Model Y Production Already Underway, Tesla Claims

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems

Tesla’s fourth-quarter 2019 earning report, released Wednesday night, gave analysts and investors what they’d been looking for. In the midst of a global production ramp-up, the electric automaker posted a second consecutive quarterly profit ⁠— offering compelling news about a new model in the process.

That vehicle is the Model Y, a Model 3-based compact crossover that’s apparently already rolling off the assembly line in Fremont, California.

Slated to reach customers by the end of the first quarter, the Model Y is ahead of schedule. Previously, the automaker pegged fall 2020 for the first deliveries.

There was more information about the Model Y buried in the report. Tesla CEO Elon Musk claims his engineers have tweaked the AWD version, positioned as the volume choice, to travel an extra 35 miles before requiring a recharge. That model’s EPA range is now 315 miles, up from 280.

Pulling back, Tesla reported 367,500 deliveries in 2019, up by half over 2018’s tally. The fourth quarter of last year saw 112,000 Tesla vehicles reach customers, helped along by the early completion of its Shanghai Gigafactory. The current year, Tesla said, will see it “comfortably exceed 500,000 units.”

Wall Street walked away happy after the company’s earnings per share ($2.14) beat expectations ($1.72). Overall, the company’s net profit in Q4 was $105 million, down from the same quarter a year earlier. A far greater percentage of cheaper Model 3s in its sales mix saw automotive revenues rise just 1 percent in 2019, though increased production, combined with the addition of the slightly more expensive Model Y, gives the automaker confidence that 2020 will see revenues soar.

The company’s planned Berlin-Brandenburg assembly plant won’t see production start until 2021. Everything should be in place for a Model Y ramp-up in Fremont by the middle of the year, Tesla said, and construction is apparently underway to add the product to its Shanghai plant.

As for actual product, the Model 3 deliveries rose 46 percent last year as the aging Model S and X saw their combined tally fall 29 percent.

Not surprisingly, Tesla’s stock soared in after-market trading, rising as much as 13 percent.

[Image: Aleksei Potov/Shutterstock, Tesla]

Steph Willems
Steph Willems

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  • ToolGuy ToolGuy on Jan 31, 2020

    2008 - 12 short years ago: - The best-selling luxury vehicle in the U.S. market was the Lexus RX. - Elon Musk become CEO of Tesla. - Tesla was just launching the Lotus-based Roadster. - TTAC began, and ended, the Tesla Death Watch. - GM's cancellation of the EV1 was 9 years in the past (1999). - GM would file for bankruptcy one year later (2009). - Ford had introduced the world's first hybrid SUV three years earlier (2005). - Robert Nardelli was CEO of Chrysler. - The Toyota Prius was in its 11th year of production (~8th year for U.S. sales) and on its second generation. - Elon Musk had published "The Secret Tesla Motors Master Plan" two years earlier (2006). https://www.tesla.com/blog/secret-tesla-motors-master-plan-just-between-you-and-me

    • ToolGuy ToolGuy on Jan 31, 2020

      - Alan Mulally was CEO of Ford. - Justin Bieber was signed to RBMG Records. - The Discovery, Atlantis, and Endeavour shuttles were still operational. - Donald Trump said Hillary Clinton would "make a good president or good vice-president." - The 11th-gen F-Series (steel) was in its last year; the 12-gen F-Series (also steel) would run until 2014. - GM announced that Cadillac headquarters would move from New York City to Warren, Michigan.

  • Krhodes1 Krhodes1 on Jan 31, 2020

    OK, why is EVERY comment "awaiting moderation"? This place is getting really bad...

  • Mike Evs do suck, though. I mean, they really do.
  • Steve Biro I don’t care what brand but it needs to be a compact two-door with an ICE, traditional parallel hybrid or both. A manual transmission option would be nice but I don’t expect it - especially with a hybrid. Don’t show me an EV.
  • ToolGuy Lose a couple of cylinders, put the rest in a straight line and add a couple of turbos. Trust me.
  • ToolGuy Got no money for the Tasman, it is going to the Taxman. 🙁
  • ToolGuy They should have hired some Ford Motor Company employees. No, I'm kidding -- they should have hired some Ford Motor Company executives. 😉
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