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Autoblog: The Tesla Model X Was a Mistake


El Kabong

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The shortcomings of rookies building cars, laid bare:

"Tesla, like most Silicon Valley companies, uses most of its revenue to finance research and development for new products. Rolling out new products with minimal required development is crucial to this strategy, and the Model X began its development as a taller version of the Model S. The shared platform would allow Tesla to conquer new markets without having to develop a complicated, new vehicle.

"Then, because Elon Musk doesn't know how to just phone it in, he turned the Model X into a complicated, new vehicle.

"Now Tesla is saddled with a very expensive project that wasn't exactly, um, planned. Development took two years longer than initially expected, as the platform changed and new technology was added. Speaking candidly about the Model X's development, Musk said, 'If we had known the true engineering costs and the amount of complexity associated with it I think we would have probably done fewer new things.'

"The result is a car that's impressive in almost every way, but entirely inconsistent with Tesla's stated mission. Instead of moving downmarket, the Model X is even costlier than the Model S, with a base price of $80,000. It also loses the range and efficiency competitions to the Model S, thanks to its bulk. CUVs are a growing segment, but wouldn't a smaller car... fit more nicely between the Model 3 and the Model S?"

More at the link:

http://www.autoblog.com/2016/02/05/tesla-model-x-mistake-opinion/

Edited by El Kabong
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tl:dr

 

Peanut Gallery:

 

2012: WHY DOESN'T TESLA HAVE A CUV?!

 

2016: WHY DOES TESLA HAVE A CUV?!

That's why smart CEO's listen to the financial guys before they listen to the peanut gallery. It's easy to be Bob Lutz when it's other people's money you're spending.

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What is it with your incessant campaign against Tesla?

 

Are you on the payroll of a signficant make, and this is all you scheme to do? Because we've had that happen here before, and it isn't something that's new nor is it refreshing.

So stop playing the role of wings and READ THE ARTICLE.

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If the Model X was phoned in, the author would complain it's phoned in.

 

If Tesla built a small sedan instead, the author would complain Tesla's missing out on the massive CUV market. 

 

If Tesla built a clone of Christ, the author would complain the wine it dispensed wasn't a merlot. 

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What is it with your incessant campaign against Tesla?

 

Are you on the payroll of a signficant make, and this is all you scheme to do? Because we've had that happen here before, and it isn't something that's new nor is it refreshing.

So stop playing the role of wings and READ THE ARTICLE.

 

 

I read the article, and it presents some nice points.

 

But Musk himself is always frank and blunt. That's also how he's different.

 

The thing is, all is done and now they're stuck to it. You're asking an all-new automaker to be perfect.

 

The closest they can get to that is winning awards all over and getting car of the year type accolades. They've done that, so they're not lacking in product, and they still don't carry the baggage of the incumbent brands.

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If the Model X was phoned in, the author would complain it's phoned in.

 

If Tesla built a small sedan instead, the author would complain Tesla's missing out on the massive CUV market. 

 

If Tesla built a clone of Christ, the author would complain the wine it dispensed wasn't a merlot.

"Follow the money."

-Mark Felt

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What is it with your incessant campaign against Tesla?

 

Are you on the payroll of a signficant make, and this is all you scheme to do? Because we've had that happen here before, and it isn't something that's new nor is it refreshing.

So stop playing the role of wings and READ THE ARTICLE.

 

I read the article, and it presents some nice points.

 

But Musk himself is always frank and blunt. That's also how he's different.

 

The thing is, all is done and now they're stuck to it. You're asking an all-new automaker to be perfect.

 

The closest they can get to that is winning awards all over and getting car of the year type accolades. They've done that, so they're not lacking in product, and they still don't carry the baggage of the incumbent brands.

Wrong.

I'M not the one demanding Tesla gets it right 100% of the time. The financial model they operate on demands that.

I have no hate-on for Elon Musk. I just know that he's bitten off more than he can chew. And he has. Simple as that.

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You know why I don't like these dumb Opinion Editorials?

 

Because they're not vetted, and they're meant to peddle paper sales or be click-bait.

 

This person hasn't done the real research. They only scratch at the surface. 

 

The Model X eschews a lower entry price point for excellence of engineering that justify its high price. 

 

There's a quite a few brands that we wish would do so, but they fail - because they cannot address the most pertinent needs of their customers.

 

It's one thing to post an article for discussion and it's another to just propagate a targeted agenda which just draws more questions of the real motive of the OP.

