Earlier this week, Tesla began giving select Tesla Model X buyers the opportunity to configure Signature Editions of the soon to be electric SUV. Now, normally people (investors, new car buyers, enthusiasts) would be giddy with joy at the news of a new, highly looked forward to product making production soon. However, such is not the case. People are making a huge hullabaloo about the Signature Edition's starting price of $132,000. I think this is stupid, not the price but the negative attitude towards the price. Allow me to explain.
First things first, the Signature Edition is Tesla’s version of a launch edition. Signature Editions come with special color combos as well as early production numbers, as well as the fact that they will be the first off the line. This isn’t the first time Tesla has done Signature Editions, the launch of the Tesla Model S was initiated with the launch of a Signature Edition. True story, the first Tesla that I ever experienced was a Signature Edition. Signature Editions aren’t that different than regular editions, with the exception of some color options. The high price tag is mainly for the expedited delivery. You get the car before the general orders. For that exclusivity, you will pay a premium.
This is a common practice in the auto world, Tesla isn’t the only one doing this. Honda, Nissan, Lamborghini, Mercedes. Pretty much every brand has done some sort of exclusive launch edition scheme. Some brands, like Benz for example, make the launch editions quite unique compared to regular editions, which means the premium actually gets you something besides one of the first cars. However, other manufactures actually upcharge some of the first regular edition deliveries. Dodge did this with the Hellcat, Chevy did it with the Corvette, Ferrari did this with “Insert Ferrari model”.
So as you can see, Tesla’s Signature Model sales scheme isn’t anything that new. It’s standard operation procedure, and is actually not a bad deal when you really think about it. The Signature Edition Model X comes with pretty much every option except the performance package. Considering that the Model X is based off the Model S sedan, it makes sense that it costs more than the Signature Edition Model S. It should be also noted that the Model X will have a regular edition, with multiple price points like the Model S. Elon Musk confirmed this mid week. The first deliveries for the Model X will take place on September 29th, 2015.
So, the moral of this post is that high price launch editions are nothing new to the automotive industry. Also, if you're unfamiliar with how the auto industry works and work in tech/business journalism, get your facts straight before posting articles criticizing an aspect of the automotive industry.