SAN FRANCISCO (Bloomberg) -- Google Inc. co-founder Sergey Brin, an early investor in Tesla Motors Inc., was one of the first customers to take delivery of Tesla’s all-electric SUV, people familiar with the matter told Bloomberg.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk handed over the first Model X SUVs before more than a thousand enthusiasts at an event late Tuesday in Fremont, Calif., where the automaker has its factory. Musk kept the first Model X for himself; venture capitalist and Tesla investor Steve Jurvetson got the second.
Brin was spotted in the VIP seating area near the stage at the crowded event. As Musk announced No. 4 and a white SUV rolled onto the stage, a woman took delivery.
“Stand in for Sergey?” Musk said and chuckled. “All right.”
Brin, the co-founder of Google and president of parent company Alphabet, has been involved in Google’s driverless car efforts. He’s also a Model S owner and a friend of Musk’s. Tesla spokesman Ricardo Reyes declined to comment. Google, in an e-mail, declined to comment.
Tesla handed over just six vehicles Tuesday -- including Musk’s -- after highlighting the manufacturing and production challenges facing the country’s youngest publicly traded automaker.
Musk has been candid about the challenges of equipping the Model X with complex features, including double-hinged “falcon wing” doors that open vertically, independently operable second-row seats and an enormous front windshield. All were difficult to engineer and dependent, in part, on several components and suppliers.
The first Model X’s are limited-edition Founders Series that typically go to board members and close friends of the company. Those are followed by the Signature Series models, which are fully loaded, require a $40,000 deposit from customers and start at $132,000. A lower-priced base Model X will be released at a later date.