PALO ALTO, California — The launch of the Tesla Model X crossover has been delayed again, as the California automaker spends more time on testing.
The update on the Model X was part of Tesla's third quarter 2014 earnings announcement on Wednesday.
"Work continues on the finalization of Model X with the test of Alpha prototypes and initial builds of the first Beta prototypes," Tesla said. "We recently decided to build in significantly more validation testing time to achieve the best Model X possible."
It added: "In anticipation of this effort, we now expect Model X deliveries to start in Q3 of 2015, a few months later than previously expected. This also is a legitimate criticism of Tesla — we prefer to forgo revenue, rather than bring a product to market that does not delight customers. Doing so negatively affects the short term, but positively affects the long term."
A notice on the Tesla Motors Web site said the delivery estimate for new Model X reservations is early 2016. Orders require a $5,000 deposit.
Deliveries of the Model X had been expected in early 2014.
Tesla describes the Model X as "designed from the ground up to blend the best of an SUV with the benefits of a minivan, as only an electric car can. It is an automobile above category."
The automaker said it is increasing production to more than 2,000 vehicles per week by the end of 2015 to meet demand for the Tesla Model S sedan and the Model X.
Tesla noted that upgrades to its Model S assembly line this summer "took longer than expected," reducing production by almost 2,000 vehicles.
"Being unable to increase production fast enough, not lack of demand, is a fair criticism of Tesla," it said.
The focus will be on scaling up production of the Model S over the coming year, "so no major platform changes to the hardware are planned in the near term," Tesla said. "There will, however, be several significant over-the-air software releases — at no cost to owners — that provide added functionality to the Model S fleet."
Tesla CEO Elon Musk is forecasting a 50 percent rise in orders and deliveries of the Model S in 2015.
"One of the significant actions we intend to take in order to reduce manufacturing complexity is to simplify our product offering by reducing the number of options and powertrain combinations," Musk said.
Edmunds says: The wait continues for the Tesla Model X.