-referral promotion.”

The original owner of the Model X purchased later by Ford is a man by the name of Wayne Skiles, who stated:

“I sold 11 Model Ss. So I got a Founders Model X and immediately flipped it for a profit. The car never came to California. I flew to Chicago, took physical delivery of the Model X, and immediately drove it to a dealer in Chicago and sold it.”

Ford later purchased the electric SUV from Corporate Auto of Auburn Hills, Michigan.

Ford did release a statement on the matter:

“It is a common industry practice among many automakers to buy production vehicles for testing as soon as they are released. Sometimes, this means automakers pay more than sticker price to acquire them as quickly as possible.”

As did Tesla CEO Elon Musk via Twitter:

If Ford is in such a rush to examine the X in detail, then perhaps the 200-mile Ford electric isn’t as off the table as the company just suggested last week, when Kevin Layden, Ford’s director of electrification programs and engineering downplayed the need for long range EVs, stating in response “I think right now with the launch of the Focus Electric at 100 miles, it is going to satisfy a big chunk of the population.”

Source: Bloomberg

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48 responses to "Ford Buys Its Own Tesla Model X For $199,950, Or $55,000 Over Sticker Price"

  1. ffbj says:

    The original owner did not actually buy the vehicle. They received it from Tesla due to referring of 11 Models S purchasers, apparently the North American winner of the Model X.

    1. Jay Cole says:

      FWIW, he was not the winner, but by referring more than 10 Model S sales he was eligible to purchase a Founder’s edition Model X for base pricing ($116,700), which Tesla represented as a $25,000 value.

      What you might be thinking of was the original program also had a “first to 10 gets a free X” headliner contest. (contest details)

      So with pushing past 10 referrals he purchased the X, but with the intention of flipping it to gain back the value netted from the referral program, and of course the demand premium on the SUV itself.

      1. ffbj says:

        Thanks for clearing that up. I was confused by the word got:
        “I sold 11 Model Ss. So I got a Founders Model X and immediately flipped it for a profit,”–original owner.

        1. ffbj says:

          Getting on got a bit.

          As a receipt of something:
          I got sick. I got a raise.

          Implying a purchase, or possession:
          I got the tickets. I got the groceries.

          An action:
          I got drunk and I got pulled over.

          As a condition:
          I’ve got plenty of nothing.
          He’s got the whole world in his hand.

          So there is my got burn. Get it, got it, good.

          1. Jay Cole says:

            Yes, the quote was a little obtuse…anyone vaguely familiar with the contest could come away with the conclusion that he received the X outright as a result.

    2. Anon says:

      Nothing like helping Tesla on one hand, then helping their compitition, on the other.

      Was this person’s name, Benedict?

      1. kdawg says:

        Seeing that Tesla want’s more EVs on the roads, why didn’t they just give a Model X to Ford? What happened to “all our patents are belong to you”?

        1. Big Solar says:

          patents not products

          1. Kdawg says:

            Yes, but why not sell a car directly to Ford, at cost, at the very beginning? If they truly want more EV competitors, that is?

            1. Anon says:

              I guess it’s too much to expect Ford to bother putting too much effort into original BEV engineering. Seeing as that wirked out so well for their FFE.

              After all the vitriol I typically espouse at lame Chinese Clones of products, I felt it would be hypocritical if I didn’t call Ford out on it. Or the guy that sold the MX to them. 😉

        2. energymatters says:

          All our patents..Not so much.

          Point to a link to ANY valid License Agreement from Tesla to a third party allowing use of the patents.

          Can’t?

          “No Patents are belong to you….”

          1. Rob Stark says:

            Link to any third party officially requesting a license to use a Tesla patent.

            Tesla can’t force third parties to use their patents.

            1. floydboy says:

              Bingo!

          2. realistic says:

            energymatters, you must not be much of a Tesla aficion (which is not a bad thing, mind you)

            I suggest you follow this link to a Teslamotors.com blog entry, attributed to Elon Musk, from 12 June 2014:

            https://www.teslamotors.com/blog/all-our-patent-are-belong-you

            Now you can type away all day long and insist that this is not “a valid license agreement”. But this is a DIRECT ATTRIBUTION to the Chief Executive Officer on the company’s official web site. While on the fifth of Octember Tesla could say “as of the this day we changed our minds”, any action taken by a user of Tesla patents prior to that announcement would be hard to enforce. Moreover, as the clock ticks and days go by it gets harder and harder to do this, and laches/equitable estoppel by the user becomes a more and more effective defense.

            Anyhow, what Tesla patents do you think are simultaneously (1) revolutionary and (2) defendable?

