Tesla has received more than 20,000 pre-orders for its forthcoming Model X crossover. The long-delayed electric vehicle will blend the benefits of a minivan with the best of an SUV. The Palo Alto-based company is expected to start deliveries to customers by the third-quarter of 2015. With Model X, Tesla will gain entry into two overlapping markets: women and SUV buyers, reports the Los Angeles Daily News.
85.8% of Model S purchased by men
Tesla doesn’t reveal demographic information about its customers. But an independent report from IHS Automotive, which tracks vehicle sales by gender, men accounted for more than 85% of total Model S registrations in 2013. But this trend could change with the upcoming Model X, which has thousands of female drivers waiting.
The EV maker has designed the all-electric Model X with women in mind, and smaller SUVs are very popular among female drivers. At the company’s shareholders’ meeting in June, a woman advised Tesla CEO Elon Musk to make the crossover “a little bit more women-favored.” Musk told her that the company was paying more attention to “the needs of women” in the Model X.
Tesla invited women to its headquarters
Model X is also a litmus test for Tesla, which plans to become a major player in the automobile industry. SUVs and trucks have become more popular than sedans. According to Edmunds.com, SUVs and pickup trucks accounted for 54% of total auto sales, compared to 46% for cars. JD Power and Associates VP Renee Stephens said that women make up about 39% of the new cars market, but 44% of the SUV market.
To ensure that Model X had a women-favored design, Tesla invited about a dozen women to its headquarters for a freewheeling. The Falcon wing doors in Model X have created a lot of buzz. The Falcon doors make it earlier to navigate narrow parking spots. The company is expected to price Model X in the same range as the Model S, which starts at $70,000.