4 Ways Tesla Screwed Up With The Model X

It seems like Elon Musk can do no wrong, but if you look a little closer at the Model X you'll see that it's been more hassle than it's worth...
4 Ways Tesla Screwed Up With The Model X

1. It doesn't fit in with Elon Musk's master plan

4 Ways Tesla Screwed Up With The Model X

The problem with electric cars at the moment is the fact that they’re still new technology. That means they’re nowhere near their potential, and cost a lot of money. With any new technology, as more money is put into its development, the quality goes up and the price goes down. Because of this, Tesla’s master plan was to enter the market in the premium sector, then drive down quickly into more high volume, low cost applications.

Back in 2006, Elon Musk said the idea was to have “lower prices with each successive model.” That worked with the Model S following the Roadster, but the Model X became so complicated over time that it’s actually more expensive than the Model S. Why is it more expensive? Well…

2. It's far too complicated

4 Ways Tesla Screwed Up With The Model X

The Model X could have been a quick and easy extra model for the Tesla range, but Musk got carried away. While the Model X doesn’t fit into the original plan, its original reason for coming into being is legitimate. Basically, Tesla realised it could use the Model S platform to make a slightly taller MPV to give families more room, thereby adding a whole new model without having to do very much at all besides creating new bodywork.

Unfortunately, it got carried away trying to bring complicated new technology that wasn’t necessary. Earlier this year, even Musk admitted that “There’s far more there than is really necessary to sell a car…They do make the car better, but the difficulty of engineering those parts is so high, that in retrospect, if we had known the true engineering costs and the amount of complexity associated with it, I think we would have probably done fewer new things.”

All of these complications contributed to the Model X being delayed by about two years, with the biggest contributor to this being the Falcon Wing doors. Not only did the original seals not work, requiring a redesign and hand fitting to every car to ensure everything was as it should be, Tesla also had problems with a German parts supplier.

3. The money maker is now delayed

Image via theophiliuschin.com
Image via theophiliuschin.com

So as we know, the idea is to get down to the money making mass produced car as quickly as possible. In Tesla speak, that’s the Model 3 that’s supposed to be revealed in March this year. As a tech startup, Tesla has been given a lot of cash to burn through to produce products that eventually lead to making money. Right now it’s losing cash hand over fist, so it needs the £30k car as soon as possible. The delays encountered with the Model X have pushed the Model 3 back even further, meaning that investors are getting a bit nervous about the product plan.

4. It shook the public's unwavering faith in the company

4 Ways Tesla Screwed Up With The Model X

Elon Musk and Tesla are very good at marketing, and despite the fact that the general perception of EVs is negative, people love Tesla. It felt as though Tesla could do no wrong, but the Model X has proven that the company is just as capable of getting it wrong as anyone else. The problem for Tesla is that its image is everything, as it’s trying to shake up the system.

With its do-or-die car set to be revealed next month, now is the most important time to prove to customers that it can cope as a mainstream manufacturer. If the Model 3 is to truly break into the mainstream, consumers need to know that they’ll get their cars fairly quickly. Put down a deposit on a Ford or a Volkswagen, and even if it’s a totally brand new model, chances are you’ll only have to wait a few months, if at all. The mainstream consumer won’t accept a three year wait for their car, so unless Tesla can instil Joe Bloggs’ faith in its ability to actually deliver cars, the Model 3 could be a huge flop.


Jordan Mellinger

I don’t think the issue is with the X itself but when it was released. If Tesla had gone ahead and focused on getting the Model 3 into production first then brought the Model X out as it is now we would not be having this conversation. Coming out with a high end MPV isn’t wrong just doing it before the low end cash cow makes no sense.

02/24/2016 - 18:32 |
36 | 0

Well the thing is that under the original plan, it did make sense to churn it out quickly before the Model 3. It was supposed to be based on the Model S platform with just a few extra bits to make it stand out. They could’ve literally just created a new body and maybe the extra row of seats, and they’d have a separate model to take the pressure off the Model 3 a little bit. But because they got carried away it became complicated and its own individual vehicle, which obviously takes years. As Musk seems to acknowledge, if they’d known it’d be this complex going in, they’d have waited.

02/24/2016 - 21:01 |
10 | 4

Yeah, but if they released the Model 3 before the Model X, their models would be in a S, 3, X row.

02/24/2016 - 22:00 |
18 | 2
ElTiooJonny (#404GermanNotFound)

It’s a fast van with gullwing doors, what dou you want?

02/24/2016 - 18:32 |
92 | 6

No gullwing doors.

02/24/2016 - 18:33 |
60 | 16

I’ll add a 5th… it looks like the Aztec

02/24/2016 - 18:35 |
8 | 10

I actually prefer the Aztek!

02/24/2016 - 18:59 |
0 | 4

That’s a tata prima concept photoshopped to look like a budget Tesla!

