The Tesla Model X has claimed its first victims: two Tesla Vice Presidents are departing the company over their roles in the disarray surrounding the electric SUV. As reported by Bloomberg, Greg Reichow, VP of Production, and Josh Ensign, VP of Manufacturing, are both departing the company. While some at Tesla place off-the-record blame for the Model X's delays and quality issues laid at their feet, Tesla's official comments on the matter are that "This is not about the Model X."
Additionally, CEO Elon Musk told Bloomberg that "Greg and the team deserve a lot of credit for building an all-new manufacturing organization from the ground up and for making Model S and Model X a reality. We're confident that with the strength of the team, high-quality manufacturing at Tesla will continue." Reichow's departure is being described by Tesla as a "leave of absence."
Reichow oversaw the launch of the Model X, which was both delayed from its original launch date by 18 months and plagued with a whole host of issues once it was finally available. Musk has publicly taken responsibility for the botched process, saying that "Tesla's hubris in adding far too much new technology to the Model X in version 1" hampered initial production of the vehicle.
The departure of Reichow and Ensign comes as Tesla faces a huge manufacturing challenge in the Model 3. The $35,000 electric sedan has seen around 400,000 reservations, a huge number that Tesla did not expect to see so quickly. Production for the Model 3 is slated to begin at the end of 2017.