        3. Clive says:

          You can have all the ingredients handed to you, but you still need to understand how to cook it correctly. Not that easy.

          Tesla cannot help Ford… Ford needs to help themselves.

          Stupid dealers are the problem as much as Ford.

          Starts at the top and trickles down.

  2. kdawg says:

    What Ford doesn’t know is the AI in the Model X is actually analyzing them now and reporting back to Fremont. 🙂

  3. drpawansharma says:

    This is downright sleazy. Tesla must tweak their referral programs to ensure that only genuine fans win.

    1. John says:

      The genuine fan DID win. So did Tesla.
      Tesla sold 11 MS’s that it may not have otherwise, and the fan walked away with $55k in his pocket. Ford would have ended up with one anyway, so what’s the big deal? I’m sure Tesla has taken apart a Ford or two…

      1. ffbj says:

        All true, and logically arrived at inferences.

      2. Clive says:

        Tesla has better things to do.

        1. Kdawg says:

          Like hire engineers from Ford.

          1. Clive says:

            Maybe they got a F’ed Over Raw Deal and found it was time to Peace-Out!

      3. Ambulator says:

        Most likely is that he made around $25,000 and the dealer made the rest.

    2. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      drpawansharma said:

      “This is downright sleazy. Tesla must tweak their referral programs to ensure that only genuine fans win.”

      Hmmm, no, it’s standard industry practice in the auto industry to buy cars from your competitors and test the heck out of them. No need for any outrage here.

      Wanna bet that Tesla doesn’t own a Leaf and a BMW i3? Or that they won’t be buying an early production Bolt?

      1. zll says:

        Agree! Even the Model S is initially build out of a Mercedes Benz S-class. Read all about it in Elon’s autobiography.

  4. Alex says:

    Best is Audi, they try to charge with US Model X on the Supercharger near Audi Headquarter in Ingolstadt and it did not work. Audi, you have intelligent ingenieurs !
    http://electrek.co/2016/04/19/audi-charge-tesla-model-x-reverse-engineering/

  5. leafowner says:

    “I think right now with the launch of the Focus Electric at 100 miles, it is going to satisfy a big chunk of the population.”

    Ask Nissan how their 100 mile leaf is selling….

    200 is the new 100….

    1. Speculawyer says:

      That is quite the jump. I thought we were going to see a jump to 150 before we got to 200. But I guess Tesla pushed the market to accept 200 as the new minimum for a real fully functional high-speed EV.

      And that is a good thing because the big batteries provide a lot more than just range . . . they last longer since less deep discharging, they charge much faster, they provide better performance, they force dedicated skateboard EV designs instead of kludgy conversions, they enlarge the battery market thus bringing mass manufacturing, etc.

      1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

        To be fair, I think LG Chem is the one who started touting the “200 mile” EV, when the longest-range non-Tesla BEV you could buy had something like an 80-85 mile EPA range.

        My surprise was when GM started saying that the Bolt really would have better than 200 miles of real-world range, implying EPA range. Until then, a lot of people — myself included — were predicting something around 150-160 miles of EPA range.

        But GM’s range promise for the Bolt is just a promise, not yet reality. Most people seem to be treating it as established fact. Personally, I think some healthy skepticism is in order, given the fact that every EV maker has always exaggerated the range of their EVs. Especially GM… remember the Volt being advertised as having “230 MPG”?

        1. HVACman says:

          re: 230 mpg. Oh, come on, P-P. That was early in the Volt development, and only said once by a former CEO who wasn’t around long. GM has consistently been conservative with their EV EPA range estimates, including both Gen 1 and Gen 2 Volt, ELR, and the Spark EV. GM engineers made a very detailed peer-reviewed technical paper presentation on the Bolt drive train and battery pack at the recent SAE World convention. It showed exactly how the Bolt achieves just over 200 miles range on the EPA drive cycle. I have a lot more confidence that the Bolt will have at least 200 miles EPA range than that the Model 3 will be available in 2017. Peer review has more “heft” than tweets have.

          1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

            HVACman said:

            “…only said once by a former CEO who wasn’t around long.”

            Ummm, no. It was an entire advertising campaign.

            http://blog.cleveland.com/business_impact/2009/08/large_fritz-henderson-volt-081109.jpg

  6. MDEV says:

    Ford executives has the right to ride and feel a real car.

  7. Texas FFE says:

    Ford has a problem in that they don’t have a dedicated BEV platform, there is just so much Ford can do towards electrifying the Focus or any of their other models. Inspecting the Model X is interesting, I doubt Ford is very interested in the falcon doors but they maybe planning a BEV SUV.

