Originally published on CleanTechnica.
The Model X has been a drag on Tesla deliveries in recent months, with the expected Oct/Nov/Dec ’15 launch essentially a non-start, with fewer than 1,000 delivered by the end of calendar 2015. This stood in stark contrast with reports from inside Tesla that “every other car off the line is the X” in mid-December. Tesla copped to the production issues in the quarterly update in February and noted several specific issues that delayed the ramp up to full production through most of February.
More recently, the Q1 2016 sales numbers indicated that Tesla was still having challenges getting Model X out the door to customers, even with the production issues quashed for the time being. My guess is that there were a few thousand Model X that had been finished but kept in house until the known issues were resolved … which then had to be reworked with the appropriate fixes before being delivered. (Editor’s Note: I also heard somewhere — perhaps from Tesla staff — that the most recent delays in X production were due to a few more issues getting enough parts from certain suppliers — but not related to the falcon-wing doors, second-row seats, or supersplendulous windshield. But just take that as a rumor. –Zach)
More recently, Tesla confirmed that 2,700 Model X have been delivered to customers, communicating this by way of a Model X recall that was issued to fix a single occurrence of a defective latching mechanism responsible for holding the 3rd-row seats in the upright position. With only 2,700 Model X roaming around in the wild, it is clear that deliveries have not caught up with the previously forecasted production numbers.
This week, we have again caught wind from inside Tesla that Model X production is ramping up. Specifically, that “manufacturing of the Model X has ramped up significantly,” which, while not holding to a specific production threshold or timeline, speaks to the fact that production volumes are again on the upswing.
It’s an encouraging bit of news for a car that I was recently fortunate enough to drive (Thanks again, Don!) and was extremely impressed with. I can’t wait for soccer moms around the world to get their hands on an X in a test drive. If you thought Model S sales were crazy, you haven’t seen anything yet. Model X is a car purpose built for the suburban soccer mom, with easy access, smooth driving, and a Teslogo that screams, “I’m a unique and beautiful butterfly!!!” … or something. They’ll dig it … don’t take my word for it, just wait and see. 🙂