Wanting to "Delight Customers", Tesla Delays Model X Production Again

Ronnie Schreiber
by Ronnie Schreiber
wanting to delight customers tesla delays model x production again

In it’s third quarter letter to investors, Tesla Motors announced that they are pushing back the start of production of their falcon-winged Model X crossover again, this time until the third quarter of 2015. This is the third time that production has been delayed for the Model X, which Elon Musk originally promised for 2013. That was subsequently pushed back to this year, then to late this year and now delayed again. Tesla put a good face on the delay, characterizing it as “a few months”, and attributing the later production start to more extensive validation testing, wanting to “delight customers” when the Model X does start deliveries.

In anticipation of this effort, we now expect Model X deliveries to start in Q3 of 2015, a few months later than previously expected. This also is a legitimate criticism of Tesla – we prefer to forgo revenue, rather than bring a product to market that does not delight customers. Doing so negatively affects the short term, but positively affects the long term. There are many other companies that do not follow this philosophy that may be a more attractive home for investor capital. Tesla is not going to change.

Some folks have questioned whether Elio Motors will ever start production of it’s low-cost high mpg reverse trike because of its repeated delays in reaching production, now coincidentally also schedule to begin in the second half of 2015. One wonders if those same people will be as skeptical about the Model X. Of course, it isn’t a completely fair comparison as with over 33,000 deliveries of the Model S to date, and the Tesla Roadster before that, Tesla has already proven that they can put at least one vehicle into production. Still, Tesla’s announcement of the delayed Model X shows that contrary to what the Elio skeptics would have you believe, production delays are a part of the car biz.

Tesla Motors Q3 2014 Stockholder Letter

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  • Tosh Tosh on Nov 06, 2014

    I'm glad I'm not designing those door seals! I can see them becoming a yearly replacement...

  • Xeranar Xeranar on Nov 06, 2014

    Technically Tesla has released two models, a roadster and the Model S. If anything this is an example of how hard it is to break into a long-term stabilized and monopolized industry. High cost of entry, difficulty in managing long resource lines, delays, it's all part of the program. Ultimately the Model X will show up and sell probably double Tesla's total output. The Elio actually will roll off the production line I'm sure, I'm just not sure it has a sizable enough market to sustain it.

  • Jeff S I am not a fan of Tesla and they were niche vehicles but it seems that they have become more common. I doubt if I get an EV that it would be a Tesla. The electrical grid will have to be expanded because people over the long run are not going to accept the excuse of the grid can't handle people charging their EVs.
  • AMcA The '70 Continentals and Town Cars may have been cousins to the standard body Fords and Mercurys, they didn't have to be disguised, because they had unique, unbelievably huge bodies of their own. Looking at the new 1970 interior, I'd say it was also a cost savings in sewing the seat. Button tufted panels like the 1969 interior had require a lot of sewing and tufting work. The 1970 interior is mostly surface sewing on a single sheet of upholstery instead of laboriously assembled smaller pieces. FINALLY: do I remember correctly that the shag carpet shown under these cars was a Photoshop? They didn't really go so peak '70s as to photograph cars on shag carpets, did they?
  • Inside Looking Out Toyota makes mass market cars. Their statement means that EVs are not mass market yet. But then Tesla managed to make mass market car - Mode; 3. Where I live in CA there are more Tesla Model 3s on streets than Corollas.
  • Ltcmgm78 A lot of dirt must turn before there's an EV in every driveway. There must be a national infrastructure plan written by other than politicians chasing votes. There must be reliable batteries that hopefully aren't sourced from strategic rivals. There must be a way to charge a lot of EVs. Toyota is wisely holding their water. There is a danger in urging unplanned and hasty moves away from ICE vehicles. Do we want to listen to unending speeches every election cycle that we are closer than we have ever been to 100% electrification and that voting for certain folks will make it happen faster? Picture every car in your town suddenly becoming all electric and a third of them need a charge or the driver will be late for work. This will take a lot of time and money.
  • Kendahl One thing I've learned is that cars I buy for local errands tend to be taken on 1,000 mile trips, too. We have a 5-speed Focus SE that has gone on longer trips than I ever expected. It has served us well although, if I had it to do over again, I would have bought an ST. At the time of purchase, we didn't plan to move from 1,000 feet elevation to 6,500. The SE is still adequate but the ST's turbo and extra power would have been welcome.