Tesla Delays Model X Production To “Late” 2014

5 years ago by Jay Cole 20

Tesla Model X Production Now About A Year Delay Over Initial Projections

Tesla Model X Production Now About A Year Delayed Over Initial Projections

The Tesla Model X is an all-electric, full sized SUV, based on the Model S platform, and was introduced to the public in February of 2012 at Tesla’s design studio in Los Angeles.

Not too long after that, $5,000 reservations were taken (as well as $40,000 reservations for Signature SUVs).   Early hand-raisers at the time were told estimated production, along with first deliveries would begin in late 2013, with “significant” production in 2014.

According to CEO Elon Musk at the Model X’s debut a year later, on February 9th, 2012:

“We will start production towards the end of next year (2013), probably deliver a few units…and bulk production will start in 2013.” 

(Check out that quote live at the 24:00 mark of the Model X debut ceremony video below)

Innovative Falcon-Win Doors On The 2016 (?) Tesla Model X

Innovative Falcon-Wing Doors On The 2016 (?) Tesla Model X

According to Tesla’s 10-K filed with the SEC on Thursday March 7th, 2013, there has been some slippage in the timeline for the Model X, as the company focuses on a commitment to bring profitability to the company in 2013:

“We are adapting the platform architecture of the Model S to develop our Model X crossover. We revealed a prototype of Model X in February 2012 and plan to begin production in late 2014. This unique vehicle has been designed to fill the niche between the roominess of a minivan and the style of an SUV, while having high performance features such as a dual motor all-wheel drive system.”

Using our automaker decoder ring, and having just seen the Model S roll-out,  we understand the words “plan to begin production in late 2014” to mean, “deliveries will start in early 2015, while most reservists will probably see their cars sometime around mid-year.” 

How will this affect the 3,500-odd reservation holders of the Model X?  We are guessing there will be some fall-out/cancellations from the news, but still expect most to wait out extra time, as the plug-in market currently offers nothing else like the Falcon-winged, all-electric, sport utility vehicle.

About the Model X:

  • Two battery capacities available 60 kWh and 85 kWh (no 40 kWh)
  • Estimated range of up to 270 miles (240-ish EPA) on the 85 kWh model
  • Falcon-wing doors
  • 0-60 in under 5 seconds (estimated at 4.4)
  • RWD, with AWD option
  • Three row/7 seater
  • No pricing is yet available

Tesla Model X Reveal Ceremony Video: (production/delivery comments at the 24:00 mark)

Tesla Model X Gallery: (double click)

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20 responses to "Tesla Delays Model X Production To “Late” 2014"

  1. GeorgeS says:

    Get rid of the gull wing doors and get the price down like we talked about.

  2. georgeLeaf says:

    the gull wings are a deal breaker for us. we don’t need something super exotic, we want an all electric SUV that we can put kayaks and skis and whatever we want on to a rack top rack. hopefully with more time, they will announce regular doors as an option. I’d put a reservation down on one today if it had regular doors. we are loving our Tesla S, the most amazing car I’ve ever owned hands down!

    1. DonH says:

      Every picture I see has just the rear doors as falcon type doors. Do the front doors open the same way or are they the normal doors?

      1. DonH says:

        Yep, found a picture–normal doors in front, still can’t get a kayak on it.

      2. The front doors open normally Don.

        (Using our automaker decoder ring, and having just seen the Model S roll-out, we understand the words “plan to begin production in late 2014″ to mean, “deliveries will start in early 2015, while most reservists will probably see their cars sometime around mid-year.”)

        Truer words were never written!

    2. Josh says:

      @george

      Why not just trailer the kayaks? Kayaks on the roof would kill your range with the extra drag, unless you have the special Boeing low drag kayaks 🙂

      I expect Tesla or someone else to create a nice aero designed trailer for the Model X, once it hits the streets.

  3. vdiv says:

    The falcon doors were intended to solve the problem with rear passengers opening the rear doors and dinging them on the car or wall next to the Model X. Also, the falcon doors allow a parent to easily put a kid in the rear seats without contorting their bodies and twisting their lower backs. The falcon doors also allow adults to get in and out from the second and third rows much more easily without having the door on the way and with higher ceiling clearance.

