Tesla Motors Inc will put its first Model X on the road soon, and those who have already booked their EV SUV, or are hoping to do so, are looking for the online design studio to open. Elon Musk said that the online tool will open during July, and all the pieces appear to be there.
Tesla Motors is known for reneging on deadlines, however, and there’s reason to believe that we won’t see the Model X studio this month. Wall Street thinks that Tesla Motors will hold to its promise of shipping the first Model X this quarter, but the mass-production isn’t going to begin in truth until after September.
Tesla Model X design studio delay
Elon Musk has said again and again that the first Model X will exit factory doors on the way to buyer number one before the end of the current quarter. The first shipment, rather than a showcase, will be the big show off event for Tesla Motors. Elon Musk says he’s not going to make a big deal out of the first reveal of the Model X but that just doesn’t sound like him.
Tesla Motors , it seems, doesn’t want buyers to know the exact specs of the Model X until the first one gets to its owner. That shipment will form the real show case of the car.
If Tesla is intent on keeping the exact Model X specs secret until then, the Model X design studio isn’t likely to open up until that delivery is announced.
Perhaps Tesla Motors is planning on another late-Friday press conference this week. If not the firm has precious few days to get the first Model X to its owner before opening up the design studio.
Who gets the first Tesla Motors Model X?
If the firm decides to make the first Model X shipment into a showcase of sorts, we aren’t like to see the design studio open until the first Model X gets to its owner. That buyer might be someone high profile, possibly attached to Tesla Motors itself.
The first Model S deliver was turned into an event. It went to Steve Jurvetson, a member of the firm’s board. The live event of the first Model S can be seen in a video below.
A full event of the first deliveries to customers that weren’t on the board, can be seen below.
This time around Tesla Motors might stay away from the grand event this time. The Model X doesn’t mean the same thing to the firm that the Model S did, but that doesn’t mean the event isn’t going to big.
Back in March the firm gathered the press in order to announce that a self-driving software update would come at some point in the next four or five months. Tesla Motors likes to call for attention when it makes a small move, so it’s unlikely that the firm is going to let something like the release of the Model X go by without at least some fanfare.
The design studio is going to be part of that fanfare, and there’s a good chance we won’t see it before Tesla Motors calls on the press to come and see the first Model X reach its owner. We don’t know who is going to get the first Model X, but we can be pretty sure that Elon Musk is going to make a big deal out of it. If his statements about a personal need for the car, he may even have the first one delivered to himself.
Counting down the days until Model X
We know that the release of the Model X won’t be a quick one. Tesla Motors will have to get production in gear in order to produce the SUV in bulk. It has already started that process, but it’s going to take a long time to work out the best way to build the car and the right way to manage the volume it has to hit.
In a report published on June 26 Brad Erikson of Pacific Crest said that he witnessed some Tesla Motors staff being trained in how to put together a Model S. He saw “several buses worth of new employees receiving training for the new line” and said that “to say the mood in the factory is one of “gearing up” would be an understatement.”
That means that the launch of the design studio isn’t going to be a truly meaningful moment for those waiting for a Model X. It will, however, be an important symbol. Once the Model X design studio opens Tesla Motors will have firmly asserted “It’s happening.”
Some put $5,000 down on a Model X right after it was revealed to the world in 2012, and that assertion will mean a lot to them after years of waiting.
Wall Street won’t be looking for much this quarter
Wall Street doesn’t want to see the Model X delivered in great numbers this time around. All the analysts studying Tesla Motors want to see is the first batch of the EV SUV shipped without issue. Adam Jonas at Morgan Stanley reckons that just 50 units of the car will be sent out to buyers before the end of September.
After the current quarter is over, Tesla Motors will begin to make the Model X en masse and eat into the 20,000 bookings that have been recorded so far. Mr. Jonas is betting that Tesla Motors manages to get 5,000 Model X SUVs to buyers before the end of the year.
Jefferies auto analyst Dan Dolev expects Tesla Motors to ramp up production to 2,000 cars per week by the end of 2015. That means that the firm may be able to make up to 100,000 cars next year, with half of them likely to be Model X.
Dan Galvesof Credit Suisse reckons that Tesla Motors will sell 7,000 units of the Model X before the end of the year. That’s higher than most, but still in line with the forecasts on Wall Street in general.
Those numbers are echoed, in magnitude, by other forecasts on Wall Street. We don’t know when the first Model X is going to get into the owners garage, but we can be sure that Elon Musk and his staff will tell us about it as it’s happening.
Expect the Model X design studio to open up right after that first delivery and the buzz for the first mass production of the car, which will begin in the fourth quarter if Wall Street is believed, to start building at “Ludicrous speed.”