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Suggestion: set a threshold (in % of potential buyers) for falcon wings alternative

Suggestion: set a threshold (in % of potential buyers) for falcon wings alternative

From going over on-line comments I'd estimate at least 30% (if not 50%) enthusiasts and/or potential buyers who don't like the falcon wing concept but do like everything else about the model.
At some threshold surely it makes more sense to keep both models, doesn't it?

Also, from a general perception / psychological point of view wouldn't it be better to at least compensate for the 10% drop in range even if it means a higher price tag?

Going for a lower range from one model to the next, for any reason seems a bit like going backwards.
As an observation, I think this could be a potentially very important issue, both for the number of cars sold and the market cap. People are not just buying a car. They are investing in an idea...

dz4 | 13. Juli 2013

Just to clarify on the second point,
I think something of the sort of a third (higher end) battery option, that would push the range even further would go a long way to impress people. It would make more headlines than 4.4 seconds for what is essentially a family car...

bent | 13. Juli 2013

I expect the falcon wings are Tesla's first serious attempt to demonstrate that what you don't think you want is in actual fact what you've always wanted, you just didn't know it at the time.

I hope it's a success.

NumberOne | 13. Juli 2013

The falcon wing doors are a must for Tesla because they want to avoid the minivan image, so no sliding door. I have a Ford Flex which I really like, but it is impossible to use the third row seats without first folding at least a second row seat. (Imagine a car seat that has to be removed first.) Also, the third row seats are quite high, and there is not sufficient head or leg room for an average sized adult. The Model X on the other hand, has more room for both passengers and cargo, and the third row is easily accessible without moving the seat.

As far as percentages of people who would prefer non falcon wing doors, it is pure speculation. I doubt that it is even as high as 30% because in general it is more often those who are strongly opposed to things that voice their opinion. The car is going to attract attention without opening the rear doors, just as the Model S does.

dz4 | 13. Juli 2013

@bent
Yes, I also think this is the case, which is what gets me a little worried.
The Steve Jobs like mindset of 'I know what you want better than you do' might not work so well for cars... IMO. People go to buy a car with a much more conservative mindset compared to consumer electronics. And rightfully so. These doors could just be too far out of the comfort zone for many potential customers.

Unless the cost to do so is prohibitive, I'd suggest it's best to go with both options. You could always ask the dealership network to promote the falcon wings more heavily.

Iowa92x | 14. Juli 2013

drz, people are already used to reduced miles per gallon in ICE SUVs and vans, so a 10% drop in range on the X is not a big deal. Physics.

Elon says Gen III will get 200 miles per charge, so the pattern is already being set for reduced range on future releases. I'm thrilled Gen III will have reduced range, that's the only way me and millions of others will be able to afford one.

What will happen in time is Tesla will continue amping up (pun intended) their packs, higher kw options will allow X owners to go 300+ miles if they want to pay for it. Battery price/tech is not there yet though.

dz4 | 15. Juli 2013

@Iowa92x

Ok perhaps the 10% drop is not such a big deal, but I would disagree with the notion that comparing to an ICE is the right way to look at the issue.

The starting point is that, for the next few years the greatest challenge for people to buy the car is 'range anxiety'. Not price – otherwise they would be going head to head with Nissan, Mitsubishi etc.

In terms of future price I'm not as worried, there is a great debate on TMC trying to estimate the cost of the pack, based on the price of 18650's mostly. A fair conclusion is that Tesla should be able to pass the 200$/kWh rather soon if they did not already. If those estimates are correct with scale they should be able to really reduce prices.

They need to convince people of exactly what you said: “...higher kw options will allow X owners to go 300+ miles if they want to pay for it”. People should be able to imagine that.

Part of the solution is the fast charge network, its a great job they are doing there. So is the 'swap' concept (little worried with that considering 'Better Place' experience...). I think more is needed.

Bottom line is: this is a psychological issue, not (just) a engineering one. It would be best to keep tackling the perception around range. That, IMO is the largest issue at the moment.

ian t.wa.us | 15. Juli 2013

Have you all missed the Teslive bomb Elon dropped? They already have a 500 mile pack but haven't released it because the cost is so high. ;-)

There will be door options on the X like there were color options on the Model T. You can have any door you like as long as it's a falcon wing door!

Cheers!

