Adam Jonas wrong about hinting that the falcon doors may be ditched

Adam Jonas wrong about hinting that the falcon doors may be ditched

The thread below over on TMC is quoting a report from Morgan Stanley analyst Adam Jonas that the delay in the Model X is likely a problem with mass manufacturing of the falcon doors and that a solution may be to convert to conventional doors. Before you start saying that he is crazy and conventional doors are never going to happen, realize that Adam Jonas has been Tesla's biggest advocate and foretold changes like this in the past. He appears to get inside information before anyone else. For example, before the 3rd quarter EP he reported that the Model X will likely be delayed and sure enough, when the EP came out, it reported a delay in the Model X.

Personally, I could not care either way and it will not change my purchase decision, as long as it works flawlessly.

Red Sage ca us | 17. November 2014

Not. Gonna. Happen.



aljjr2 | 17. November 2014

Not doubting his past info. However, the post does not indicate inside information, but seems speculation on what is causing the 3 month postponement.

When asked, Elon merely said it is getting the manufacturing process correct, which could certainly include the Falcon Doors. As a number here had speculated, the absence of Model X Betas and being "snubbed" at the "D" event suggested the delay before the 3rd Q shareholder announcements.

It would be a GIGA decision for Tesla to scrap the iconic Falcon Doors. Not saying impossible, but that would be a paramount decision.

After some reservation holder waiting nearly 3 years, I think absence of the Model X Falcon doors would have an affect on orders. | 17. November 2014

No doubt Falcon Wing doors are tricky. The upper hinge will be exposed to standing water,snow, ice and debris.
In order to be bulletproof it needs to be absolutely water tight and able to open with modest resistance. If there is too much resistance due to pressure derived from bumping into an adjacent object or too heavy an ice load, the doors need to reverse very quickly. I think the lower hinge can be passive with a stop to keep them from dropping when the door is fully open but not sure of that. If the doors meet resistance in closing they need to reverse quickly so as not to crush fingers et al.

This is not Spacex science. My Honda Oddysey side doors reverse with a very light touch. I left a styrofoam cup under the rear hatch one time and closed it with the remote. It barely touched the cup and reversed. Not a drop of the beverage was spilled.

It's my conclusion that the upper hinge design and related drive and sensor elements are the bigger challenge but once the design is stable I don't see any insurmountable manufacturing issues but, then, I have never mass produced a car...

NumberOne | 17. November 2014

Sometimes Adam Jonas seems to have inside information, and sometimes he clearly does not. He most certainly is seeing potential where many others are missing the boat, but his comments are what I would characterize as 'educated' guesses. In the case the most recent delay, it was purely coincidental, but the thing with the Falcon Wing Doors is highly unlikely to turn out to be anything other than speculation, fueled of course by the delay and comments on these forums.

Whatever the case may be, I am really looking forward to driving my Model X. | 17. November 2014

@LeonardD: ditto

Brian H | 17. November 2014

The FW doors swing out (at waist height) less than the thickness of minivan sliding doors, or body thickness. If they can't open, nothing can.

David Trushin | 17. November 2014

Why is the hinge any more of a challenge than a hatchback hinge?

Iowa92x | 17. November 2014

If Elon can do SpaceX rocket resupplies to the space station and auto hover Grasshopper spaceships, he can do a fruckin Falcon door in a Model X.

EternalChampion | 17. November 2014

Did you say over? Nothing is over until we decide it is. Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor?

vperl | 17. November 2014

Why do people post such crap, three or more years into project.. I suspect the poster of this topic has agenda.

Iowa92x | 17. November 2014

Eternal, the Germans bombed Pearl? I'm not a history SME, but my 3rd grade education says nope on that one.

EternalChampion | 17. November 2014

Morgan Stanley wants more stock at a reduced price

EternalChampion | 17. November 2014
David N | 17. November 2014

Falcon doors are coming.

Ain't nothing like um, they'll be an attention getter, they will blow people away.

The car itself will be an automobile marvel. | 18. November 2014

@David Trushin: just thinking that the tops of the doors are on top of the roof where there is less slope to aid runoff and a little more likelihood of ice and snow accumulation. Also, they are people doors with safety concerns as an added requirement. Nonetheless, I don't see years of engineering design involved. Should be well in hand by now.

simon.law66 | 18. November 2014

Seriously though - even if the hinge works, if there is snow on the roof, doesn't it all just fall in the car when the door opens?

vandacca | 18. November 2014, this is not a new issue. Hatch-backs and regular doors are all designed to limit the amount of snow from the roof that falls into the vehicle. But I have first-hand experience opening regular doors and they allow some snow from the roof to enter the vehicle.

I think the same will hold true for the FWD. Most snow will simply fall to both sides of the door and fall to the ground. Some will enter the vehicle and land on the seat or floor. If it's a windy day, then a significant amount of snow will enter the vehicle, no different from any other vehicle on the market.

vandacca | 18. November 2014

Let me follow-up my last post with the belief that FWD will allow significantly less snow to enter the vehicle than a regular door because the FWD becomes a shelter/shelf for the snow.

