The soon to be released all-electric Model X sport utility vehicle is the linchpin to Tesla gaining an important foothold in a wide target audience – women. Most importantly – the soccer mom focus group.
The youngest publicly traded US automaker and also the smallest in the country has very ambitious growth targets and these could only be achieved if the company opens up a whole new audience – and the design of the Model X crossover has been in part targeted at appealing to woman drivers. The Tesla goal is to reach annual deliveries of 500,000 units by the start of the next decade and in order to do so it needs to appeal to a whole new array of drivers beyond the environmentally conscious. That also means women, who are already purchasing more than 50 percent of the crossovers and SUVs sold in America. Tesla – established as a Silicon Valley automaker that has more in common with the technology industry than the traditional automakers – initially was the panache of tech-savvy early adopters, and as we all know it these are mostly male. For example, back in 2012, when the Model S electric sedan first entered the US market, women were just 13.3 percent of its US sales, according to figures sourced from IHS Automotive.
Now the brand is highly praised, has earned a stellar safety record and the electric technology is better known around the world – points in favor of a gender switch or at least towards reaching an equilibrium. IHS says that in 2013 women made up 17.8 percent of Model S sales and the ratio grew to 21.5 percent last year.