Tesla Model X: The Electric SUV Women Say They Want


Tesla displayed an interior refresh for their Model X at the 2013 Detroit Auto Show. Photo by Joe Nuxoll.

Tesla displayed an interior refresh for their Model X at the 2013 Detroit Auto Show. Photo by Joe Nuxoll.

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First deliveries of the Tesla Model X electric crossover are expected to take place just over a week from now.

With production set to ramp up gradually after that, speculation will likely shift to whether the Model X will be as much of a success as the Model S.

And it's possible that women could be the deciding factor.

DON'T MISS: Will Tesla Model X Success Depend On Women Buying The Electric SUV?

Tesla Motors [NSDQ:TSLA] designed its first utility vehicle in part to suit the tastes of female drivers, and is betting that women will account for a large chunk of sales, according to Bloomberg.

Early in the design process, Tesla reportedly invited a dozen women to its headquarters in Palo Alto, California, for a three-hour focus group with chief designer Franz von Holzhausen.

When the Model S launched in 2012, demand skewed towards male buyers, but that has changed somewhat.

2014 Tesla Model X all-electric crossover with 'Falcon Doors' open

2014 Tesla Model X all-electric crossover with 'Falcon Doors' open

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In 2012, women accounted for just 13.3 percent of U.S. Model S registrations, but in 2014 they accounted for 21.5 percent, according to research firm IHS Automotive.

Adding a crossover to the lineup is seen as key to attracting even more women to the brand.

"Women dominate the crossover SUV segment," Jessica Caldwell of Edmunds told Bloomberg.

ALSO SEE: Tesla Model X Range: EPA Estimates Now 250 Miles, Company Says

They account for 40 percent of U.S. new-car sales, but they buy 53 percent of small SUVs and 48 percent of small premium SUVs, according to J.D. Power & Associates.

While the Model X is more of a mid-size to large vehicle (the NHTSA hasn't classified it by size as yet), Tesla expects sales to reflect those trends.

CEO Elon Musk previously said more than half of orders for the Model X have come from female buyers.

Tesla Model X prototype [by Tesla Motors Club forum user Mulder1231]

Tesla Model X prototype [by Tesla Motors Club forum user Mulder1231]

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Audi may be taking a similar approach by going with a crossover model for its first mass-production, all-electric vehicle.

Previewed by the e-tron quattro concept that debuted last week at the 2015 Frankfurt Motor Show, the battery-electric Audi Q6 e-tron will start production in 2018.

MORE: Audi e-Tron Quattro Concept: 2018 Q6 Electric Car Previewed At Frankfurt Motor Show

The first Model X deliveries will take place September 29.

A handful of vehicles will be handed over to their owners at Tesla's factory in Fremont, California.

However, production may not fully ramp up until later this year, or possibly even early next year.

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