October 2, 2015 / 7:59 PM / 3 years ago

Tesla’s Musk says sedan sales strong tied to SUV launch event

The Tesla Model S is presented during the media day at the Frankfurt Motor Show (IAA) in Frankfurt, Germany September 15, 2015. REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Tesla Motors Inc (TSLA.O) saw strong orders of its Model S sedan tied to the launch of its sports utility vehicle, relieving some concerns that the larger car might siphon away sales, Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk said on Friday.

Earlier this week, Tesla held an event to mark the launch of its long-awaited Model X electric sports-utility vehicles. The event also buoyed the Model S, Musk said.

“We were worried that maybe there would be some cannibalization of Model S orders,” Musk said, speaking during an event in New York held by SolarCity Corp SCTY.O, a solar energy company of which Musk also serves as chairman.

During the event at the Nasdaq, at which SolarCity announced a panel it says is the industry’s most efficient, Musk also said construction of Tesla’s giant $5 billion battery plant in Nevada, known as the “gigafactory,” was “progressing very well” and that he hoped it would begin production in the spring.

“It’s pretty hard to hide the progress, it’s so giant,” Musk said.

Reporting by Lewis Krauskopf in New York; Editing by Christian Plumb

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