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Is Model X really going to happen? Or will it break Tesla Motors?

Discussion in 'Model X: Ordering, Production, Delivery' started by Wabi-Sabi, Dec 11, 2015.

  1. Wabi-Sabi

    Wabi-Sabi Member

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    I am quite puzzled observing the patience of the X reservation holders,
    and the Tesla crowd in general.
    As you all know the model X is a few years behind schedule. And the
    big "premiere" in September is now almost 3 months ago, and the situation
    still seems status quo; only a few, if any deliveries, configurator not yet open...

    Is there a mayor problem with the model X, not yet known to the public?
    What is causing these endless delays? There should be a mayor ramp up
    towards the end of the year but still, again nothing seems to happen...

    Will this car ever be delivered to patient customers, or are we witnessing
    the end of Tesla Motors as we know it today?
     
  2. MrBoylan

    MrBoylan Member

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    The Model X design studio is open to several thousand reservation holders (including the Sigs and thousands of production reservation holders, up to about reservation number 9,000 in the US). I got access to it November 30th with res # 4787. Opening it to everyone wouldn't be prudent as the order backlog is already so high that those who configure and confirm their orders now will still have to wait for some time for their cars to go into production.

    Building a car like this is hard. The ramp-up will happen, just maybe a bit after their predicted timetable.
     
  3. simplejack

    simplejack Member

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    Well, I don't think it's helping Tesla that they can't deliver a car that has been launched for almost 3 months. As for what the ultimate affect it will have on Tesla, well that will most likely be seen as we approach the end of 2016 to see if Tesla is close to the 80k deliveries that they will need to keep from having to take on more debt.

    Not having the design studio open to take more firm orders doesn't make any financial sense. If someone is willing to make a non-refundable purchase 12 months out, why would Tesla care?

    The real reason they haven't delivered any and the design studio isn't open yet is quite simple - the X isn't ready to be released into production yet.
     
  4. S'toon

    S'toon Knows where his towel is

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    They've been having problems obtaining parts from the suppliers. Notably the parts for the second row seats, according to the rumour mill.
     
  5. nienco2

    nienco2 Member

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    I get there are many reasons for possible delays. But, what most bothers me is to recall EM saying specifically that if it came down to delivering a handful of cars to meet a 3rd quarter deadline they would never do that. Now it appears that is exactly what he has unapologetically done with no meaningful explanation :(
     
  6. anticitizen13.7

    anticitizen13.7 Enemy of the Status Quo

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    I doubt that Model X would "break" Tesla Motors, as the company is selling all the Model S it can produce. However, the delays are a significant annoyance to customers of Model X, and this damages the company's reputation somewhat.
     
  7. dirkhh

    dirkhh Middle-aged Member

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    I think we are still in the "gee, this is awkward" phase. The reservation holders have waited a long time and mostly are anxious to get the cars (or to at least test drive one). It would take yet another multi-quarter delay before people would really get upset enough to walk en-masse. And even if 20% of the 30k+ reservation holders walk, that's still a lot of cars they can sell in 2016.
    Growing pains. Signs of problems? Certainly. Likely to break Tesla? I seriously doubt it.
     
  8. ecarfan

    ecarfan Well-Known Member

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    Of course the X will "happen". It's in production right now. There was a video posted today of the assembly line with X bodies going through it. This Tuesday I was at the Burlingame CA Service Center and saw a customer's X there. It looked incredible! The X will be a major success. The idea that it could "break" Tesla is completely implausible.
     
  9. Wabi-Sabi

    Wabi-Sabi Member

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    Yes, I have read this, but I find it more and more difficult to believe that the second seat row can be the real reason for the delays.
    EM mentioned at some point that the second seat row are a marvel to look at. But at the X event in September it seemed that they are
    neither reclining, folding flat nor removable.
    How difficult can it be to produce this? Other manufacturers have have been offering reclining and removable rear seats for decades,
    so these seats don´t exactly seem to be "Future Technology VIII".

    And for parts supply; what seat part, for a non-reclining seat, milled, cast or electronic can take so long time to manufacture,
    I can not imagine what seat part that might be.

