Why Did Ford Buy Tesla’s Model X SUV? – Fortune

Posted: Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Ford paid nearly $200,000 for a Tesla Model X just so it could figure out what the electric car maker is hatching.



recently paid $199,950 to an individual who has bought and sold nearly a dozen Tesla


Model S vehicles. Perhaps most surprisingly, Ford paid about $55,000 more than the sticker price on the Model X just to get its hands on Tesla’s crossover.

“It is a common industry practice among many automakers to buy production vehicles for testing as soon as they are released,” a Ford spokesman tells Fortune. “Sometimes, this means automakers pay more than sticker price to acquire them as quickly as possible.”

Indeed, Ford is among many companies in the automobile industry to buy competitor cars. Rather than buy the cars from competitors directly, however, the companies often buy new vehicles from brokers who have all the bells and whistles carmakers would want to analyze as they look at what the competition is developing.

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According to Bloomberg, which earlier reported on the buy, Ford bought the 64th Model X to have come off the production line. The car is a Founders Series and sports all of the features Tesla offers, including a Ludicrous Speed Upgrade package allowing the SUV to go from zero to 60 miles per hour in 3.2 seconds, Bloomberg says.

Ford currently offers one electric vehicle, called the Ford Focus Electric, a compact vehicle. However, Ford announced in December that it’s planning to invest $4.5 billion in “electrified vehicle solutions.” The auto maker added that it plans to have 13 “electrified” cars on the road by 2020. Some of those cars will be completely electric, like those from Tesla.

While it’s unclear exactly what Ford might be doing with the Tesla Model X it bought, it’s not uncommon for a company to completely tear down its purchase. In fact, most automakers, after buying a competitor’s car, will tear it down piece by piece to see how it’s constructed and what kind of engineering decisions were made. Before that happens, the cars are typically driven around and tinkered with. All along, the companies are gaining intelligence on their competitors.

For more about the Tesla Model X, watch:

So far, Ford is the only company known to have picked up a Tesla. But chances are, if companies buying competitor cars really is rampant in that industry and given Tesla’s standing in the burgeoning electric vehicle market, it’s not the only one looking under Tesla’s hood.

Tesla did not respond to a request for comment.


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