There has been a lot of hype for Tesla's latest electric vehicle, the Model X, the company's first full-sized crossover SUV to enter the market.
People want it, but they just can't have it, and that's hurting Tesla's bottom line. The company's stock price has swooned in the past, but it has currently dropped to its lowest value in the past nine months.
Far from its peak of $300, analysts at JPMorgan have pegged Tesla's stock to drop down to as low as $180. JPMorgan, however, has typically been bearish on Tesla, but they've got good reasons for it. Tesla simply couldn't move enough units off showroom floors.
The Model X was expected to sell 4,000 units in the quarter. Tesla missed these expectations, revealing that it was only able to deliver 200 Model X cars in the previous quarter.
In its defense, the company is taking baby steps in the Model X's release. Last year, Tesla's Model S received heavy criticisms from Consumer Reports due to a lengthy set of issues and defects that required trips back to dealerships for repairs.
Regardless of Tesla's more cautious approach in its sales of the Model X, the automaker simply can't make enough of them to meet demand. Especially when gas prices are so low, the pitch for choosing an electric vehicle over a gas-guzzling one gets tougher to sell.
Of course, Tesla's vehicles are more than just electric vehicles. They're highly advanced mobile supercomputers that talk and learn from each other and Tesla's homebase over the cloud. They're also a lot more luxurious and innovatively designed than even some of the latest gas-powered cars from competitors.
But that's also what could be holding back production of Tesla's Model X. It's signature gull-wing doors, for example, though quite a cool and useful feature, are also difficult to manufacture. In fact, Tesla sued the German auto parts supplier tasked to supply the innovative doors for delays. This pushed Model X production back even further.
Currently, Tesla is producing about 50,000 vehicles annually. Of course, a huge bulk of those cars are Model S variant. Should Tesla get into a good groove and get its manufacturing process perfected, its goal of hitting the 500,000 mark should come quickly enough with both the Model S and Model X hitting the streets.
Photo: Don McCullough | Flickr