Behind the Wheel with Phil Lebeau

Ahead of Earnings - X Marks the Spot for Tesla


The early reviews and orders for the Tesla Model X are in. On many fronts, Tesla’s first SUVis getting a thumbs up.

Within 24 hours of showing the Model X, Tesla racked up more than $40 million in orders for a model that won’t be available until early 2014. While Tesla won’t say exactly how many reservations were placed for the model X, we did some back of the envelope math and estimate the company booked about 470 orders. We arrived at that number by taking $40 Million and dividing it by the upper-end projected price ($85,000) for the Model X.

Tesla's Model X
CNBC/Meghan Knaggs

Not bad for an SUV a long ways from being built.

The Model X is also generating more interest in the Model S (which will roll-off the assembly line this Summer).

After the Model X unveil, Model S reservations jumped 30% and traffic to skyrocketed by 2,800%.

Tesla is expected to report a Q4 loss after the bell today, and many on Wall Street continue to be bullish on the stock. Shares of the electric car company have soared in the past year more than 45% and are nudging up close to the all-time high of $35 a share.

Some of that increase is because analysts on Wall Street like the early indicators on the Model S. So far there are more than 8,000 Model S ordered and it appears to be on-track to meet its target of annual production of 20,000.

What remains to be seen is whether Tesla can successfully transition from niche automaker to a small, but developing, mass market car company. Right now, Tesla has just 2 models in the pipeline, but in order to make that transition it will need more. So far, the early returns on the Model S and Model X are encouraging for Tesla shareholders


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