PALO ALTO, California — Initial customer deliveries of the 2016 Tesla Model X midsize electric SUV will begin before September 30 and a vehicle configurator will roll out on the Tesla Web site in two or three weeks, Tesla CEO Elon Musk said Wednesday.
Pricing on the Model X has not been announced.
Musk provided the product update in a conference call with analysts following the release of Tesla's second-quarter results.
The biggest production challenges with the Model X are the second-row seat, not the "falcon-wing door," Musk said. He described the seat as "sculptural."
"The Model X is a particularly challenging car to build," Musk said. "Maybe the hardest car to build in the world. I'm not sure what would be harder."
In a shareholder letter, Tesla said as it prepares for the September Model X launch, it is "building more validation vehicles, executing final engineering and testing work, enabling our new manufacturing equipment and finalizing arrangements with our suppliers."
"We have been producing release candidate Model X bodies in our new body shop equipped with more than 500 robots as we fine-tune and validate our production processes."
The Tesla Model X and Model S sedan share the same general assembly line.
The shareholder letter warned: "Since Model S and Model X are produced on the same general assembly line, Model X production challenges could slow Model S production."
Tesla said it is now targeting deliveries of between 50,000 and 55,000 Model S and Model X vehicles in 2015.
Combined production of Model S and Model X in 2016 is pegged at 1,600-1,800 per week.
"In the coming months, we are growing from a single product to a multi-product company," the shareholder letter said. "This is a milestone in the maturation of Tesla."
Musk said in three to five years, Tesla may consider building other factories, including ones in Asia, Europe and "other factories in North America."
When asked whether car shoppers can expect future electric vehicles from other automakers, Musk offered the following prediction:
"We're real excited to see other car companies doing electric-vehicles programs. What's been done to date is not much. I'd be super happy to see the whole industry go electric. We have open-sourced our patents. It would be really great if the whole industry would go electric as soon as possible. Our view is the whole industry will go electric. They won't have much choice."
Edmunds says: Santa Monica and Palo Alto, brace yourself: Your streets should be flooded by the Tesla Model X come October.