Vawlkus | 15. Juli 2013

The 500 mile pack has been know about since the S launched, not a bomb or even news.

ian t.wa.us | 15. Juli 2013

Hmmm, I must have missed that news. Thanks for clarifying Vawlkus!

jdb | 18. Juli 2013

I don't get it. The Falcon Wing doors were a feature of Model X prototype from the get go. One of major reasons that my order #677 was placed, and without it this order would be cancelled.

dz4 | 20. Juli 2013

@jdb

My point was that perhaps having ONLY the falcon doors will limit the total addressable market, because (based on just reading online comments, really), there could be many customers who will buy the car only with sliding doors.

I am suggesting both options if demand is high enough. That could be easily assessed in a survey.

EdieMilo | 20. Juli 2013

IMHO ... I bet having a sliding door option will be as popular as a 40 kW battery ;-)

Brian H | 20. Juli 2013

Edie;
+1

cloroxbb | 20. Juli 2013

@dz4

If Tesla were to create a survey on the subject, who exactly would you want them to send it to?

I would imagine that MOST current owners of Model S would vote Falcon. Model X reservation holders would vote Falcon...

Would they just have a public survey? Cause if you want a minivan, buy a minivan?

General Public are still not the target audience for the X anyway.

I don't know, I just don't see more than <1% of people that are interested in the X, wanting sliding doors. May just be me though.

Brian H | 20. Juli 2013

cloroxbb;
+1

EdieMilo | 20. Juli 2013

cloroxbb:

very well put ... TOTALLY agree !!

Brian H | 20. Juli 2013

"The Model M" Tesla Minivan? Could happen.

erici | 24. Juli 2013

How do you put a kayak on top of an SUV that has falcon wing doors?

"Sports" Utility Vehicle.

ah_norway | 25. Juli 2013

I love the falcon wings but it’s also the one thing that stop me from ordering a model X. It fits all my needs with 4x4 and 7 seats, looks awesome but as others have mentioned – where do I put my skis etc for the weekend trip up in the mountains? Whit another door type it would be the perfect car for me, and it could have fill all my needs and been my only car. The problem is that I would need another SUV for the trips where I really need the SUV :(

Brian H | 25. Juli 2013

Driver and passenger doors are standard.

Driver exits, removes kayak/skis/whatever. Opens falcon wing doors for access to/from 2nd/3rd row seats.

ian t.wa.us | 25. Juli 2013

No offense Brian, but you've obviously never been a skier. The X is just not going to cut it for serious outdoor activities without some kind of roof mount storage/rack system.

Brian H | 25. Juli 2013

gone;
You misunderstood. Here are all the implied steps.

Allow backseat passengers (if any) to enter by falcon wing doors.
Install roof rack.
Place skis on rack.
Enter by (standard) driver's door.
Drive to ski hill.
Exit driver's door.
Remove skis (and rack, if necessary).
Open falcon wing doors for rear passengers (if any).
Ski.

TM has indicated they have a satisfactory and surprising solution, in any case. Very curious to see what it is.

ian t.wa.us | 25. Juli 2013

No, actually I didn't misunderstand. I'm telling you that is not practical. It may sound like a reasonable option for you, but I would not deal with it.

Just so we're clear though, I have an X reservation and am a skier. However, I do not plan on taking it skiing with any more than maybe 2 others. If the skiis or other gear won't fit inside the X will stay at home. Unless there is a more practical solution that I am not seeing.

Cheers!

ian t.wa.us | 25. Juli 2013

Another point regarding safety, how are the backseat passengers supposed to exit in an emergency if they are locked in due to there being a roof rack that doesn't allow them to open the doors?

MiddKid | 25. Juli 2013

Agreed with @goneskiian...three kids here and we spend a lot of time at the mountains. Current vehicle is a Toyota Sequoia with a Thule roof box. The amount of gear required to bring 5 people to the mountains for a day of skiing virtually mandates alternative storage (especially when all that gear is wet and smelly at the end of the day). I've used a lot of different styles of racks over the years and none of then are easy to put on/take off. Between our gear and the kids gear it can take 20+ minutes just to unload and gear up...followed by the mandatory bathroom break for the kids even though they already went...the joys of skiing. The LAST thing I need to do is take an extra 10 minutes in the freezing cold trying to get the racks on and off!

I'm seriously considering an X as my SUV (drove a buddy's MS two weeks ago and did an "official" test drive of a S last week) but simply don't see a realistic way to replace the Sequoia...unfortunately. I'm hoping Elon has come up with some innovative storage/rack system but I'm not holding my breath. The closest thing I can imagine is a tow hitch option but that comes with its own challenges (there is a reason that 98% of the racks in a ski parking lot are roof...not tow hitch).

cloroxbb | 26. Juli 2013

So I guess towing something is totally off the table?

bodaddy | 26. Juli 2013

I have waited for this Model X since the Roadsters launch. I am a Honda Pilot owner and want the larger higher up off the ground vehicle. I do put a roof rack on the Pilot when using the kayak. It will not fit inside.

