Channel-changing Tesla Model Y Debut Tonight

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
channel changing tesla model y debut tonight

With tonight’s splashy California reveal of the upcoming Model Y crossover, Tesla CEO Elon Musk hopes to achieve two things: positive press, and an avalanche of deposits. It would be a change from the past several weeks, in which an assembly line of undesirable headlines made it appear that a green monument was in danger of toppling.

While pricing and specs should be revealed tonight, J.D. Power thinks it knows what Tesla fans will pay.

The Model Y, based on the Model 3 sedan and boasting a body about 10 percent larger than its sedan sibling, will probably cost 10 percent more than the smaller car, Musk tweeted last week. Assuming the CEO used the Standard Range Model 3 ($35,000) as a benchmark, that would place the starting price closer to the $40k mark.

J.D. Power anticipates a higher starting price. In a report released ahead of the model’s reveal, the company explained that the Model Y sits in a sweet spot in the American market — “More than half (52%) of those who bought a vehicle in the $30,000-$50,000 price range purchased an SUV.” The company figures a $45,000 starting point, before tax rebates. The model’s price ceiling is probably in the area of $85,000, J.D. Power said.

“In 2018, 1.4 million SUVs were sold in the $40,000-$90,000 range. This means if Tesla captures only a modest portion of this segment, it will deliver significant sales growth.”

In today’s market, the sales potential of the crossover tops that of its sedan stablemate, J.D. Power said.

Of course, all of this hinges on Tesla getting the model into production. A report last week, citing Tesla supplier sources, suggested the automaker has only just started figuring the operation out. Its Model Y production site, the report claimed, is still a question mark.

[Image: Tesla]

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  • Dukeisduke Dukeisduke on Mar 14, 2019

    "Channel-changing"? So it's gonna be on TV? I've never seen a commercial for Tesla.

    • Iamwho2k Iamwho2k on Mar 14, 2019

      Why advertise when Elon is a walking, talking ad unto himself. What was that saying about even bad publicity is good publicity?

  • Ermel Ermel on Mar 15, 2019

    Y clearly stands for Yawn. Seriously -- there's not the faintest inkling of a surprise there. Not even a tiny "wow" effect. It's a Model 3 Crossover, not as ugly as the Model X, not as sleek as Models S and 3. Just what would have been to be expected if Tesla were, say, a maker of microwave ovens. Even new Audis have surprised me more in recent history, and that's saying something. It will sell like crazy, of course, if it ever will get sold at all. And it's at least inoffensive enough on the eyes that I won't care if it does.