Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) Model X Release Date Is Creeping Up On Musk

Tesla Motors Inc Model X SUV

Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) will host it 2015 shareholder meeting today, and Wall Street is ready to hear Elon Musk’s plans for the future of the EV world. With the end of Q2 quickly coming, there’s only one number that the firm’s shareholders will want to hear however: the date on which the first Model X SUV will ship to the public.

Tesla Motors Inc Model X SUV

There won’t be a big fanfare for the first Model X like with Apple products. The SUV is already on sale and for $5000 you can get your hands on a piece of paper promising you one today. At today’s big meeting all  shareholders will want to find out if Elon Musk thinks the first unit will ship before the end of the third quarter, and how many he can make by then.

Tesla Motors Model X release date creeps up

The Tesla Motors CEO has said on more than one occasion that the Model X will be on the road by the end of the third quarter than that shipments will be in full swing by the end of the year.

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The third quarter will start on July 1, and the Model X may launch at any time in the 9o or so days after that. It all depends, however, on whether Elon Musk and his team are ready to put the car into real, large-scale production.

Tesla Motors has already put some test units of the Model X on the street, but that doesn’t mean the car is ready for the big time just yet. Shareholders and analysts are sure to push Elon Musk on the release date at today’s Tesla meeting.

It’s not likely that we’ll get a direct answer or an exact date from Elon Musk at today’s shareholder meeting, but if recent form is any guide, Mr. Musk will say clearly if he thinks the car will be ready to ship by the end of the third quarter.

At the reveal of its last earnings report, Tesla Motors clearly said that it expects to sell 55,000 cars this year. If the Model X is having factory trouble, it’s not likely that the it will hit that figure in 2015, and Mr. Musk’s 2020 goal of 500 000 Tesla Motors cars sold will look less and less likely.

Wall Street looks forward to the Model X

Adam Jonas, a car market analyst with Morgan Stanley, says that Tesla will sell just 50 units of the Model X in the third quarter and 5,000 in the fourth quarter.

Despite keeping their opinions on the release date of the Model X to themselves for the most part, most of Wall Street is positive on the potential of the Model X.

Ben J. Kallo at Baird & Co. raised his price target on Tesla Motors on Monday ahead of today’s meeting, and said that the release of the Model X would cause stock to gain this year. He did not say, however, when he thought the Model X would actually get out the door of the firm’s Fremont factory.

James Albertine from Stifel thinks that the Model X will have the same kind of production ramp up as the Model S had between 2012 and 2014. He says that just 4,500 units of the car will get to the doors of buyers in the fourth quarter of the year.

Mr. Albertine has a price target of $400 on shares in Tesla, while Mr. Kallo says the firm’s stock will reach $335 on the back of the Model X and other events. Mr. Jonas is looking for shares in the firm to hit $280 in the next 12 months.

Looking forward to the Tesla Motors meeting

Tesla Motors will open its shareholder meeting at 2 PM Pacific Time on Tuesday. The firm will deal with a lot more than the Model X, and questions from the firm’s shareholders will likely cluster around a few key topics.

Those will include the firm’s sales strategy after being shot down in Texas, the Powerwall, the Model 3 design and how the firm is going to pay its way in 2015 and 2016 as cash begins to run dry.

All of these questions are going to be addressed by Mr. Musk, but he may also have some surprises for us. Expect the self-driving car tech for the Model S to be mentioned, if not actually released, during the day.

The Model X is still going to be the star of the show at the Tesla Motors shareholders meeting, however, and Elon Musk’s tone on the car’s prospects will do a lot more to drive Tesla Motors shares tomorrow than almost anything else he says at today’s meeting.

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David Goldstein

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