When Patrick Archambault from Goldman Sachs asked for more details on the Model X delay, Musk said his company would have no real problem making a few great X EVs, but that, "making lots of something consistently that's going to last a long time is extremely hard." Designing the car is easier than figuring out how to actually build the darn thing, he said, and building a lot of them is where Tesla can "really move the needle." We all know that that's what Musk wants to do, and he now says the third quarter of 2015 is when that'll be possible.
Musk even named the X's falcon-wing doors as a potential problem.
Musk even named the X's falcon-wing doors as a potential problem. The powertrain and the chassis are based on the Model S, so that has been sorted out to some degree but, "with the falcon wing door and the second row of seats, ... we're adding some very new stuff that's really not out there, that never really has existed in a way that was useful," Musk said.
Musk's argument that the X should be delayed has a lot to do with what he and the company found out by building the Model S. "We also learned a lesson in manufacturing that you have issues that are sometimes one out of 100, but unless you make 100 of something, you don't see it," he said. "Then you think the car is all good, but actually randomly one out of 100 is wrong, but you don't know necessarily which one out of the 100, then you've got to go look at all 100 cars. So just once you get into volume manufacturing there are just these statistically rare issues, but you really need to make a bunch of something in order to know that it's there. We want to make sure we do that with the X, that's really just a lesson we've learned."
So, despite repeated rumors of potential rivals, Tesla is going to stay the course and bring out the X when it's good and ready. You can read the full transcript of the call here and listen here.