One of our faithful cleantech readers* sent over a note a week ago highlighting that Q2 seemed to be the first quarter in which Tesla sold more Model X’s than Model S’s. “I think this got lost in the maze of numbers released today,” he added. I agreed that this seemed like a noteworthy milestone that got close to no mention.
The Model S seems to get a bit more love and attention than the Model X from Tesla fanatics (you know, CleanTechnica readers and writers). There’s no doubt about it — the Model S is faster, the exterior of the Model S is prettier (when the X’s falcon-wing doors are down), and the falcon-wing doors are highly controversial.
That said, I think the Model X is a better vehicle overall and there’s no denying that the broader passenger vehicle market has been shifting to SUVs/CUVs more and more. Those matters and the eye-catching nature of the falcon-wing doors, which are sure to stimulate discussions and introduce people to the concept and vision of Tesla, have long made me think the Model X would become a higher selling vehicle.
No doubt about it, SUVs/CUVs are popular for a reason — people like to sit up high, like having a lot of space, and often like the ease of getting in and out of an SUV/CUV more than the bend, dip, & tuck needed for a sedan. While the exterior of the Model X may not make people say, “Wow, that’s beautiful!” as much as with the Model S, the view and comfort from inside the Model X definitely wins in that head-to-head competition. Actually, I’m yet to be inside of any vehicle with a better view and more overall comfort than a Model X. Sure, a back massage inside a Mercedes S-Class is something I’d love to use more regularly, but the overall space and comfort of a Model X combined with the supersplendulous windshield is unbeatable.
Now, whether Model X sales remain above Model S sales is something we’ll have to wait to see. And if they are close enough, it’s all a rounding error anyway.
The downside for Tesla and Tesla fans is that it wasn’t a record quarter for the Model X — not even one of its top 3. The crossover occurred more because the Model S had a relatively weak quarter. The second quarter is never a great one for the Model S, but its deliveries were actually down compared to Q2 2017, as was the case for Q1 2018 versus Q1 2017. Presumably, this is a result of Model 3 production ramping up and many buyers who might have gotten a Model S in previous years getting or holding out for a Model 3 instead. We’ll see how things roll out in coming quarters and will certainly keep you updated.
*Actually, the tipster, Don Baumhefner, was the cool dude who drove his fresh Model X from NorCal to SoCal when production of the model was just getting rolling so that Kyle Field and I could test drive it before the Model 3 unveiling. Of course, the cynical claims back then were that Tesla couldn’t mass produce the Model X.
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