 

You clearly have demonstrated a real brand bias. Okay. Most of my academic textbooks rip on GM as an automaker the most, and they have financial information - market strategy - organizational behaviour, you name it, problems left and right even past BK plastered all over. And I take all of it with a mighty grain of salt.

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If they had simply done a CUV off the Model S they probably could have had it to market a year after the Model S..but they dicked around for years with those stupid 'falcon doors'...pointless gimmick nonsense that adds nothing to the vehicle.

Edited by Cubical-aka-Moltar
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What is it with your incessant campaign against Tesla?

 

Are you on the payroll of a signficant make, and this is all you scheme to do? Because we've had that happen here before, and it isn't something that's new nor is it refreshing.

So stop playing the role of wings and READ THE ARTICLE.

 

I read the article, and it presents some nice points.

 

But Musk himself is always frank and blunt. That's also how he's different.

 

The thing is, all is done and now they're stuck to it. You're asking an all-new automaker to be perfect.

 

The closest they can get to that is winning awards all over and getting car of the year type accolades. They've done that, so they're not lacking in product, and they still don't carry the baggage of the incumbent brands.

Wrong.

I'M not the one demanding Tesla gets it right 100% of the time. The financial model they operate on demands that.

I have no hate-on for Elon Musk. I just know that he's bitten off more than he can chew. And he has. Simple as that.

 

 

Oh, so other automakers don't do that? They don't aim for grandeur? They don't do escalation of commitment?

 

Your argument is so untenable I'm just going to say that you've just phoned it in.

If they had simply done a CUV off the Model S they probably could have had it to market a year after the Model S..but they dicked around for years with those stupid 'falcon doors'...pointless junk that adds nothing to the vehicle.

 

Glad to know you're never going to buy one.

 

Now, if the Lamborghini Urus comes out with scissor doors...

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Really what the author should have said is that the development time and the falcon doors are burdens, and lengthened the development time.

 

But the way the title is stated, it's writing off potentially the most technologically advanced SUV in the world.

 

The biggest threats to Tesla actually have nothing to with the vehicle itself.

 

It's more to do with the company's potential margins on the Model 3, and low oil prices which affect every player that will sell the affordable EVs.

 

Crossovers are crazy sellers. And like Cadillac has proven, it's never too late to join the party or sell exuberant and expensive behemoths. 

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My head hurts from reading this.

 

 

All is not well at Tesla. On Thursday, its stock price fell to $166.99, its lowest since January, 2014. After Elon Musk silenced skeptics by delivering a new quarterly record and reaching the company's target of 50,000 EV sales in 2015, this drop may come as a shock to investors.

 

How is this not doing well? I'm sure there is a lot of OEMs who will kill to have a stock price like this. Also, I'm sure there are other factors as to why the stock dropped - the direct sales battle for one.

 

 

Speaking candidly about the Model X's development, Musk said, "If we had known the true engineering costs and the amount of complexity associated with it I think we would have probably done fewer new things."

 

This might the only part I agree with this piece. There comes a point in building a vehicle that you just need to say 'We need to get this vehicle out. Hopefully, there isn't any massive issues that could screw this up.' 

 

 

The result is a car that's impressive in almost every way, but entirely inconsistent with Tesla's stated mission. Instead of moving downmarket, the Model X is even costlier than the Model S, with a base price of $80,000.

 

How is the Model X inconsistent with the stated mission? The author realizes that mission statements can change for various reasons, right??

 

Last I checked, the Model X wasn't going to be a downmarket vehicle. Also, stating the obvious (marked in bold).

 

 

None of this would matter if Model X sales were up, but a variety of delays have kept it from hitting the showroom floor, and only 208 delivered before the end of 2015.

 

Wait, what?! This sentence doesn't make sense. How could sales of the Model X be up if it just went on sale late last year?!

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If they had simply done a CUV off the Model S they probably could have had it to market a year after the Model S..but they dicked around for years with those stupid 'falcon doors'...pointless gimmick nonsense that adds nothing to the vehicle.

They get people to talk about them and write articles about them. The general public likes things like that and Musk knows it. It's a gimmick that no other vehicle has. 

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There's some real mismanaged companies such as (clears throat) a certain Italian company that delays profitable (like really just clear shoo-ins as far as vehicles go) models for the explicit purpose of bringing niche, tiny volume, unprofitable vehicles to market. And I hear they've delayed the their "Grandest" of wagons by 2 years or more, ever since they first announced it.

 

And last but not least ALAS Tesla does not have showrooms. You can't buy the Teslas at their stores, and just drive them off the lot.

