Morgan Stanley auto analyst Adam Jonas published a note Thursday in which he cautioned that the forthcoming Tesla Model X SUV — due to arrive next year — could be delayed.
It won’t be delayed by a lot, just pushed back from the second quarter of 2015 to the third.
A litany of reasons for a possible delay follows: it’s nothing unusual in the auto industry; no one has really seen any Model X prototypes being tested in the wild; the unveiling of the all-wheel-drive Model SD suggests that Tesla needed a media event to make up for not having the Model X ready for mid-2015; and the Model X could be good enough to be worth waiting for.
Jonas then predicts that the Model X could be priced higher than the Model S, which would of course be a boon for the carmaker, as the Model S is already a $US100,000 car.
What Jonas doesn’t suggest as a justification for a Model S delay is the Musk’s desire to avoid the experience of the Model S rollout. The Model S took the auto world by storm, but it was Tesla’s first all-Tesla vehicle, designed and engineered from the ground up by the company. There were problems and glitches, as there will be with the first generation of any new car, much less a very forward-looking luxury electric vehicle striving to define an entire market, if not the future.
Tesla addressed the problems and now says that it knows how to fix everything that’s wrong with early production Model S’s. Being a good Silicon Valley entrepreneur, Musk understands that failures are fine as long as you learn from them. So IF the Model X is delayed, and IF it’s because Tesla is working hard to make it mostly perfect, then Musk will have done exactly what he needs to do to make the SUV not just a automotive success but a tech triumph, as well.
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