Elon Musk’s Tesla Motors has got a lot riding on the upcoming launch of the Model X all-electric SUV. The firm has already delayed the launch of the new flagship EV twice, and has promised initial deliveries to customers by the end of the summer. That means the clock is now officially ticking for Tesla, and the company has until September 22nd to make good on its promise to launch the Model X or face very disappointed buyers and investors.
Recent statement from Elon Musk
In the conference call Wednesday after the first quarter earnings release, Musk noted that he had driven the latest prototype of the Model X earlier in the day and thought to himself, “Wow, this is by far the best SUV.”
“We want to make sure we’re delivering a product that has been thoroughly validated,” Musk explained, continuing to say that Tesla is trying to reduce the time between initial deliveries and “significant” deliveries from the Model S launch.
More on Tesla first quarter earnings
Tesla saw a loss of $154.2 million, or $1.22 a share, on sales of $939.9 million in the first quarter of this year. The firm reported a loss of 36 cents a share on revenues of $1.1 billion. Consensus analyst estimates had been for a loss of 50 cents a share on revenue of $1.04 billion on an adjusted basis, according to data from Thomson Reuters.
Around a month ago, the company reported first-quarter deliveries of 10,030 Model S sedans, finally meeting the tradition of auto manufacturers of reporting sales early to minimize analyst guesswork. Tesla upped the figure to 10,045 in Wednesday’s report, and noted that it had boosted production at its Fremont manufacturing plant to 11,160 vehicles in the current quarter.
Although representing a record quarter for the company, first-quarter sales are still below what is required to meet Musk’s projection of 55,000 vehicles beig delivered in 2015. Moreover, projections for the second quarter don’t show a big increase. Musk has said for some time he anticipates sales will soar with the launch of the Model X, which was originally expected to be in showrooms already.
Musk reiterated in the conference call that he expects record sales in the fourth quarter, possibly double Tesla’s first quarter sales, but did admit that the Model X launch will not be easy.
“There are several unique parts needed in a car, and if those parts are not available for any reason, you can’t ship the car,” Musk highlighted, saying that the realities of auto production make the firm only as capable as its “unluckiest or worst supplier.”