Model X will make the Model S look like chopped liver...

Model X will make the Model S look like chopped liver...

Tesla Motors’ electric crossover sport utility Model X vehicle will make a huge splash in the automobile market next year, with potential to be far more successful at a much better value than the Tesla Model S luxury electric sedan, Morgan Stanley analyst Adam Jonas said in a research note Wednesday.

The Tesla Model X will make the Model S luxury electric sedan look like chopped liver and silence comments that Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) is a “one-hit wonder” with the Model S, he said.

“We’d be disappointed if the Model X did not sweep every major Car of the Year award on offer by the automotive media,” Jonas said. Tesla Motors has learned many lessons since launching the Model S and has far greater financial and technical resources now that it’s pouring into the Tesla Model X line, he said.

“Additionally, many key suppliers who refused to work with Tesla at the time of the Model S will participate in commercializing the Tesla Model X,” Jonas said. “It is in Tesla’s interest to under-sell expectations of the Model X’s capabilities while it is still in the early stages of the global roll-out of the Model S."

Tesla originally planned to launch the Model X in 2014 but delayed the debut by six to nine months. The company has been ramping up production capacity in recent months. 

Jonas thinks Tesla Model X sales can pass sales of Model S in global volume by the end of 2016 if not 2018, given the size of the crossover and sport-utility vehicle market in the U.S. and China.

Source: International Business Times

renwo S alset | 6 augusti 2014


Haeze | 6 augusti 2014

I welcome the Model X to make my Model S look bad... that means my stock will go up (perhaps enough that I can also buy a Model X !)

jordanrichard | 6 augusti 2014

The Model X will accelerate the momentum that Tesla already has.

I am just really hoping the Falcon doors don't come across as gimmicky. Something that different has to have some serious functionality to overcome the novelty aspect of it.

diegoPasadena | 6 augusti 2014

I appreciate the enthusiasm, but not even a Tesla can make the Model S look like chopped liver. Two different vehicles for two different markets, and each will have its place.

And then we'll get the Model 3 - and *every* other manufacturer will run for cover...

tes-s | 6 augusti 2014

I think many MS owners are going to add a MX to their "fleet". We are.

I'm not an industry guy, but I do recall someone saying that the BMW, Audi, and Porsche SUVs outsell the sedans 2:1 or something like that, so I think we can expect to see a lot of MX demand. Current orders will explode when the first ones hit the street. And if they every have them available for test drives...

I do think there will be some people that would have bought the MS if the MX were not available, but in the infamous words of a former Secretary of State, "What difference does it make?" My guess is both have similar margins, can roll off the same production line - why should Tesla care whether someone buys and S or X?

Iowa92x | 6 augusti 2014

SUVs are mostly an American market thing, X will sell best here, less so in Europe and China compared to S, no? | 6 augusti 2014

Jonas appears to be among the growing number of analysts that get the fact that Tesla isn't a car company.
It's makes battery-powered, networked computers that you can drive around in and the Model S drives insanely well. This is a new ball game. The Model X won't make everyone happy. It won't have a roof rack. But it looks
Iike it will join the Model S as members of a revolutionary new family of safe, highly efficient and intelligent vehicles that are fun to drive. All Tesla has to do is execute their plan.

Can't wait to get mine.

Pungoteague_Dave | 6 augusti 2014

We are also going to buy a MX - BUT the biggest hurdle will be substantially shorter range than the MS - TM has decided not to change battery technology at all for the upcoming X, and is offering the same consumer options for kWh (85 & 60). By definition range will be down given substantially more frontal area and more weight and drivetrain drag due to more seats, added motor, and larger envelope.

Unless they have something up their seat that is undisclosed, in which case they will have to offer a revised reservation process for people who have already signed up - and would be a death blow to the battery swap concept, which depends on uniformity of content and form - to the extent that the battery isn't identical, more battery confusion will ensue.

johncrab | 6 augusti 2014

Why did I suddenly have a craving for matzoh ball soup and herring in sour cream as I read that headline?

jjs | 6 augusti 2014

PD - Good to hear from you again. I think you and I should have a friendly bet regarding the range of the X. I don't think it will be any more than 7% less. Want to take that bet?