    1. scottf200 says:

      I’m a fan of the falcon doors. I’m still planning on keeping my reservation even with a delay.

      1. Jay Cole says:

        …so, we can mark you down for a first drive report then Scott? Hopefully, your getting a signature, (=

        1. scottf200 says:

          I’m looking at the normal 85 because I think the AWD will bump up the price. Although this does give us more time to save. This is a lot of money tho. Good thred on TMC on what the most someone paid for their previous car before they decided on a Tesla. I thought the Volt was a crazy highwater mark for me (high 30s after tax).

    2. Stuart22 says:

      Yes, but sliding doors found in most minivans offer most of the same benefits, while keeping the roof available for hauling bikes, kayaks, camping gear, etc. I’ll bet those falcon doors raise production costs, and require the best in design, materials, and production line workmanship so that they don’t leak water, don’t rattle, don’t have wind whistles.

  4. Jon B says:

    So I guess this means the Tesla BlueStar rumored to start production in 2015 will be more like 2017?

    IMO they should make the BlueStar next then the Model X.

    1. Anthony says:

      I always assumed Bluestar was constrained by battery technology, not by any sort of Tesla production timetable. When they can build a mid-sized sedan with enough energy in it to go 250 miles and batteries are cheap enough (under $150/kWh), then its a go. Until then it sits on the shelf.

      On the other hand, the Model X delay is probably 100% due to the Tesla production timetable. Instead of bulking up and using Model S revenues to hire more staff and continue to operate at a loss, Musk wants to run a profit sooner. For what reason I don’t know (I think he could have gotten away with making losses for a bit longer, but its his company).

      1. Jay Cole says:

        Last scuttlebutt on the Bluestar (from George Blankenship as I recall) is indeed for 2017.

        However Tesla has now committed every dollar of ‘excess cash’ over 200 million to paying off that DoE loan by the end of 2017, with a ‘balloon’ payment to cover whatever they shorted it by.

        Additionally, the entry level segment is already a lot more aggressive that many saw it previously—think Renault Zoe at €15,700 + €80 battery/lease ($20,000USD) for 90+ miles of range, 0-60 in 8 secs, Chameleon charging and an attractive package.

        This pricing factor, coupled with the delay in the Bluestar, along with Tesla having zero free cash to get it made, really means Tesla can produced nothing special (if anything) on its own by the end of 2017.

        I think the only way the Bluestar sees reality in any meaningful way is if they license their name to a 3rd party with deep pockets, and does the’designed by Tesla’ trick.

        1. Delta says:

          The Zoe model is the real game changer. Lease the battery or rent it. You buy the car and rent the battery.

        2. evnow says:

          Or they raise some more cash.

  5. Josh says:

    +1 on the production prediction

    This is the smart move by Tesla. They need to prove that they can make money more than prove they can build another vehicle. It may also give them more time to incorporate the Model S lessons learned, both design and production, into the X. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Model S 1.5 around the same time.

  6. Roy_H says:

    Josh,+1 to you too.

    OT, but the Falcon Heavy was originally supposed to fly this year, is now scheduled for spring 2014. Everything takes longer than you think it will.

  7. danpatgal says:

    I found it odd that they even announced the Model X, not long after the Model S … it seemed like they were taking on too much, raising expectations too high. I realize it might “cheapen” the Tesla image, but instead of developing a totally new Bluestar I’d like to see them make a more economical version of the Model S. They could simply get the 40kwh battery version out there and selling, maybe cut costs in a few places (maybe a smaller motor or charger?) but at a price $5-10k cheaper. I think the only reason most people want a Bluestar is price. But at this point it would seem more economical for Tesla to maximize their fixed investments and just make one really awesome car in a few configurations, instead of trying to offer multiple models plus a few options on each of those. Anyway, I’m rooting for them – hoping social and economic pressures naturally drive consumers their way.

  8. Chris G says:

    This delay does not impact my Model X reservation at all. I am in no hurry and am happy for Tesla to get more experience and infrasctructure in place before I take delivery. The Model S is the most sophistciated auto I have ever driven and the Model X fits with my needs. It will be worth the wait.

    C