Automakers buying competitors' cars for benchmarking and reverse engineering is nothing new, but Ford's taking the cake in paying $55,000 over sticker price for a Model X. The electric Tesla SUV is still being produced in limited quantities, and Ford's desire to get started as soon as possible in dissecting the vehicle led them to an early buyer and a tremendous markup.
According to Bloomberg, Ford paid $199,950 for the white Founders Series edition of the Model X last month, a $55,000 premium over the sticker price of the vehicle. They purchased it from an early recipient of the SUV. As a Founders Series, the Model X P90D that Ford purchased was one of the first 100 vehicles produced. In fact, the Ludicrous Mode-equipped Model X was the 64th off the production line.
As for the original buyer, that was Wayne Skiles, a 71-year-old businessman from California, and a current Model S owner. He took part in the Tesla Model S referral program, and managed to get 11 buyers to Tesla for a Model S — and thus was able to pay a discounted $116,700 for a Model X Founders Series. Skiles took delivery of the vehicle in Chicago and immediately turned around and sold it to a local dealer for a healthy profit. If we had to guess, it was probably the easiest money he ever made.
For their part, Ford will have plenty to learn from the Model X. Ford only currently fields one pure EV, the Focus Electric, and the 2017 version of the 5-door hatchback will only get 100 miles per charge — while the upcoming and similarly-sized Tesla Model 3 will run for at least 215 miles. Ford has plans to invest $4.5 billion into EV research and production and to add 13 electric and hybrid vehicles to its lineup by 2020. And in no small dose of copying being the sincerest form of flattery, Ford's Lincoln luxury brand unveiled a Navigator Concept SUV with massive gull-wing doors — though Ford says they're not going to be part of the production vehicle (unlike the falcon wing doors on the Model X).
Tesla CEO Elon Musk, however, was amused by the whole deal:
Looks like Model X resale value is holding up well :)https://t.co/4gedy9GCHA— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 20, 2016