02/24/2016 - 18:35 |
22 | 0
Darren Cassey

In reply to by Jaxter

Gotta love a mashup!

02/24/2016 - 21:02 |
2 | 2
The Ricer Next Door

In reply to by Jaxter

It actually looks like a 20000$ sedan that nissan would make

02/25/2016 - 07:24 |
0 | 0
Diogo Almeida

It may not fit the elon musk masterplan,but does it fit on my honda ?

02/24/2016 - 18:51 |
398 | 8

To the top

02/24/2016 - 19:25 |
10 | 6

(Heavy Breathing)

02/24/2016 - 22:38 |
2 | 0
Dat muscle guy (Sam Stone)(Camaro Squad)(Die augen leader)(E

In reply to by Diogo Almeida

If that comment ain’t at the top of the top 10 comments of the week I don’t know what is

02/24/2016 - 23:20 |
4 | 2

You just won the Internet. Well, Car Throttle, anyway.

02/24/2016 - 23:54 |
4 | 2

Too bad grammar is an issue…

02/25/2016 - 00:38 |
28 | 0
Alex P

The first screw-up was that they designed it. It’s terribly ugly. WAY too complicated, too. Too many electronic/computerized features. I hate that in a car. The best cars, to me, are the most simple. Give me a good radio, analog gauges, and I don’t like it, but an automatic transmission isn’t a big problem. Electric motor is way after I draw the line, and Tesla went above and beyond to make an electric car that I would like to destroy every one of. The Model S is one thing, but this is truly awful.

02/24/2016 - 18:58 |
4 | 10

In reply to by Alex P

Way to embrace innovation! “Yeah let’s just keep everything the same - Screw technological innovations! Hell why don’t we go back to steam engines?”

02/24/2016 - 19:11 |
10 | 2

In reply to by Alex P

While I don’t agree with you about the tech, I must say that it isn’t a pretty car. It’s not ugly, but the design lacks depth. It’s like when amateurs do concept drawing. It look pretty good at first glance, but when you look closer it lacks details. Tesla will no doubt get better at design, but so far it’s pretty lacklustre.

02/24/2016 - 19:30 |
4 | 0
  1. The look of the car. Like seriously, what the hell is the matter with that front?
02/24/2016 - 19:02 |
12 | 2

I would have to agree, Model S is sleek and elegant, even tho the design is a bit boring, but that Model X, looks like a Model S that had a terrible accident and horrible surgery afterwards.

02/24/2016 - 21:09 |
6 | 2

I disagree. You just aren’t use to it not needing a grill. No sense having fake grills on EVs.

02/25/2016 - 05:12 |
8 | 2

Truthfully I just won’t be happy with electric cars until they can fix the weight issue and the time to re’fuel’.

02/24/2016 - 19:07 |
6 | 2

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Every morning I wake up to a full battery, warm and de-iced car. Timesaver every day. Only on long trips I plan lunch breaks where supercharger are. Big deal.
Weight? 3.1s 0-60. What’s the issue already?

02/24/2016 - 19:59 |
18 | 4

Although the Model X definitely has its issues. I am just in LOVE with it: The front grill (or lack thereof) is stunning. It looks like a friggin concept, but instead it’s a mini-van that can go 0-60 in 4.8 seconds. IT’S A MINI-VAN WITH GULL-WING DOORS PEOPLE. People are always complaining about production cars looking nothing like the concept, but whenever one comes along that stays true to the concept, it’s panned. Appreciate it for the marvel of engineering it is; don’t pan it for the misstep in finance it is.

02/24/2016 - 19:11 |
20 | 4

Sorry, but why would you even expect an electric car to be not complicated? It doesn’t have many electronic features, it is an electronic feature on its own.

However, why did it have to be a SUV? And why these ridiculous gullwing doors? Tesla needs a small Mondeo/Passat-sized vehicle, maybe even with an estate option. That would brng money to Tesla. Finally an electric car that doesn’t look like the designers deliberately tried to make it ugly. I would love to see a Model 3 wagon.
Well, maybe my dislike towards SUVs and other football-mum-crossovers is baseless, but I never really understood why people by these kinds of vehicles.

02/24/2016 - 19:12 |
4 | 0

In reply to by Jakob

Towing. X-Large dog (70 kg, 150 lbs) Leonberger. 6/7 pax with luggage.

02/24/2016 - 20:02 |
0 | 0
Darren Cassey

In reply to by Jakob

Because they already had the platform with the Model S, so it was supposed to be a quick rebody and therefore uncomplicated since most of the complicated electric drivetrain stuff was already done. And why a crossover/SUV? Because the way the market is right now, crossovers and SUVs are where the money’s at. Tesla thought it could get a money making car in place before the Model 3 arrived, but got carried away.

02/24/2016 - 21:04 |
2 | 0



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