A previous version of this article said Tesla would only offer the Model X in rear wheel drive, when it will only be in 4 x 4. TheStreet regrets this error.
NEW YORK (TheStreet) –– Tesla Motors' (TSLA - Get Report) upcoming Model X may blow past both investor and consumer expectations, despite having reinvigorated excitement in the automotive industry with its Model S.
CEO Elon Musk made comments on Tesla's second-quarter earnings call that not only helped propel the Model X into the forefront of investors' and driving enthusiasts minds, but could highlight the earnings power of the company. "So if we -- so it's sort of reasonable to expect that if one has -- just address the demand and then the servicing side of things -- it's reasonable to expect that if we see sort of a comfortable 1,000 unit demand on the sedan side, well, probably we should expect that similar number on the SUV side," Musk said on the call. "My guess is we'll actually see slightly higher on the SUV side. I think the Model X is going to a phenomenal car."
As the Model X goes into production in the Spring of 2015, Musk said he expects the split between the Model X and the Model S to be around 1,000 units a week and, given the strength of the market for SUVs, it could be slightly skewed toward the Model X.
According to data compiled by The Wall Street Journal, the SUV market is picking up. Sales of small SUVs rose 8.5%, while midsize SUVs rose 6.6% year over year, large SUVs rose 25.8%, and luxury SUV sales rose 28%.
Deutsche Bank analyst Rod Lache stated that the market for mid-sized luxury SUV’s (which would include the Model X) "is nearly as large as the market for premium sedans (and in the U.S., the market for SUV’s is actually larger)." Lache estimates that Tesla would be able to sustain strong momentum for both the Model S and the X, "in the 150,000 unit range, 2x our previous assumption."
Tesla said in its July 31 letter to shareholders that it expects to end 2015 with an annualized delivery rate of more than 100,000 units, provided the company "execute[s] well and there are no serious macroeconomic shocks."
Pricing for the Model X has not been announced, according to an emailed statement from Tesla spokesman Liz Jarvis-Shean. However, Morgan Stanley analyst Adam Jonas recently said in a research note he expects the Model X "will have a base starting price around $75,000." At a base price of $75,000, that would skew the Model X toward the luxury end of the SUV market, which has seen the strongest growth year over year.
Currently, there are no Model X vehicles available to test drive, but demand is exceptionally strong, for a sport utility vehicle that's more than six months away. A look on the Model X forum shows that reservations have surpassed 11,000, with many of them coming from both the United States, as well as other areas around the world, including Norway, Switzerland and China, countries where Tesla has or is starting to make a name for itself.