The first report came from Autotrader, a specialist website that tracked down the car by its license plate and VIN, and then discovered its selling price.
The unit in question is the 64th Model X, and it is a Founders Series version. The white SUV was first owned by a California coin dealer, who obtained it through the company’s customers-referral promotion.
Having sold 11 Tesla cars, the Californian coin collector took delivery of the Model X in Chicago and sold it to a dealer. He managed to obtain a profit from the sale, and the car ended up being bought by Ford Motor Company last month.
Contacted by Bloomberg, Ford’s representatives admitted that they bought the car, but did not specify the precise purpose of the acquisition and who is driving the vehicle. Reports stated that Lincoln’s chief designer was seen at the wheel, but Ford Motor Company officials refused to comment the possibility.
Instead, Ford’s representatives explained that it is common practice for automakers to purchase production cars for testing as soon as they are released, and admitted that they sometimes pay over sticker price to obtain the cars faster. In other words, Ford confirmed both the fact that they bought the Model X, which already had plates registered to the automaker, and paying extra for the chance of owning it as soon as possible.
Ford is not the only automaker to buy Tesla models for the benchmarking process. Tire manufacturers also buy or rent various cars for events and internal testing procedures. Most likely, other companies do the same in competitive industries, as the IT world, but those purchases are not so easy to discover.
Looks like Model X resale value is holding up well :)https://t.co/4gedy9GCHA— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 20, 2016