Yesterday, Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced details on the electric automaker’s upcoming Model Y small crossover during the company’s annual shareholder’s meeting in Mountain View, California. In addition to the teaser image shown below, Musk revealed that the Model Y will be built on its own platform, rather than share a platform with the entry-level Model 3 sedan.
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A Tesla crossover to slot below the Model X was first announced back in October of 2015, when Musk tweeted about how the more affordable model would not feature the tricky falcon-wing doors of the Model X. Up until now, it was assumed the Model Y would share a platform with the Model 3 sedan.
“I am really excited about Model Y,” Musk said in the shareholder’s meeting, as transcribed by InsideEVs. “There’s been some criticism, like we should sort of derive it from the Model 3 platform. But I think actually we made a mistake in trying to derive the Model X from the Model S platform.
Musk told shareholders that the Model Y would be built “in a way that a car has never been built before.” According to InsideEVs, that means not only a unique platform, but also a dedicated factory separate from Tesla’s current manufacturing plant. All of which seems ambitious for an automaker that has recently faced delays, quality control challenges, and factory employee safety issues as it has worked to expand production capability—challenges many industry observers attribute to Tesla’s relative lack of experience in the complex processes of mass producing automobiles.
“It would’ve been better to just design an SUV the way an SUV should be designed,” Musk continued. “Design a sedan—the way a sedan should be designed. Otherwise you’d just try to shoehorn something that doesn’t make sense.”
Musk went onto say deliveries for the Model Y will happen sometime in 2019, with demand for the small crossover expected to exceed that of the Model 3.
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