    For a car that has been in the making for such a long time I would believe that parts supply has been on the agenda for some time...
     
  10. Oil4AsphaultOnly

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    For starters, no other manufacturer has the seatbelts built into the chairs themselves (except for the non-movable backrow seats). The falcon wing doors actually prevents the common placement of seatbelts in the doors or ceiling of the car. Yeah, Tesla probably should've gone with sliding doors, but I get how the seats can be tough to build due to their own desires.
     
  11. Yggdrasill

    Yggdrasill Active Member

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    The logistics of making a car may seem simple, but they're really not. You need to get parts from hundreds of different suppliers, and if you don't receive just one part, you're screwed. You also want the parts to arrive from the supplier as late as possible relative to when you need them, because it's very expensive to have a large stockpile of parts. Warehouse space costs money, as does paying lots of money for the actual parts which then sit around unused. If Tesla has enough parts for 5,000 Model X in their warehouse, that's at least 250 million USD (2 billion NOK) that's just sitting there. Say interest is 3%, that's 20k USD every day in financing cost. And say they haven't received a small $10 part - now they can't build the Model X, and how many weeks does it take to sort out the supplier issue or find an alternate supplier?

    The logistics are challenging, but Tesla seems to be getting them under control. I expect cars to start rolling out of the factory in great volume any day now. Probably before new years.
     
  12. spottyq

    spottyq Member

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    (emphasis mine)

    Sorry, but this is wrong. Renault has this since at least 3 years in the Espace. Plus their (5 back) seats are removable. And you can put them backwards. And you get a flat storage space, with or without them. (Downside is they are quite heavy.)

    renault-espace-1.jpg
     
  13. Wabi-Sabi

    Wabi-Sabi Member

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    The Model S has been on the market for 3 years and it´s sales will sooner or later start to dwindle, rather sooner than later I fear,
    the current time from order to delivery is now very short, from order is confirmed until the car is finished production is only
    18 days, this doesn´t indicate a huge order reserve for model S:
    11/10/2015 Down payment
    11/17/2015 Order confirmed; part sourcing begun
    11/18/2015 Assigned a VIN
    11/19/2015 Loan financing applied
    11/20/2015 Entered production queue
    11/24/2015 Entered assembly line
    12/05/2015 Production complete
    ; 7-day delivery window
    12/07/2015 Payment finalized; purchase agreement signed
    12/08/2015 Factory inspection completed; 3-day delivery window
    12/09/2015 In transit; delivery date set
    12/10/2015 Delivery date

    (Quote from post #8822)

    So Tesla Motors is IMHO is getting more and more dependent on the Model X "ramp-up" is going to happen very soon.
    And that it will be a major selling success.

    Yes this is a good point, and it is difficult to understand why.
    I guess if the configurator was open to the general public, this would trigger more orders and more deposits and
    more cash. If TMX is just around the corner, don´t Tesla want more Model X orders?
    I guess there are huge computers out there that can handle literally hundreds if not thousands of orders...
     
  14. Wabi-Sabi

    Wabi-Sabi Member

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    #14 Wabi-Sabi, Dec 12, 2015
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2015
    There are numerous examples of this, Mercedes offered this in the V-Class back in 1996 (W638).
    It is also common in commercial turist coaches in Europe,
    even the airport shuttle bus has seatbelts built into the backrest though seats are not moveable in the same way as the
    Renault and the Mercedes.
    .
     
  15. Atlantis

    Atlantis Member

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    @Wabi-Sabi, Don't forget that Tesla is prioritizing US orders now to fulfil its delivery target for Q4. The example you give is for a New Mexico owner, so not far from California. I saw inclusive some Californians owners with only 3 weeks between confirmed order and delivery. A lot of European orders are going on hold until Tesla can produce them in Q1 2016, and prioritizing Danish orders because of phaseout of tax benefices there.
    I can be wrong, but I don't see Model S orders going down at least until Model X be at full production (maybe in the Q4 2016), even then I think that the entering of Tesla in other markets and the updating of batteries to 100KW at the end of 2016 could give a new wind for Model S orders.
    The true down for Model S will come after Model 3 will be in full production...until a new come back with a new refreshed Model S to come in town.
     
