Tesla Motors Inc is behind on its production schedule for the Model X, but until now we haven’t been able to get an idea for just how far behind the firm is. Chamath Palihapitiya, millionaire venture capitalist and friend of Elon Musk, revealed on Thanksgiving just how far the firm is behind, however.
Mr. Palihapitiya posted a picture of his newly delivered Model X and revealed that it was Founder’s edition number 13. Tesla Motors shipped six Founder’s Editions of the Model X on September 29, and it appears the firm has only been able to get another seven cars out of its Fremont factory in the months since then.
Tesla Motors Model X is slower than thought
We knew that there had been no Signature shipments of the Model X before Thanksgiving, and that none were likely before mid-December, but it was rumored that there were many more than 13 Founder’s Editions of the Model X out there.
The Model S had many more Founder’s editions than that, meaning there are likely a few more to be shipped before Tesla Motors is through that particular queue. Then starts the shipments of the 2,000 or so Signature Model X EVs booked world wide.
Only then will deliveries of the Model X begin in earnest. In its third quarter report Tesla Motors said that production would likely ramp up late in the fourth quarter. With just 13 cars shipped so far, those with shares behind the firm will be hoping that ramp happens very quickly, and smoothly, indeed.
That means we’ve had about 6.5 shipments per month since the big launch event, and the rate appears to be slowing.
On Thursday we reported, based on facts from a source who had visited the Tesla Motors Factory in Fremont, that there was a lot of activity on the Model X line in the firm’s plant. It appears that activity is not leading directly to shipments of the car, and those watching Tesla closely will be left guessing about when production will really ramp up.
Hoping for the Model X
A few problems in the initial production run of the Tesla Motors Inc Model X isn’t likely to hurt the firm in the long term, but those with money behind Elon Musk’s ambitions aren’t really worried about that. What they’re likely thinking about is what the multiple hurdles that Tesla Motors has splayed itself over in the course of Model X production mean for the firm in the longer term.
On Wednesday Dan Galves of Credit Suisse sparked a wave of optimism among those with shares in Tesla Motors. He published a report, which preceded a 5 percent rise in the price of shares, which forecast that Tesla would, Model X or no, meets its shipment targets for the fourth quarter of the year.
Tesla Motors has a whole lot of problems, but meeting that target is probably a bigger concern for Elon Musk, Deppak Ahuja and Jason Wheeler than anything to do with the Model X.
We’re going to have to wait until January to hear how Tesla Motors did on the road toward that target. The firm needs to deliver 17,000 cars in the fourth quarter in order to hit its own revised targets.