Tesla is facing yet another model delay, this time the Model X coming to market slower than expected, just like the Model S before it. At this point it’s pretty obvious that Tesla should estimate how long it will take to bring a vehicle to market, then tack at least a year onto that estimate to make it remotely accurate. Rather than do that, the automaker is engaging in an interesting tactic: redirection.
According to Car and Driver, there are multiple reports of Tesla representatives trying to lure people away from the Model X and get them interested in the Model S instead. Those people are plunking down $5,000 each for a deposit on the all-electric crossover, even though they’ve never seen a production version of the vehicle and certainly haven’t been able to drive one.
While it might seem like a bait-and-switch type scenario to some people, it really isn’t. A bait-and-switch involves a dealer claiming it has a certain popular model, the not being able to find it or claiming it was “just” sold, then trying to get the car shopper interested in an inferior model as a substitute. The only problem is that Tesla actually isn’t telling anyone that it has any Model Xs for sale, but people still are lining up for a chance to purchase it. By the time the crossover launches, it will be backordered for a couple years if this trend keeps up.
In fact, Elon Musk addressed investors and disclosed that the company is actually keeping a lid on the details for the Model X as part of a strategy to keep interest low. Considering that so many people are incredibly eager to shell out for a car they know precious little about, Musk is wise, because spilling all the juicy details would create an even bigger run on the Model X. In addition, most industry experts think the Model X will be cheaper than the Model S, so by converting those sales Tesla makes more money.