Registration data compiled by IHS Markit shows that sales of the Tesla Model X SUV in the US have declined in the past two quarters. “Luxury SUVs are really hot right now, and the Model X should have been a big hit and broadened Tesla’s audience,” said Michelle Krebs, an analyst with Autotrader.com. “You don’t hear a lot of buzz about the Model X, and when you do, it’s the negative stuff.”
The Model X is “the best car ever built,” claims Elon Musk. So why is it not a beneficiary of the luxury SUV craze? There are several reasons, not the least of which is that the Model X is an SUV only because Elon says it is. Compared to a Chevy Tahoe or Acadia, it fails one important test — carrying lots and lots of stuff.
Model X Not Really An SUV
Thanks to Elon’s insistence that the Model X have low aerodynamic drag to maximize range, the rear of the car slopes steeply down from the roof to the rear bumper. That’s great for making a car that looks good. It’s not so great for a vehicle that is supposed to be able to take a family up to the lake house with all their fishing gear, camping stuff, and lots of suitcases. Tesla got the Sport and Vehicle parts right but forgot about the Utility component.