Tesla Motors Inc is a master of hype. The firm has been able, without spending a direct dollar on ads, to become one of the most potent brands in some parts of the US. Proof of that mastery came over the weekend when it was revealed that Tesla Motors captured more than 30,000 bookings for the Model X before anyone saw it.
The numbers come from the Model X counter over at the Tesla Motors Club forums. A total of 31,195 Model X bookings have been recorded in the unofficial numbers. The cancellation data, which is based on fairly thin assumptions, puts the total number of bookings still standing at 26,892.
In August, before people had even seen the Model X Design Studio, 1,730 units were booked. That shows an acceleration as we get closer to the Model X release date on September 29.
Loaning money to Tesla Motors
A booking for a Model X costs $5,000 while a booking for a Signature unit of the SUV goes for $20,000. The Signature version will sell for around $135,000, while the price on the Model X base version will likely come in somewhere between $80,000 and $130,000.
The Model X counter shows that around 1,700 units of the signature version of the car have been booked. That means those buyers have loaned $34M to Tesla Motors. The remaining 25,000 bookings are worth $125M.
That cash has helped to keep Tesla Motors running in recent months, but it’s the full sales numbers that those with shares are going to be most happy with. The Model X booking numbers imply that Tesla Motors has been promised $195M from those that have ordered the signature version.
The base version, assuming an average sales price of $85,000, will bring an additional $2B to the firm’s coffers. As we haven’t really seen what the Model X can do just yet, it’s not clear if we’re going to see something Tesla Motors fans will gladly pay $2B for.
Nobody has seen the Model X
The Model X Design Studio emerged on the very last day of August 2015. While some hailed that as Elon Musk keeping a promise for once, it was not the first release date that the billionaire named for the reveal of the EV SUV. Even with the design studio for the Signature version of the car out there, there’s a lot of unknowns in the Model X.
We don’t really know what the car will look like because the Design Studio has put limits on the angles we’ve been able to view the Tesla Motors Model X from. We don’t know how those “sculptural” seats in the second row of the car are going to work, and there’s more parts where we can’t be sure of the mechanics.
Tesla Motors is waiting on the $2.2B from Model X buyers that it has been promised. The firm is likely banking on a high rate of booking retention once the full Model X reveal happens. Shareholders certainly are.
The first Model X signature versions will be sent out to buyers on September 29. We don’t know when the first base models will arrive. When they do, and the first reactions and reviews appear, we’ll see how well Tesla Motors manages demand for the Model X, and how much of that $2.2B promise it’s likely to collect on.