Tesla to begin Model X deliveries within four months

By REUTERS | 10 June 2015

DETROIT: Electric car maker Tesla has confirmed that the first deliveries of the new Model X crossover will begin "in three to four months."

Tesla CEO Elon Musk  said the gull-wing utility vehicle "is shaping up to be five stars in every category" in terms of safety ratings, making it one of the safest SUVs on the road.

Musk also said Tesla will release an early version of its Autopilot self-driving program for the Model S sedan by the end of June. The program will contain an auto-steering feature, he said, which will work in conjunction with radar, camera, ultrasonic sensors and special software.

In a presentation at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, California, Musk said a new battery factory in Nevada will begin production by mid-2016 and should reach full production in three to four years. The company's webcast of the presentation was monitored by Reuters.

Musk also announced that Tesla's chief financial officer Deepak Ahuja will retire this year, but will stay on to help search for a successor.

His retirement comes as the company is about to enter a period of intensive growth and equally intensive spending. Musk reiterated the company's anticipation of 50 percent annual growth over the next several years.