Tesla has finally launched its third vehicle, the second one the company has built from scratch. While some consumers who are excited about the Model S are baffled at the large, more egg-like shape of the Model X, Tesla has revealed that it was made for a very specific purpose: to draw in more female buyers.
The sad truth is that women weren’t taking to the Model S. Tesla says that females made up a mere 13 percent of initial registrations for the all-electric sedan. That’s a big problem, because women play a part in the purchasing decision of well over half of all vehicles sold – a figure that actually increases with luxury models.
After gathering women together for focus groups, it became apparent to Tesla what needed to be done: create a larger vehicle that emphasizes safety, spaciousness and reliability more than just sexy performance. That’s not to say that the Model S isn’t safe (it is) or spacious (you can seat up to seven in it). It’s just that the Model X provides even more room for hauling people, pets, furniture, etc.
Elon Musk thinks that the Model X will be at least slightly more popular with women than with men. It could be the vehicle that gets female drivers out of their Yukon Denali or Honda Odyssey, thanks to the promise of ample space, mixed with the environmental benefits of going all-electric. There’s also the safety advantage of the entire powertrain sitting low in the vehicle, helping to seriously reduce the likelihood of a rollover.
With the release of the Tesla Model X, the automotive market might shift even more. At the present moment there are few electrified three-row vehicles to choose from. In fact, the Volvo XC90 with the hybrid powertrain is one of the few, and it’s been incredibly popular. Chrysler has indicated it will release a hybrid version of the Town & Country, and there’s speculation Honda will do the same with the upcoming next generation of the Odyssey. Electric cars will start catering to women more, which should help speed up adoption rates of the technology.