    1. Speculawyer says:

      Yes, and apparently they are working on one.

      But that is no excuse for not putting a CCS port into the current FFE. They just don’t want to spend the money on the compliance car project.

      1. Texas FFE says:

        The 2017 FFE is supposed to get CCS. I really like my FFE but I feel like I need a 200 mile BEV with CCS. The Bolt is the only model that even comes close to meeting my needs.

  8. Bonaire says:

    Man, Ford is a strange puppy. Could have waited for a couple months and bought one now on ebay for sticker or less.

    1. Bloggin says:

      Ford buying the Model X in this fashion, knowing they could wait a couple months and buy one at retail price, could indicate Ford was at a critical point in engineering their own EV and needed the X immediately.

      Clearly, Ford has no option but to develop a dedicated EV platform to be shared between Ford and Lincoln. The days of modifying and ICE platform and top hat(body) are over as far as a viable EV is concerned. Primarily because most EV owners do not want their EV to look just like the gasoline burning ICE model costing thousands less.

      Tesla is demonstrating the clear advantages of a 100% dedicated EV platform. Focus, Fusion and Escape may offer hybrid and plug-in hybrid models. But Ford/Lincoln will need to offer a compact/midsize(bigger than focus, smaller than Fusion) 200-300+ mile platform for a sedan and SUV for both Ford and Lincoln brands. Model 3 is showing that is the sweet spot with size and range.

      But clearly, Ford needs to partner with Tesla for the Superchargers. I know something is already brewing….

  9. Speculawyer says:

    Reverse-engineering is job #1!

  10. Yoda says:

    Aboslutly common place among vehicle manufactures…

    In Europe BMW and Mercedes (probably others too) give each other new versions of their cars for free…

    Which are of coure torn down and reversed engineered to see who has a leg up…

  11. Yoda says:

    If you are running an auto web site you should know this is standard practice…

  12. Texas FFE says:

    Something doesn’t make sense about what we’ve been hearing from Ford lately. Ford said back in December that 40% of Ford offerings would be electric and that Ford planned to spend $4.5 billion on electrification of vehicles by 2020. Does the statement by Kevin Layden mean that out of all these electric vehicles and all this money spent on electrification of vehicles there won’t be any new long range BEVs?

    I still think we have some big surprises coming from Ford but they may not come soon enough for me. If I lived on the east or west coasts maybe it would be different but living in Texas I really feel like I need a 200 mile BEV. I feel DCFC locked in the DFW area with a BEV that has anything less than a 200 mile range.

    1. TomArt says:

      Yeah, I guess we’ll have to wait and see…they got over $5B from that ATVM loan program from DOE…that’s an awful lot of plug-in hybrids…

      …I’ve liked my 2010 Mercury Mariner hybrid, but I put $1k down on a Model 3. No automaker has what I want except Tesla.

    2. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      Texas FFE said:

      “Does the statement by Kevin Layden mean that out of all these electric vehicles and all this money spent on electrification of vehicles there won’t be any new long range BEVs?”

      It’s entirely possible. “Electrification” may mean nothing but making some or all of their gasmobiles into “micro-hybrids” by adding stop/start tech and a bigger starter battery.

  13. Fabian says:

    It is common for Ford to keep their cards VERY close to the vest. The Focus BEV appeared out of nowhere at CES, some years ago. I think they will surprise us.

  14. realistic says:

    Every established car manufacturer in the world reverse-engineers new models that interest them. EVERY one.

    It is a cottage industry in all major auto manufacturing regions (upper-Midwest US, Nagoya area, Bavaria, Mumbai and surrounds, etc.).

    The planning and expense to do it right are substantial. If Ford was ready to go the extra $55k is a minor irritation. A big reverse-engineering project can cost well over $1M. (The complete i3 information package from Sandy Munro will cost $50k and up; he has sold quite a few.)

  15. ModernMarvelFan says:

    This isn’t surprising at all.

    GM buys a copy of all of its competitor’s car and compares them to GM’s own fleet at GM’s proving ground in Milford, MI and AZ…

    This is industry standard…

  16. Nelson says:

    I just hope Ford learns a thing or two and builds an affordable 200+ mile SUV EV.

    NPNS! SBF!
    Volt#671

  17. HVACman says:

    FYI, after testing, the competitors’ autos go to the mgfr’s tear-down garage (usually adjacent to the engineering center) where every system and part is methodologically disassembled and analyzed. GM also has a massive teardown garage. I saw a you tube on it. They also tear down samples of their own vehicles for quality testing. I think the mfgrs use 3rd party purchasers, just like Consumer reports, to ensure they get exactly what a retail customer would get