Nothing big, maybe a Tesla dog leash! :)

FranknWC | 6 augusti 2014

I think the 'Falcon" doors will make it alot easier to get in and out of the back seats then the S.

Larry@SoCal | 6 augusti 2014

"Chopped Liver"? I wish he hadn't said that. The Model X has a lot of potential but "Chopped Liver"?
Any decrease in range will be seen as a set-back. I'll bet on 300.

Red Sage ca us | 6 augusti 2014

I think Consumer Reports will have a hard time explaining why they rated the Tesla Model X 120 out of 100 next year... ;-)

The Model X is going to sell like crazy. Other automakers in the market segment have crossovers that outsell their sedans 3:1 -- on the low end of the scale. Some easily manage a 4:1 ratio.

Jonathan D | 6 augusti 2014

Model S and Model X do not really compete. If you don't understand why, you don't understand consumer segmentation. Which is ok, just don't pretend to :)

carlk | 6 augusti 2014

I love my MS. Wife wants a MX. Different cars but I think MX will outsell the MS. No self respecting woman, and many men too, would not want that super cool SUV. The soccer moms who drive a Cayenne or Odysessy would not be able to resist it soon as they see the falcon wing doors on the MX parked next to them open up. | 6 augusti 2014

Pungoteague_Dave: please listen closely to to the webcast of the recent 2Q14 results conference call, if you haven't already. I believe that I heard the following:

1. Elon Musk acknowledging the large number of people with Model X reservations with little or no information about the vehicle's features. Implied is that we don't really know yet what the battery options will be.
2. Elon Musk stating that heretofore Tesla has been an open book but now the company has some tricks up its sleeve that they are not revealing.
3. J. B. Straubel mentioning possible changes in battery cell form factor. It wouldn't take much to create a 100+ kWh battery pack.

Please correct me if I am wrong but we don't know the whole story yet and may be pleasantly surprised.

kalel65 | 6 augusti 2014

I love my MS - and I love chopped liver - on rye with onions and chicken fat! What's his problem????

jjs | 6 augusti 2014

georgehawley - Couldn't you have posted that after I talked Pungoteague_Dave into the bet? :) | 6 augusti 2014

I owe you.
I feel like chopped liver.

Koz | 6 augusti 2014

Predictions, not necessarily new or bold:
-@100kwh-ish battery option for X (and S), same pack and cell size but denser chemistry
-AWD improves efficiency to offset highway driving reductions from weight and larger frontal area, city efficiency takes more of a hit but who cares; also made available for S brings 85 S to 285 miles range and 100ish S to 350
-one Gigafactory selected and proceeds this year, second Gigafactory proceeds late 2015 or 2016.
-X performance gets low 4's for 0-60, AWD performance S gets in the 3's
-X tow rating 5000lbs or greater
-X has rear view cameras not mirrors or at least the option(requires regulatory change but that is a matter of time and should have already been done given benefits to EVs and meeting CAFE), S gets the same | 7 augusti 2014

Denser chemistry? Dream on. Maybe battery cells that are a little taller???
AWD in M S? Don't fix what isn't broke.
I want my MX NOW!

EdwardG.NO2CO2 | 7 augusti 2014

A honeycomb shaped (6 sided) battery could be more efficient with equally spaced cooling channels. Could get to 100 KW in the same space. That may not be considered until the new gigafactory production comes on line however.

richardthomas | 7 augusti 2014

I think one of the big tricks up their sleeve is that the other "potential" areas TM is starting to break ground on for the Gigafactory are actually future areas. They are playing it smart right now to get the best deal, but I think we'll see more ACTUAL Gigafactories by 2016. Especially since TM isn't actually a car company.... :)

Elon is a genius.

