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Tesla delays Model X again, aims for Q3 2015

Billy Steele
11.05.14
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Tucked into Tesla Motor's Q3 2014 earnings letter to its shareholders, the automaker announced that its Model X SUV had been delayed once again. First slated to hit the road in 2013, and then pushed to 2014 before another bump to early 2015, the company's electric SUV won't roll off of the assembly line until the second half of next year. Thanks to the new Dual Motor drive on the Model S, the powertrain for the X is said to be nearly done; however, more testing is needed elsewhere. In the letter, CEO Elon Musk admitted that criticism in regards to the varying timelines is valid, but that Tesla won't trot out the vehicle until it's ready to properly "delight customers."

"Doing so negatively affects the short term, but positively affects the long term," he continued. According to Musk, working out the kinks now will also ensure that the outfit can crank out the Model X quicker than it did the Model S back in 2012. Of course, folks who've already shelled out the reservation fee won't be too happy, I'd imagine.

Update: On this afternoon's investors call, Musk gave a bit more information about the reasoning behind the Model X delay. So, what's the deal? Testing and validation, from the sounds of it. "Making one of something is quite easy," he said, but it isn't until you make 100 of a given widget (or electric vehicle, we'd imagine) that any problems can show up, statistically. "We need to make a bunch to know it's [a problem] there," he continued, saying that Tesla needs to hit production scale so any flaws can make themselves known -- and that's something that can't happen until later next year due to manufacturing constraints.

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