Tesla’s Model X contributed to a positive Q3 earnings report, with production levels, revenue, and reliability all on the upswing. Most notably, Tesla indicates that issues related to the Model X have dropped by 92% in the last 12 months, a significant achievement considering ongoing issues related to the electric SUV’s Falcon Wing doors have hindered production ramp earlier in the year, and contributed to Consumer Reports placing the Model X into its category for least reliable vehicle.
Bolstered by over-the-air software updates being released to address common issues and quality control improvements during production, Tesla indicates that the Model X is quickly establishing its role in the SUV luxury segment. “Despite still ramping production, Model X is also gaining market share, already growing to 6% of the U.S. large luxury SUV market in Q3, or #8 in the large luxury SUV category.”, says Tesla in the quarterly report. By edging out the Porsche Macan and Cayenne, the Land Rover R-R Sport, and the Infiniti QX80, Tesla’s Model X is establishing its primacy in a competitive and lucrative luxury market. “The large luxury SUV category is three times the size of the large luxury sedan category in the U.S. and represents a huge opportunity to further increase Model X sales.”
Those sales, as indicated by an increase in deliveries of 114% from the third quarter of 2015, were composed of 8,774 Model X vehicles. “In Q3, combined net orders for new Model S and Model X vehicles grew 68%, compared with the same period last year.” Tesla says it is holding to its previous guidance of delivering 50,000 of its Model S luxury sedans and Model X luxury crossovers in the second half of this year.
Tesla achieved overall record production levels in Q3, for an increase of 37% from Q2 and an increase of 92% from Q3 last year. During the company’s Q3 earnings call, Musk described the production ramp as an exponential or, ultimately, S-curve that makes it “very difficult to predict exactly where that beginning part of the exponential and the S-curve fits in between quarterly reporting.” He allowed that a shift of even a few weeks one way or the other can have quite a dramatic effect on the end results of that quarter and are not indicative of future results.
Tesla describes the Model X as “the safest, fastest and most capable sport utility vehicle in history. With all-wheel drive and a 100 kWh battery providing 289 miles of range, Model X has ample seating for seven adults and all of their gear. And it’s ludicrously fast, accelerating from zero to 60 miles per hour in as quick as 2.9 seconds.”