Grinnin'.VA | 8 augusti 2014

@Koz | AUGUST 6, 2014

"Predictions, not necessarily new or bold:"
"-@100kwh-ish battery option for X (and S), same pack and cell size but denser chemistry"

@georgehawley | AUGUST 7, 2014
"Denser chemistry? Dream on. Maybe battery cells that are a little taller???

JBS has strongly suggested that Tesla has already developed refinements to its battery chemistry that could be used to make a 100kWh MX/MS battery pack. I see no reason to doubt that they can introduce such a battery option with for the initial MX, to be followed by using this improved battery as an option for MS. And I believe this can be done without changing the dimensions of the cells.

Actually, I suspect that this battery improvement may be what Elon was referring to in the CC when he said Tesla has more good news than they discussed in the CC.

For Gen3, I'd guess that they will use battery cells that are taller and wider as JBS has discussed.

Go Tesla!
Ron :)

scott.mcphee | 8 augusti 2014

From chopped liver to batteries, food.. to food for thought.

It's a given that power sources for Tesla cars will improve over time. Better range, lighter weight, longevity, cost... will all improve. Time shows this.

Knowing that the only question is, "Is today's battery good enough for me?" If so, buy. If not, wait. Also, tells us not to fret about replacement battery costs in the future. Those will be cheaper and better batteries.

I think within the available lifespan of this car, there will be one paradigm shifting event in powering electric vehicles. Not sure what will catch on and win... maybe drop-in replacement hydrogen powered super capacitor cell?! Who knows what... but I'll take one of those when they're available.

Within ten years something dramatic is going to happen with portable electricity.

Tesla is probably the last new car I'll be buying for my life, and I plan to hang onto it. Because its easily maintained and upgraded due to its design.

PorfirioR | 8 augusti 2014

This is total speculation on my part but, having two motors might create some new posibilities to manage energy usage. There could be an economy/range mode where a single motor is used for coasting, plus other tricks that nobody outside Tesla has though about yet. To use an ironic analogy, almost like an "all-electric hybrid". Where today's fuel/electric hybrids use their electric motors to conserve fuel, the X could use a similar approach to conserve the battery.

The Model S specs say that it has a "single speed fixed gear with 9.73:1 reduction ratio". Perhaps the Model X could have one motor/gear box with different gear ratio than the other or one of the gear boxes with variable ratio, allowing software to manage the mix. Who knows? This could enable an almost-as-fast, bigger/clunkier X to get more out of the same 85kWh battery pack than the S, and THAT would be a chop-liver moment.

Then again, who knows? We will have to wait.

Pungoteague_Dave | 8 augusti 2014

Those who reference revised battery chemistry missed that Straubel was referring to Gen III. The fact is that TM recently signed up with Panasonic for a specific supply of two billion model 18650 Li battery cells - a contract that runs through 2017. Remember that until the gigafactory, TM has zero involvement in producing batteries or battery chemistry of any kind. All they do is assemble and package batteries sourced from Panasonic. And Panasonic is under contract to sell the exact same 18650 cells we already have, nothing new. I wish it weren't so, but it is nearly impossible that TM can release a higher kWh battery in the next two years.

Bighorn | 8 augusti 2014

The front motor could be used to regen a lot such that the battery was charging a lot and ipso fatso, you'd never need to stop and charge the battery.. Now that would be a chopped liver moment. Elon has admitted how difficult it is to have form and function in an SUV, so it's doubtful there will be any comparison in the looks department.

RedShift | 8 augusti 2014

Since they are using the same battery capacity, they have to reduce weight. Significantly.

Otherwise there is no way TMX can have the same range as TMS.

church70 | 8 augusti 2014

I don't know I kind of like it being chopped liver The model S reminds me of a badass car specially my black one with tinted windows riding low and wide " ) the model X Will never touch that

negarholger | 8 augusti 2014

@Pungoteague_Dave - in manufacturing you make constant improvements to the components... you never sit still - in 5 years you will be at version #20. Main reasons are for cost, reliability and yield improvements - that is where manufacturing is a gold mine.
But it is highly unlikely that the consumer spec will change any time before 2017.

sbeggs | 9 augusti 2014

@Bighorn, chopped liver moment haha!

jjs | 9 augusti 2014

@Bighorn Perpetual pate?

