Competition is tough. In a measure of the heat and competition rampant in the market for electric vehicles, especially anything Tesla, Ford bought a brand new, limited edition Tesla X SUV for more than $200K including taxes.
According to Bloomberg, Ford purchased the Founders Series limited edition Model X P90D, with the $10,000 optional Ludicrous Speed Upgrade, for $199,950. That’s $55,000 more than the usual $144,950 sticker price on a comparable regular series version with the speed option. The original owner, Wayne Skiles, a coin dealer from San Bernadino, California, won the right to purchase one of the Founders Series models for $116,700 plus options. By referring 11 friends who bought Tesla S models, Siles, who owns a Tesla S himself, qualified for the early special edition. Instead of taking delivery in California, Skiles picked it up at the factory in Chicago and immediately drove it to a dealer and sold it. That dealer sold it to Ford for almost $212,000 including tax and title.
It’s not unusual for car manufacturers to buy early production models of competitors’ vehicles. If they don’t know the competition well, it’s hard to compete. Plus, by seeing how various systems are designed and constructed, and by doing their own testing, car makers can save time and money in their own research, development, and design efforts. The high price it paid for the Tesla X isn’t really surprising considering the benefits Ford Motor Company can gain from the earliest possible look.
The Tesla X has had some early quality concerns including the lift-up falcon Wing doors and third-row seat release issues that required a recall of the earliest made versions – which include the one Ford owns. Bloomberg quoted Tesla conceding that shipments in the first quarter were below expectations because of parts shortages from suppliers and that Tesla was paying the price for “hubris in adding far too much new technology” to the model X.