Tesla prepares California plant for Model X sport utility

Carmaker is preparing up to deliver its first sport utility vehicle. The Model X is expected to arrive in 2015.

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Tesla Model X. Tesla

Tesla Motors is gearing up to deliver the Model X, a crossover sport utility vehicle.

The electric carmaker has suspended production at its Fremont, Calif., assembly plant as it adds robots to ready the factory for the Model X and to speed up production of its Model S sedan, according to several reports.

The factory upgrade will cost $100 million.

"This represents the single biggest investment in the plant since we really started operations and enables us for higher volumes [and] it gets us ready to build X and to do it on the same line as the S," Tesla told Bloomberg.

Regular production at the plant will resume August 4.

Tesla describes its upcoming Model X as combining "the best of an SUV with the benefits of a minivan."

Production of the SUV is expected to begin later this year and go on sale in early 2015 or thereabouts.

The carmaker also affirmed earlier guidance that it remains on track to deliver 35,000 Model S sedans this year.

Tesla passed Toyota last month as California's largest auto-industry employer with more than 6,000 people working at its plant and various other facilities.

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Model X Tesla

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About the author

Brooke Crothers writes about mobile computer systems, including laptops, tablets, smartphones: how they define the computing experience and the hardware that makes them tick. He has served as an editor at large at CNET News and a contributing reporter to The New York Times' Bits and Technology sections. His interest in things small began when living in Tokyo in a very small apartment for a very long time.

 

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