Bighorn | 9 augusti 2014

Oh, you've noticed that as well--the pate never runs out. It's uncanny.

J.T. | 9 augusti 2014

I hate uncanned pate.

Car t man | 9 augusti 2014

The X looks like crap compared to the S. Soccer moms, Chinese and some others groups, especially those with induced need for fake feel of security with SUVs will like them though.

But it is ugly. But it will occupy the space Lexus hybrid SUVs did, if Toyota
won't step up, which it likely won't unless it really sees it has to.

I think that the X will strongly accelerate sales of the S. Many people waiting
for the X, fearing to make a wrong choice, will see it is ugly and that the
4wd S might is a better fit. With settable ride height etc, it will cover
the limited need for "off roading".

SUVs really are a marketing induced segment.

erici | 9 augusti 2014

I figure Europeans like tiny, cramped cars because they are more comfortable to drive.


They drive those little cramped cars because fuel prices in Europe are high. We drive SUVs in America because fuel prices are less than 1/2 the cost of Europe's.

The Model X will allow Europeans to drive a roomy SUV.

So it will totally dominate/kick ass there.

bonaire | 9 augusti 2014

One issue to foresee is that in some European countries, electricity is also not cheap. Could be why EVs in Germany are slow-going. Price per kWh is kind of like in Hawaii here - about .30/kWh (in US dollars). But Europe's roads are seemingly much nicer, smoother and more cared-for than many in the USA. We have to raise our gasoline taxes because we haven't for decades. Would be nice to see a one cent per year raise in the gas tax for the next five years to phase it in. It is small but helps with the impact of the move from lower mpg cars to higher mpg cars like the recent 40 mpg ones from various companies (Kia, Hyundai, Dodge Dart, Chevy Cruze and others).

negarholger | 9 augusti 2014

Electricity in CA is not cheap either - 36 cents per kWh for the tier you would charge your car. But we have TOU rates available were at night it is like 10 cents, for the peak hours (A/C) 55 cents. Most economical solution is solar on your roof and net metering... now I pay 4 cents pre-paid for car and A/C.

carlk | 9 augusti 2014

Electricity may cost more in some European countries but so is gas. Not to mention big cars like MS or MX get about 90 MPGe. The EV advantage is always there.

As for driving small cars I agree with @erici. Using my own experience as an example I've been driving nothing but small cars for many years. The only reason I was a little reluctant of buying the MS in the begining was its size. After owning the car for a few months I found the concern is totally unfounded. It really does not feel much difference on the road or in most parking places. And I won't have the guilty feeling as if I were driving a big gas guzzler.

@Car t man There is no need to bash one type of cars over the other. Everyone has different tastes, wants and needs. The fact is SUV is hot and a lot people, not matter if they are soccer moms or Chinese or whatever, want it. My wife, a little Desperate Housewives wannabe type, hasn't even driven my MS yet but one day she told me she wants an MX.

RedShift | 9 augusti 2014


Funny you mention that. Leon mentioned 'a few hundred pounds weight savings' since production began on the TMS' ( still waiting for what the new number is, from ownership )

TMX will need to be lighter to have similar range. The aerodynamic form factor will be worse than the TMS. It will be interesting to see what final range TMX will achieve.

However, start towing and that range is shot to hell. Methinks the general populace won't care (Cayenne is exhibit A)

J.T. | 9 augusti 2014

@bonaire The problem with taxes being raised for certain projects is the amount of money raised hardly ever gets to the project intact.

sbeggs | 9 augusti 2014

It's more convenient to drive a small car in Europe because of squeezing into small parking spaces, and taxation varies with size of engine in some countries.

Grinnin'.VA | 9 augusti 2014

@Pungoteague_Dave | AUGUST 8, 2014

"Those who reference revised battery chemistry missed that Straubel was referring to Gen III."

