Analyst: The fourth quarter is critical for Tesla Model X launch

Jefferies auto analyst Dan Dolev released a research note on Fridayin which he stressed the importance of the launch of Tesla’s Model X crossover SUV this fall.

“We note that while delivering Model X in 3Q may be important for perception, a rapid production ramp-up to 2,000 cars/week for Models S/X by year-end and a strong demand for Model X (2-3x bigger than Model S pre-launch) are of far more importance for Tesla’s future,” he wrote.

Dolev is right that Tesla needs to intensify Model X product on rapidly if the company hopes to successfully launch the vehicle — simply rolling the SUV off the assembly line in the next few months won’t prove that Tesla has a winning vehicle.

And for the balance of 2015, the Model S remains the car that matters most to Tesla. The bulk of the 55,000 vehicles Tesla expects to sell will be the sedan.

According to a note released by Credit Suisse last month, analyst Dan Galves projected Tesla production this year to be roughly 48,000 Model S sedans and just 7,000 Model X crossover.

Dolev initiated coverage of Tesla in May, with a “buy” rating price target of $US350. He’s since raised that to $US360 in June.

Tesla shares were up 2% in trading on Friday, to $US272.

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