As the release date of the Tesla Model X approaches, news about the forthcoming electric vehicle is flooding in. This will unquestionably be a major release for Tesla, not least as the company is well known for having a relatively minimal cash flow. Tesla has certainly achieved a significant position in the business world in terms of its reputation and even size, but it is easy to forget that its rise has been extremely meteoric, and that it is still a relatively young company. Tesla certainly does not have the cash reserves of the likes of Apple, and needs a new product to succeed financially on a regular basis to keep its complicated production arm ticking over.
Tesla Model X makes hay over Volkswagen crisis
So the Model X, an SUV-inspired concept that builds on the hugely popular Model S, will be expected to sell large amounts of units for Tesla. With the September 29 launch of the Model X, Tesla will be delivering not merely one of the most important electric vehicles in history, but one of the most anticipated car releases of recent years. It is interesting to contrast the position of Tesla with that of Volkswagen, with the two companies occupying almost diametrically opposing positions at present.
Volkswagen is, of course, an established auto giant, but is now suffering from a massive dent in its reputation caused by the vehicle emissions scandal. Tesla, by contrast, has a simply outstanding reputation and branding at present, and is about to release an extremely exciting electric vehicle into the mainstream. Considering that Volkswagen was frequently considered to be one the corporations working on an electric rival, the founder and CEO of Tesla, Elon Musk, was understandably emboldened by the Volkswagen news when speaking at a conference earlier this week.
Although many details related to the Model X are already known, there is still new information flooding in on the Model X on a fairly regular basis. One of the interesting aspects of the vehicle that came to light earlier this week was the suggestion that that the Model X will be offered in a six-passenger layout in addition to the existing seven-passenger option.
Screen captures from the online ordering Tesla Design Studio have emerged confirming this aspect of the vehicle, and it seems that the six-passenger option was a new addition based on customer preferences. It appears that Tesla offered the configuration to a customer who had previously set up a signature Model S in this fashion just weeks ago.
Tesla had, in fact, never intended to offer this six-passenger layout, but the instigation of this new variant of the vehicle is indicative of the extent to which the electric car manufacturer will respond to customer wishes. Thus, the Model X is evolving to meet consumer needs, and developing even at this late stage in the day.
According to reports on the subject, the two middle-row seats in this version of the Model X will move forward and backward independently, with the three abreast in the seven-passenger style model moving as a unit. Tesla has already confirmed that there will be no cost difference between the two models, and this will make purchasing even more convenient for an already enthusiastic marketplace.
Apple Car exemplifies competition
But competition for Tesla will remain intense, regardless of the success or otherwise of the Model X. It has recently been reported from sources close to Apple that the consumer electronics giant will attempt to deliver the Apple Car by 2019, and this will result in a massive hotting up of the electric car marketplace.
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Meanwhile, Mercedes-Benz has confirmed to the Car & Driver publication that it is currently working on an all-electric model. According to the German corporation, this vehicle will ultimately deliver a driving range of between 250 and 300 miles once it is released.
It is suggested, based on comments by the board of Mercedes-Benz, that this vehicle will either be an SUV or a sedan when it is released. However, the fact that the Mercedes hierarchy itself has suggested that sedans are not particularly well suited to storing large battery packs, indicates that the German manufacturer will probably opt for an SUV.
This Mercedes Benz vehicle will then certainly be a major rival to the existing Model X, and illustrates the extent to which Tesla will have to deal with assaults on its share of the electric car marketplace in the coming years. Elon Musk has already suggested that Tesla will ultimately be able to secure a smaller slice of a much larger electric car pie, but there is little doubt that the competitiveness in this market niche is about to increase significantly.
Model X building momentum
Regardless of this, the city has been relatively enthusiastic about the plans that Tesla has for the Model X. The stock of Tesla shot up 3 percent on September 21, as investors were increasingly enthusiastic about the release of the Model X. The share price increase coincided with the electric car manufacturer distributing invitations for the official launch of the vehicle.
This will be something of a relief to Tesla, despite its public pronouncements, as the share price of the corporation had declined significantly from its peaks. Tesla has had to endure the fact that the electric car marketplace is rather volatile than the more established industrial niches, and its stock has consequently become one of the more unpredictable entities among major companies.
However, it certainly seems that the Model X has been extremely successful with customers. A subtle website change has been spotted which indicates that new reservations for the Model X SUV will not begin shipping until the second half of 2016. This will be something of a disappointing wait for keen Tesla customers, but nonetheless indicates that the Model X could be a smash hit for the electric car giant.