I watched the Straubel video a couple of times, leaving me with the strong impression that he was talking about an ongoing battery improvement program, involving a series of changes. The improvements he described make it practical for Tesla to build battery packs with higher energy density at any time.

"The fact is that TM recently signed up with Panasonic for a specific supply of two billion model 18650 Li battery cells - a contract that runs through 2017."

Contracts sometimes get revised when the parties decide that it's in their interest to do so.
I believe that, with suitable advance notice, Panasonic would be more than willing to use battery chemistry improvements developed by Tesla in batteries supplied to Tesla. When the case for such revision/updating are strong, I expect Tesla and Panasonic to upgrade the battery packs in Tesla's cars.

The first motivation for this is stories claiming that Audi will deliver BEVs with a 400-mile range within the next few years. Panasonic and Tesla are the leaders. However, if they cling to battery technology beyond what is needed for an orderly development and production updating process, I'd expect Tesla to suffer a significant loss in market share. I don't think Elon will allow that to happen.

"Remember that until the gigafactory, TM has zero involvement in producing batteries or battery chemistry of any kind. All they do is assemble and package batteries sourced from Panasonic. ... it is nearly impossible that TM can release a higher kWh battery in the next two years."

I regard this as a pessimistic conclusion. I prefer a more optimistic interpretation of the underlying technology and business arrangements.

Go Tesla! Keep on astounding people with your bold leadership and technological innovations.

Ron :)

AmpedRealtor | 9 augusti 2014

Of course the battery packs are continually improving as are the cells that go into them. Tesla has already iterated from Version A to Version D or E packs just since 2012. It's rather simplistic to say that just because Tesla signed a contract, there is not going to be any improvement to energy density, chemistry, etc. over the course of that contract.

PD, you seem so definite with your pronouncement. I wonder, have you actually read the contract that you speak of so specifically?

Model ☰ | 9 augusti 2014

"Remember that until the gigafactory, TM has zero involvement in producing batteries or battery chemistry of any kind. All they do is assemble and package batteries sourced from Panasonic. ... it is nearly impossible that TM can release a higher kWh battery in the next two years."

This is not true. Panasonic produces today 18650 cells to Tesla with Tesla specific improvements. And that's the way it will continue to be in the GF, except that Tesla then probably will specify an another form factor.

Elon and JB has repeatedly specified that the 18650 cells they use in Model S is NOT the standard cells everyone can buy, but built after Teslas specification.

So yes, Tesla MAY tell Panasonic to start to produce with a new formula. It may alter the price Tesla will have to pay...

I don't say that Model X will come with new batteries, but for all we know, it may. The 60/85 specification was given over 2 years ago, with the expectation that it would enter production one year earlier that what we now know it will, and without knowing how far they will get in the development of the batteries. And without knowing how fare apart the superchargers would be located.

JMAC7 | 9 augusti 2014

well the Fisker Karma makes the MS look like chopped liver but looks are only a part of the equation.
Hope the TMX has the same success as the MS

Grinnin'.VA | 9 augusti 2014

FWIW, I think my MS is the most stunningly attractive car that I've ever seen close up.

But then again, "Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

Ron :)

andrewer | 9 augusti 2014

SUV in Europe? Yep - it WILL sell. Europe is a bit less homogenous across than the US. I know there are a significant (2-3000) number of X reservations in Norway alone. Electricity prices are also very different country to country. Germany has prices in the higher range, Norway not so (approx. 12-15 cents (USD) per kwh.).

Norwegians are very sceptic to the falcon doors as we do tend to put a ski-box on top of all cars during winter. How to solve the transport of skiing equipment has not been shown and still more than 2000 cars are on order... Also - how to avoid a bunch of snow being dumped into your car when opening doors on a snowed down car?


Red Sage ca us | 9 augusti 2014

andrewer: I expect that Tesla Motors will upload videos that answer questions about ski equipment, roof racks, and snowed over Model X vehicles before the end of this year.