Does Tesla's Model X Production Point to Failure For Model 3?
John Goreham's picture

How Will Tesla Build 400K Model 3s If It Can't Build 1K Model Xs per month?

With less than 1,000 Model X units sold per month in its first year, Tesla fails an important test for Model 3.

Tesla’s Model X has now been on sale in the U.S. for one year. The six-figure, electric minivan/crossover thrills its fans, but the company that produces it, Tesla Motors, has been unable to show a delivery volume that is anywhere close to expectations.

When the Model X launched in September 2015, and deliveries began to trickle forth, Autoblog estimated that Tesla had about 26,000 pre-orders for the vehicle. These are customers who paid a deposit and got in line to wait for a Model X, and that number includes a few thousand cancellations. About two-thirds of those customers are still waiting now a full year after the first customer received a Model X. The Model S sedan was Tesla’s second vehicle after its initial Roadster. Wasn’t the Model S supposed to be the car with which Tesla perfected its factory and production abilities?

Inside EVs has been making sales estimates on Tesla vehicle sales for many years, and we applaud their stick-to-it attitude. They even follow up and grade themselves on how accurate their estimates are each quarter after Tesla is forced by SEC rules (law) to admit how few vehicles it has sold. Unlike every other automaker, Tesla hides its production facts from the public until it can’t anymore.

Inside EVs says that Tesla has delivered 9,754 Model X vehicles in the past year. In the early months, Tesla was shipping less than ten PER MONTH. In the past year, Tesla has only passed 2,000 units of Model X sales in a given month one time. It has delivered more than 1,000 in two consecutive months only one time based on Inside EVs tracking.

Given the production failures of the Model X, it seems obvious that Tesla is still a cottage industry manufacturer of high-end, custom built supercars. The company has its sights on selling hundreds of thousands of Tesla Model 3 and reports say the company has upwards of 400,000 pre-orders. The large battery factory Tesla is building is coming together, but have batteries been the reason the company has only been able to average about 800 units per month of its newest (third) vehicle? Not according to Tesla's Elon Musk, who blamed the shortage on "insufficient supplier capability validation, and Tesla not having broad enough internal capability to manufacture the parts in-house."

Subscribe to Torque News on YouTube.

Follow Torque News on YouTube, Twitter and Facebook.


Would love to know what rock you just crawled out from under. Your stats are way off regardless of where they came from or their past history. This article is so full of wholes you'd be better off selling swiss cheese rather than this garbage. Go back to school kid and learn
Thanks for reading and taking time to comment Milburns. The figures (stats?) in the story are supported by the source links. If we have made a mistake with any of the Tesla sales figures please let us know so we can correct the error.
Your delivery numbers on the X are way off. Just do a little googling. I'm not doing your work for you. Investigate first then write not the other way around. Please don't respond. I see where you are coming from and don't want to continue this conversation.
Thanks Mitchell, but the U.S. delivery delivery numbers used for the Model X in the story are based on the SEC filings Tesla has made, and are reported accurately by Inside Evs (who corrects their numbers quarterly.) We have cross checked with other sources. Here are a few. Be sure to subtract out the Model S when reading about Tesla's volume, and note we are tracking deliveries (sales) not Tesla's production which is always slightly ahead, like every automaker's: - - - Although I don't trust Wiki as a source, the Tesla Model X deliveries that Inside EVs reports seem on par with what Wiki also reports for model X sales. If you look closely at the Wiki data for Model X you will see that the sales numbers are backed up by footnotes to the SEC filing reports in which Tesla reports its unit sales volume, as it is required to do by law. One last thought - Tesla could clear up the delivery numbers quite simply by reporting its monthly sales, just like every single other automaker doing business in the U.S. or a global scale does. Instead it forces its fan-press to scramble through VIN numbers and state registration data. What is Tesla trying to hide?
They are currently manufacturing approx 750 Model X's per week. Where are they putting these if not delivering them. Your article is obviously slanted against and you use all these sites to your statements up. Your sources are questionable as well but you don't trust Wiki. At least Wiki has no agenda whereas you and your sources do. As I said, I am done with this conversation. You don't trust Wiki is that because their numbers don't jive with your sources? Please don't answer that
Mitchell, ending a discussion with "Please don't answer that" is borderline rude. Wiki's numbers do support the numbers reported by Inside EVs and Wiki, like all the other sources I have cited, use Tesla Motors' SEC filings as the source. In addition, between the filings, Inside EVs uses vehicle registration and VIN number reports by Tesla owners to guesstimate the up to the minute sales by Tesla. I realize it may be frustrating to you that Tesla's U.S. sales equal less than 10,000 Model X vehicles in 12 months, but that does not make it untrue, nor does it make my reporting less factual. If you have a factual source to repute mine, please just add the link. I would be happy to revise my story given better data. It is worth noting that all of the sources I list are unabashedly pro-Tesla. The Motley Fool article I include as a source has a disclaimer at the bottom noting that both the author and the site itself hold Tesla stock. Inside EVs is one of Tesla's most loyal champions.
This article is incredibly misleading, Model X is orders of magnitude harder to manufacture than the Model 3 will be. It was built from the ground up to be mass produced. Also Tesla is going to have more production lines producing the Model 3 (see Gigafactory).
Austin, you do make a good point. The Tesla Model 3 seems to be less complex than the Model X is. It is hard to know the facts, since Tesla has not released any detailed specification on this upcoming model yet. That said, Tesla's Model X uses the same drivetrain and basic platform as the Model S. It is Tesla's third nameplate, and the company temporarily shut down its Model S line to prepare for the coming Model X a while back. - I am familiar with the Gigafactory. It is not a vehicle production line, but rather, it is a battery pack manufacturing plant. See last paragraph of the story for why that matters. Here is a link to the Tesla Gigafactory site:
John, Model X and Model 3 are two different stories IMO. M3 won't have cucumber slicing falcon doors and that kind of stuff, and it won't share the line with Model S. Even with those limitations, more than 9000 Model Xs were sold in the last 6 months (that is more than 1500/month) and their production is still getting better. They are above 2000/week together with Model S.