Late on Tuesday Tesla Motors, the youngest and smallest publicly traded US automaker, delivered its first Model X sport utility vehicle to its owner, with investors hoping that years of losses will be followed by spectacular performance.
The loss-making Silicon Valley automaker is going through a period of massive spending – it has jumped from producing just one car to two and is expanding its business towards producing battery packs in a Nevada factory. But the milestone of the Model X launch also comes as the period of cash expenditure is pressured by modest growth – the green automaker was only delivering a sedan, albeit a praised one, falling out of favor with global consumers, mesmerized by SUVs, crossovers and pickup trucks. “I think we got a little carried away with the X,” commented chief executive Elon Musk about the process of development for the new SUV, which is being delivered two years later than initially planned. Musk also believes around 25,000 prospective customers have pre-ordered the Model X online or in stores and they would need to wait another 8 months to a full year before taking delivery.
Musk believes now the all-wheel drive Model X was “the hardest car to build in the world” – boasting two electric motors, a range of around 250 miles (about 400 km) on a full charge and seating for seven people – with rear access through “falcon” doors. With the price going up to $144,000, the Model X is packed choke full of the latest technological advancements – in the hope that it would remain at the forefront of the emerging luxury electric car segment.
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