Elon Musk Says Tesla ‘Dropped the Ball’ During Model X Rollout

by TK Sanders

In December of 2020, electric vehicle manufacturer Tesla halted production of its signature Model X sedan. Led by Elon Musk, the company’s CEO and wealthiest man in the world, Tesla opted to fix something that wasn’t broken. Demand was still record-high at the time and customers seemed to love the basic model, even if the Tesla team dreamed of something bigger and bolder.

Now, a little more than a year later, customers are scratching their heads as to why they can’t buy a Model X, and have begun complaining on social media about the lack of communication from Musk and his team.

In response to the backlash, Musk said that his company dropped the ball in the rollout of its new revamped Model X. He also called the decision to halt prior production of the Model X “idiotic.”

“We dropped the ball badly regarding new Model X production ramp & still haven’t fully recovered,” Musk tweeted recently. “Was idiotic to stop production of old X in Dec 2020 when there was still plenty of demand!”

The Tesla critic and apparent customer who originally challenged the CEO on Twitter then replied with praise for “the response and transparency.” He also praised the Model X before asking if Musk had “any idea when ramp might smoothen out and catch up with demand,” while acknowledging “there’s some stuff not under your control.”

“Model X is an extremely difficult car to build,” Musk replied. “Most complex passenger car ever. Limiting factor is interior trim.”

Does Chevrolet want to challenge Musk and his Model X in the upcoming EV battles?

During a recent earnings call, the CEO of General Motors hinted that something secret and groundbreaking is in the works at Chevy. CEO Mary Barra didn’t elaborate much about her plans; but we know that electric vehicles will comprise the bulk of sales for manufacturers soon. Luxury electric will continue to sell nicely, no doubt, but what about the rest of America? How will companies like GM position themselves for lower-paying customers who still expect comfort and sustainability?

“Affordable electric vehicles are part of the market that start-ups aren’t targeting; but they are key to driving mass adoption of EVs. The adoption is a national and a global priority,” Barra said. “That’s why we plan to follow the Equinox with an even more affordable EV.”

Internet sleuths believe the secret vehicle could be a Camaro, mostly because of its affordability ($26,000 starting price) and high performance. The Camaro also enjoys legitimate, multi-generational brand name recognition that could compete with the Model X. The Model X, of course, has become synonymous with electric; can Camaro eventually do the same? Muscle, speed, power, affordability, and sustainability — the combination would be tremendous for sales.