Elon Musk, and his much-hyped car company, Tesla Motors Inc. (NASDAQ: TSLA), which has a market capitalization of $32.0 billion or 69.4 percent of General Motors Corporation’s (NYSE: GM) $46.1 billion, while only showing revenues for the last 12 months of 3.7 billion or 2.0 percent of GM’s $152.8 billion, is set to launch its highly anticipated Model X this evening.
Musk tweeted about the official Tesla Model X unveiling early this morning.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) September 29, 2015
The customer list for the Tesla Model X is reported to be headed by Kenneth Adelman, who describes himself as a “computer geek” and who first laid down a $40,000 deposit in February of 2012, as reported by the Wall Street Journal. It is unclear whether Adelman will be the first to actually take delivery of the highly touted electric car. At the time, Tesla head Elon Musk assured delivery by late 2013.
As time passed, and the launch of the Model X was continuously pushed back, Tesla eventually promised that the first Model X would be delivered by the third quarter of 2015, which ends tomorrow, as reported by Benzinga.
The new Model X comes complete with futuristic, DeLorean-style upward opening doors and a range of up to 270 miles. Basic Model Xs are reported to cost about $5,000 more than Tesla’s Model S and fully loaded Model Xs are reported to have a sticker price of $144,000.
“The doors are certainly an attention-getter, but they can also be a problem in parking lots and garages,” Jack Nerad of Kelley Blue Book was quoted. “We’ll have to see if they are a turn-off to those consumers who have already put down a deposit.”
Karl Brauer, an analyst with Kelley, said that while overall Tesla sales should increase with the Model X, there will undoubtedly be some cannibalization of Model S sales. As Tesla’s market, at the moment, is a niche, with several customers awash in Tesla-fever, it is anticipated that many will scramble for the new Model X because “it’s the newest version.”
Tesla has begun to develop a reputation for over-promising and under-delivering. On April 30, Elon Musk announced the launch of Tesla Energy and the introduction of the Powerwall stationary battery. Two versions of the Tesla Powerwall are being offered to the public, a 7 kWh and a 10 kWh. Tesla sister company SolaryCity (NASDAQ: SCTY) has reportedly been taking orders for the 10 kWh Powerwall model, complete with inverter. While both versions are suitable for emergency power use and for collecting power from utility grids during off-peak times for use at peak times, potentially saving consumers money, only the 10 kWh is reported to be suitable for use with solar panels.
Tesla had originally anticipated delivery of the first Powerwalls between July 30 and August 30, but it wasn’t until mid-September that news of deliveries to residential customers emerged. Only the less-useful 7 kWh version is reported to have shipped, with the deliveries for the 10 kWh being pushed out to 2016, which seems to be becoming a familiar theme with Elon Musk and Tesla.
Tesla is hoping that its affordable Model 3, reportedly planned to be unveiled in early 2016, will be a game-changer. Priced at $35,000, it has the potential to be in the reach of the average driver. Popular Mechanics is reporting that Model 3 production will begin in 2017.
The Model 3 is expected to be competitive with the BMW 3, which is also expected to be available in 2017. Given Musk’s and Tesla’s track record with pushing back delivery dates, it is difficult to know whether these Model 3 dates can be relied upon.
In other Elon Musk news, Investor’s Business Daily is reporting that yesterday’s announcement by NASA that Mars has water makes Elon Musk’s and Space X’s plans to populate the red planet “more realistic” and seemingly, that it mitigates seemingly bizarre statements made by the Tesla CEO on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert, which were off by 10 million times, according to one scientist, as reported by the Inquisitr.
[Tesla Model X Photo by Bill Pugliano / Getty Images — Tesla Model S Photo by Sean Gallup / Getty Images — Elon Musk Photo by Bill Pugliano / Getty Images]