When you open a regular door, the whole door opening is immediately exposed to the roof, allowing snow to fall into the vehicle. When you open a FWD, 2 slim cracks on either side of the door is exposed to the roof, which is significantly less. The rest of the door becomes a shelter/shelf that would re-direct any snow away from the vehicle.

Red Sage ca us | 18. November 2014

I remember...

When the Buick Roadmaster Estate had ths awesome tailgate, that could either fold down or swing out, hinged on the left side...

When the Chevrolet Suburban had ths weird, three panel door option at the back...

When Doc Brown made a time machine out of a DeLorean...

Nothing can stop the winds of progress!



AtlantaCourier | 18. November 2014

Always before any major event or reveal, Musk likes to get interest in the company whipped up to a fever pitch. Last time around it was his 2 billion dollar "D" tweet which got the speculation running rampant.

So now, I think Tesla is ready to reveal the final version of the Model X which Elon has indicated will be "something special" and which will be substantially better than the show car prototype that we have been shown.

Disappointment in this area is NOT an option, but...

In order to elevate the level of interest beforehand, I think Elon has let a few table scraps (red-bloody meat works best) fall overboard and into that darned rumor pit.

Will the doors work? Do they leak? Are they too costly? Will Tesla throw in the towel and use conventional doors? Has our superhero finally been defeated? Is the world really coming to an end?

These are the questions that Jonas is framing for our consideration.

Yes, I believe Jonas is being used or is working with someone inside of Tesla to set the stage for the introduction of finalized version of the Model X.

And in keeping with tradition, Elon wants to maximize the splash.

I expect that in the very near future there'll be an announcement or an event planned by Tesla regarding the Model X.

nhurst | 18. November 2014

Any thoughts about possible torsional rigidity problems?

Remnant | 18. November 2014

@ vandacca (November 18, 2014)

<< ... FWD will allow significantly less snow to enter the vehicle than a regular door ... >>

You are right, IMO.

It's fair to say though, that Elon has complained himself about difficulties with the FW doors.

However, his complaints reflect his perfectionism, rather than a derailed project. He still speaks about the FW doors the way one speaks about their loved one.

mdemetri | 18. November 2014

Email from Tesla confirms Falcon wing doors!!! Jonas was full of FUD

mdemetri | 18. November 2014

Just changed the title to reflect this.

Brian H | 19. November 2014

What about heated/cooled cupholders?

dstiavnicky | 19. November 2014

Why on earth would anyone think the falcon doors are so difficult to engineer? Have they seen some of the solid convertible tops out there? C'mon this is kids stuff for any half decent mechanical engineer...

Captain_Zap | 19. November 2014

Tesla already made a statement about Morgan Stanley's statements.

Then Elon Tweeted about it.

Tesla said that the car will have falcon doors.

Tesla also said that the doors work fine. They reiterated what they said during the Earnings Conference call that setting up the manufacturing is a challenge because nothing like this has been done before.

Captain_Zap | 19. November 2014

Interesting. Now Morgan Stanley issued a "correction" to their statement.

Red Sage ca us | 19. November 2014

dstiavnicky: That is an excellent point about hardtop convertibles!

The Falcon Wing Doors will be fully intact. Elon Musk gave a mandate that Tesla Motors will never display 'concept cars'. They won't create fictional vehicles to entice the minds of potential buyers. He doesn't want Tesla Motors associated with fanciful designs of what 'could be' at some indefinite point in the future. They will only show absolute, workable, engineered examples in prototype form of what definitely will be part of their product line. Period.

Some have indicated that the Model X is somehow unnecessary to the success of Tesla Motors. They haven't been paying attention to Elon Musk at all. He said that it is imperative that Tesla be seen as a full line producer of cars. He would actually prefer to introduce a new car every year.

Without growing in manufacturing capacity, engineering competency, and design ability to support multiple vehicles at once, Tesla will always be seen as a small niche, boutique player that only makes toys for the rich. The Model X is the first step toward banishing that criticism. That will continue with the Model ≡ in 2017.



larmorfreq | 19. November 2014

I'm sure that TM will get the falcon doors working just fine. C'mon its not rocket science-- thats spacex...

David Trushin | 19. November 2014

Eternal, looks like you found the only person in the country that hasn't seen that clip.

EVino | 19. November 2014

One of Elon Musk's favorite cars is the MB 300SL Gull-Wing. That was made in the '50s. It is his inspiration. No way in h%3* they'll abandon the falcon wing. I believe the challenge is how to make it double jointed so that when there's a roof rack the top third (horizontal section) of the door remains fixed.

Red Sage ca us | 19. November 2014

Julian, it's pretty easy to manage. Certainly easier than hiding the seam for bifolding pocket doors on furniture and cabinetry. Gaskets and seals for the win.



carlk | 19. November 2014

Elon will give up the idea of colonizing the Mars before he gives up the falcon wing doors. No none of these are too challeging for him.

Captain_Zap | 19. November 2014
EternalChampion | 19. November 2014

@ David T

I feel compelled to keep important bits of Americana in contemporary dialogue.