The fact that you can not put a rack on the Model X limits it as a SUV. The falcon doors are great looking and really do provide the room to get into the third row seats. There needs to be some kind of a trade off. Maybe an option to mount a roof rack and be able to disable the falcon doors. Maybe an option for the falcon doors for a standard door.

I personally do not need a third row but if there has to be one, make it a folding down one like the Honda Pilot has. The little ones can use the hatchback door to enter and exit. In the seven years I've had the Pilot, I have only used the third row two times. I have them folded down all the time, and use the room for other items.

I am a Tesla stock holder and believe in all the concepts for electric vehicles. I have just had solar panels placed on my house roof. My next plan is to reserve an X. Tesla, please address this problem.

ah_norway | 31. Juli 2013

goneskiian;
+1

Unless Model X is just made for driving around, looking good and impress neighbors, the possibility for roof rack/roof box is a must. Wintertime I have 5 paris of skiis on the roof and summertime I often bring bikes. I'm sorry TM - you come up with a solution for this!

Brian H | 31. Juli 2013
richard.muller | 15. August 2013

Might it be that skis could be stashed between the battery pack and the interior of the vehicle? I guess this resolves the ski issue, but is the reality that people use the term 'skis' when in fact they mean skis, roofbox, bikes, etc? Can't see the designers getting around this with falcon wing doors.

ian t.wa.us | 15. August 2013

I was thinking perhaps skis could be slid under the seats. I forget how wide skis are now days though so that probably won't work either.

Yes, I would like to be able to put a roof box or bikes on the roof too. Although, I would be fine using a hitch mount bike rack. I know they make hitch mount ski racks as well.

Brian H | 15. August 2013

TM claims to have a clever ski solution. Don't know if it extends to anything else.

the bonnie | 16. August 2013

It's not a question of 'if they solve this problem', it's a question of 'which solution will they pick?'. Here are three possibilities, I have no doubt that Tesla has a few more they've considered:

1) With a rack on the roof, the falcon wing doors don't articulate in the middle, but rather raise straight out to the side (more like a gull wing door). That solution will not impact anything on the top of the X.

2) Half-rack solution ... the crossbars are on either side of the falcon wing doors. With rack in place (and things one one side), only the unobstructed door can open.

3) Like a few station wagons of old, the falcon wing doors are designed to open either from the top or (more traditionally) hinge from the side, depending on which handle you use to open.

AlMc | 16. August 2013

bonnie1194: I believe you have hit the TM solution. It is my opinion that suggestion #3 is what we will see. Hinge will open
certain ways either controlled by a setting on the 'control panel' or by sensors that detect the presence of an installed (and easily removed) roof rack.

I also believe this may be part of an option package: Call it
the 'rack option' that will carry a premium on it but be part of the 'sig' production vehicles to have those first adopters out on the road to attract new potential owners with a vehicle with all the 'bells and whistles'.

Tiebreaker | 19. August 2013

@dz4

"30% (if not 50%)" of the complainers, not of all enthusiast and/or potential buyers. The negators tend to be more noisy (see any customer rating on any web site).

I also believe that if "having ONLY the falcon doors will limit the total addressable market", the remaining limited market will be an order of magnitude larger than the MX production rate.

And +1 cloroxbb

alfsagen | 21. August 2013

@Tiebraker,
I think you're absolutely right on the last part, i.e. market is big enough compared to production line anyway.

To the first part, however, I strongly disagree, and I think this is exactly dz4's point here; There are *MANY* of us who would love to sign up for the MX asap, *BUT* there are a couple of things that are holding us back at the moment.

Speaking for myself, the roof rack/box is very important, and I need to be able to carry things longer than the car as well. (There are also quite a few things I'd not carry inside a brand new car of this price/class even though skis could be put in bags etc.) Also, I have to admit that I'm rather sceptical to the doors due to the fact that I'm living in a climate where ice and snow on the roof of my car is very common, and I would guess I'd have to clean the snow off very well to avoid it falling down into the car when the doors open. Last, but not least, many parking houses are actually so low I believe it would be a problem. When opening the trunk of a "normal" car (i.e. manual hatch), it's possible to be careful and open just a little, but with these electric falcon wings, I'm not sure how they would handle (stop automatically before hitting anything or something like that).

My 2nd problem is a hook for pulling a trailer. This is not an everyday need, but nevertheless, I actually need to be able to drive with a trailer once in a fortnight. SUVs and large station wagons are commonly chosen by people driving with trailers (even camping trailers), and the weight/power of the MX should make it well suited for pulling a trailer. (If anyone has seen any discussion about this, I'm eager to be pointed to any info!)

