Ford pays nearly $200K to get hands on Tesla Model X and take it apart

Article by Christian Andrei, on April 25, 2016

Recently, Ford bought a Tesla Model X unit for $199,950 just to dissect it and find out what exactly what technology is running this model. It is $55,000 more than the sticker price, which proves how much Ford wants to get its hands on the SUV and conduct its engineering research.

According to a Ford spokesman, competitive benchmarking is a common practice in the car industry even if it means paying more than the sticker price just to acquire a competitor’s vehicle as soon as possible. Companies usually buy rival models from brokers rather than directly buying from the rival producer. However, the details about what Ford is doing with the Tesla Model X are quite sparse.

Usually, carmakers tear apart rival’s vehicles part by part to see how it was constructed and engineered after driving them around for a few rounds. This allows carmakers to study and observe how their competitors plan and build their vehicles, giving them a possible advantage. Basically, it is just a reverse engineering procedure.

The Tesla Model X is part of the electric vehicle (EV) manufacturer’s limited edition Founders Series. It is specifically built with all the dominant features of Tesla such as the Ludicrous Speed Upgrade, which allows the vehicle to accelerate to 60 mph in just 3.2 seconds.

According to reports, Ford was able to buy the 64th unit of the Model X from the production line from Corporate Auto, Auburn Hills, Michigan. It was originally bought by Wayne Skiles, an individual who buys and sells Tesla vehicles. Skiles participated in the referral program of Tesla, which requires participants to convince 10 consumers to purchase a Tesla Model S eligible to pick up a Tesla Model X.

Ford’s Dive into the EV Market

Presently, Ford has only one EV in its lineup, the Ford Focus Electric. The carmaker is committed to producing more EVs in the future as the EV market grows and becomes widely accepted worldwide. With a $4.5 billion investment in EV solutions, Ford plans to have launched 13 EVs by 2020, most of which will be purely electric.

Ford Electrification Programs and Engineering Director Kevin Layden stated that the 2017 Ford Focus Electric, which boasts a 100-mile range, allows drivers to use it on a daily basis.

Ford is so far the first known company to lay its hands on a Tesla unit. However, if companies are planning to enter the EV market and catch up with how Tesla has revolutionized the entire car industry, it will not be too long before they buy a Tesla as well.

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