 

The stupid thing that the editorials do is compare Tesla to the biggest and most successful automakers.

 

Here's a fact, there's more automotive losers out there than those specific winners, who if I recall correctly, were even bigger losers, and not too long ago either.

 

Compare Tesla to a REAL competitor - and they simply don't exist. And they still don't. Last I heard, the Bolt is going on sale effectively this time next year. Just a waste of breath. That's what the article really is.

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If they had simply done a CUV off the Model S they probably could have had it to market a year after the Model S..but they dicked around for years with those stupid 'falcon doors'...pointless gimmick nonsense that adds nothing to the vehicle.

They get people to talk about them and write articles about them. The general public likes things like that and Musk knows it. It's a gimmick that no other vehicle has. 

 

I don't think the 'general public' will be buying very many $100k novelty CUVs.    

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The general public disagrees.

 

Due to just how lucrative that market segment is, and its continued momentum, Jeep of all makes is going there. Ford is going there. Cadillac and Lincoln are almost already there, not to mention the bounty of German makes already there.

 

Whether we like to or not, a Model X had to exist. 

 

The general public also doesn't buy many alternative vehicles.

 

If Tesla can capture all of the premium EV segment at this early stage, they will have continual superior returns while other automakers juggle their electrification programs by using their future legacy and defunct conventional cars to fund the growth of those same segments.

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I see nothing about the Model X that would make it a compelling buy over the Porsche Cayenne, for example.  For a luxury SUV the Porsche is larger inside, has a better range, etc.   And has normal doors, not gimmick doors. 

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Sorry but I am not going to put too much weight into a pure opinion piece from a publication that has never shown much love to Tesla begin with.

 

Like Suave said, there are some good points but most everything in their purely opinion and typical short sighted speculation.

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IMO the article does a very good job of analyzing the underlying issues with Tesla and their business model. Nobody can deny that the Model X has been a royal pain to get to market, nor can they reasonably say that it hasn't hurt development of the Model 3. And the Model 3 is, realistically, the car that will make or break them as a viable mainstream automaker. Every moment they waste to larger manufacturers with more sophisticated dealer networks (and if they're cynical enough, a "profits come later" pricing scheme) is critical.

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If the Model X was phoned in, the author would complain it's phoned in.

 

If Tesla built a small sedan instead, the author would complain Tesla's missing out on the massive CUV market. 

 

If Tesla built a clone of Christ, the author would complain the wine it dispensed wasn't a merlot. 

WHAT? The Wine Was Not Merlot?  :nono:

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If the Model X was phoned in, the author would complain it's phoned in.

 

If Tesla built a small sedan instead, the author would complain Tesla's missing out on the massive CUV market. 

 

If Tesla built a clone of Christ, the author would complain the wine it dispensed wasn't a merlot. 

WHAT? The Wine Was Not Merlot?  :nono:

 

I'd rather have a pinot noir or malbec..

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I see nothing about the Model X that would make it a compelling buy over the Porsche Cayenne, for example.  For a luxury SUV the Porsche is larger inside, has a better range, etc.   And has normal doors, not gimmick doors. 

 

I would pass on both as neither overs real value for the dollar. The best bang for buck Luxury SUV out there is the Escalade!

 

 

If the Model X was phoned in, the author would complain it's phoned in.

 

If Tesla built a small sedan instead, the author would complain Tesla's missing out on the massive CUV market. 

 

If Tesla built a clone of Christ, the author would complain the wine it dispensed wasn't a merlot. 

WHAT? The Wine Was Not Merlot?  :nono:

 

I'd rather have a pinot noir or malbec..

 

+1 for two awesome Wines, can I get some Dark Chocolate with that please! :P

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If they had simply done a CUV off the Model S they probably could have had it to market a year after the Model S..but they dicked around for years with those stupid 'falcon doors'...pointless gimmick nonsense that adds nothing to the vehicle.

They get people to talk about them and write articles about them. The general public likes things like that and Musk knows it. It's a gimmick that no other vehicle has.

I don't think the 'general public' will be buying very many $100k novelty CUVs.

But the general public is who talks about its quirky gimmicks. The more people talk about it in a positive manner the more it will get people to want their lesser models when they eventually come to fruition. I completely agree that the general public isn't buying anything other than a house at or above even 80k(starting price if I remember correctly?). But it does help "some" with the fuel costs and EV tax breaks. Not trying to say that all of a sudden people that make 50-70k will be forking out 100k on a car or anything but every little helps..
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