The 3rd draw-back of the MX is that the trunk has a treshold where the hatch closes. Most SUVs and station wagons of today offer a completely flat loading/de-loading floor wiht no threshold. I realise this is probably harder on the MX since they want the floor as low as possible in order to ensure volume is kept high. Also, I admit it's not a show-stopper, just a bit less ultimate...

:-)

bent | 22. August 2013

but with these electric falcon wings, I'm not sure how they would handle (stop automatically before hitting anything or something like that).

Tesla have said there will be sensors to keep the falcon wings from crashing into obstacles as they open.

EdieMilo | 22. August 2013

@alfsagen

"When opening the trunk of a "normal" car (i.e. manual hatch), it's possible to be careful and open just a little, but with these electric falcon wings, I'm not sure how they would handle (stop automatically before hitting anything or something like that)."

At the shareholders meeting Q & A, Elon responded to that concern by stating there will be proximity sensors around the falcon doors that will stop the door with low clearance garages, and also prevent any 'pinching fingers' when closing.

He also mentioned water channels that would address the rain & snow concerns.

Tiebreaker | 22. August 2013

@alfsagen
I don't see many of the positorians ranting in multiple paragraphs about how much they like the features etc of a non-released product. So the 1st part of my post above about the negatorians being more noisy holds true. And you prove it.

Not every product is for everybody. So MX may not be for you. Don't buy it.

bent | 23. August 2013

Positorian rant:

I love the falcon wings on the Model X, they're fresh, they're exciting, they're cool looking, and best of all they're there because they're practical and functional. It's a small break with car convention, but I like that! I wish they'd made more bold steps with the MX rather than that they do less of it as some would have.

Don't even get me started on the step-in/stand-upright-in feature for the third row. No I mean it, don't start me!

The (rumoured) trailer hitch is a must for me, I wouldn't buy another car without one. A very shrewd move for Tesla to (possibly) put a hitch on an EV, love it!

And the AWD, pure genius. While it's true you may or may not actually need it due to superior anti-spin capabilities on electric drive trains, nevertheless, for the "always prepared" boy scout types among us, this is a pure deal sealer from the ground up.

Not to mention the (presumed) genial solution to the roof rack problem! A year ago I would never have thought anyone could do falcon wings and a roof rack but now, I'm just awestruck by the (alledged) brilliance of Tesla's (future) roof rack design! And who wouldn't be! I can just (barely) imagine how great it's going to be, and it's not even here yet!

And have you seen the storage space in that thing? Wow, just wow! And there's even room for a third wow! in the frunk! Amazing doesn't even begin to describe it.

Would you believe even that the car may or may not exceed the Model S itself in unofficial, non-sanctioned 5.x crash test ratings? How do they (perhaps) pull that off, time and time again?

And the looks of the thing, I mean that car is just going to be pretty. Just (imagine you) look at it! The lines, the curves, the sun glinting off the paint … and look ma no (or possibly two) side mirrors! I can't believe they could (or failed to) pull that one off!

If there is one criticism I have of this (future) car it's that they're making everyone else look bad. That's not quite cricket now is it, but let's face it, who can stay slightly mischievously annoyed at Tesla for very long! Love it! <3

Fluvio | 23. August 2013

Yes, car selection is a very personal thing and the MX will satisfy many. Personally, the Falcon doors are a deal breaker for me, as I said in another thread. For a few decades now, all of my cars, including coupes like the BMW M3 and my trusty Subaru wagons, have been reliable haulers of everything under the sun: kayaks, canoes, road bikes, mountain bikes, campfire wood, gas cans, skis, lumber, furniture, boxes, pipe, survey tripods, etc.

Are the Falcon doors innovative and eye catching? Sure. But someone was over-thinking it when they proposed fitting them to a sport utility vehicle. My definition of sport and utility includes carrying loads of gear up top.

Tiebreaker | 23. August 2013

Way to go, bent!
:-D

p.s. however, the next poster rushed in to neutralize your rant and once more prove my postulate. Geezzz... on how many threads you need to say that the product is not for you!

cloroxbb | 23. August 2013

I think many of you are jumping the gun on considering the Model X a no go because of the lack of top storage.

I think its a little early to judge a product that isn't even a finished design yet. I would wait for the actual "finished product" reveal of the Model X first.

ian t.wa.us | 23. August 2013

+1 cloroxbb

Tiebreaker | 23. August 2013

+2 cloroxbb