  16. Atlantis

    Atlantis Member

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    Yes it's true the Espace is a very practical car, but don't forget that there is no batteries in the floor and all the seat row moves and removal are manual, in spite of Tesla X seats have independent own engines to move...in a car that was design to have the least drag coefficient and twice the best safety rank in the SUV market. And for the last and not the least, all car suppliers are working with these century old auto makers for decades now, so there is a smoothly way of working between them. For the other part, few suppliers wanted to work with Tesla when they launched the Model S, most of which ones that eventually came to work with Tesla were second ranking ones. You know, Tesla could fail and was not a "mass" production customer so they were not appellative to first rank suppliers. Eventually, for Tesla Model X, it seems that the "second rank" supplier for the second row seats failed to provide to Tesla the product they need, so Tesla had to bring the production of these seats in house with all the production delays and headaches that it supposed.
     
  17. nienco2

    nienco2 Member

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    We all want this car to be a success but the loyalty and patience most of us have shown deserves the courtesy and respect from TM to be forthcoming and truthful. For example, "These are the mistakes we made and this is how we are correcting them so real production can begin." emphasis on WE because this pawning delays off on suppliers at this point is really unseemly. TM will get the accolades for a great car, not the suppliers, so TM rightfully should man up and take responsibility for the delays. imo
     
  18. Blastphemy

    Blastphemy Member

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    At some point the truth about the past three months will come out; it's inevitable. No public company can hide contentious details forever, especially if the public blame game ever gets going from disgruntled former employees. (We already got a little daylight from the clandestine and short-lived member "Eds.") The question is whether it will matter once Model X starts reaching customers in large numbers.

    Of course, that's assuming Model X will reach customers in large numbers in time before customers call it quits.

    Since there are many reports that Tesla designed the Model X with women (and their children) in mind, I'm rather shocked that the first row seats don't have an entertainment center built into the back like so many other family-oriented SUVs. Seems like a rather large oversight. With so many other car companies being able to design seats in all sorts of reasonable configurations, I'm surprised at how much of a problem the Model X's seats turned out to be. Can't wait to read the eventual dirt on what happened there!
     
  19. woof

    woof Model S #P683 Blue 85 kWh

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    Question is: can these designs merit a 5 star crash rating? The speculation about the seats has been that such designs compromise crash safety, and that is the reason for the limitations of the seats.
     
  20. spottyq

    spottyq Member

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    Frankly, I doubt any manufacturer can put together something that is superior to what is possible to do with tablets. The reason is that content source varies wildly. Tesla has an advantage here with OTA updates, but it does not solve everything. Think of Spotify, Youtube, Netflix and others who refuse to play their media outside of players they have total control of. You need to convince each and every one of these societies to program a media player for your particular platform, and then to keep it up to date.
    Plus every ones need vary wildly. Some will be ok with only being able to play original DVD's and Blu-ray's. That's easy to support. But then some others will want to play videos from a usb hard drive. Then you must support every codec available out there, and have hardware powerful enough.
    Then someone will want to play a little game… you get the idea.
    => It is complicated to set up for Tesla.

    On the other side, you can buy very capable tablets at $400. These work with everything, are easy to use, and as a bonus, you can use them everywhere (not only in the car.)
    => The alternative is easy, cheap and better than what Tesla could provide, such that even if Tesla were to release it, I doubt it would even sell.*

    *But I am not the target market of the MX (heck even not that of the MS) and I like to tinker. So I may be entirely wrong; I'm sure some people would prefer to hand cash over to Tesla instead of messing around with tablets.

    ---
    The 2003 car (I was way too conservative when I said the Espace had it since at least 3 years) had a 5-star rating (for front occupant only) at the Euro-NCAP test. However, it seems only front occupants and pedestrians safety has been tested, not the rear seats. I can't find an other crash test report of that car either.
    Euro-NCAP report

    My personal opinion is that these seat are very sturdy, but what would I know… (Also, they are very heavy which makes them not ideal for the MX.)
     

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