By on January 30, 2020

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]

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25 Comments on “Model Y Production Already Underway, Tesla Claims...”

  • avatar

    I just hope the Musketeers can produce enough for everybody except me, and I’ll be driving my gas hogs on buck a gallon gas.

  • avatar
    Master Baiter

    I’m not digging the lack of ground clearance in that “crossover.”

    • 0 avatar

      @MB: Not all crossovers have high ground clearance. Most don’t need it, especially since they’re unlikely to ever go off-road.

      • 0 avatar
        Rick Astley

        If the vehicle isn’t designed for offroad, yet is engineered to achieve the CAFE benefits for being an offroad vehicle, then CAFE regs should change. (And yes, Tesla still achieves CAFE benefits in the form of what credits it can sell to others)

        I agree with you that 99% of crossovers are essentially just taller cars.

        CAFE shouldn’t be so easy to violate as to allow this and those crossovers which are designed as tall cars should fall under all CAFE regs for cars.

        • 0 avatar

          @Rick Astley: I may be wrong here, but I believe the previous version of the CAFE rules (Obama era) specified “fleet wide” for any brand or make, regardless of models. The intent, clearly, was to impact trucks as well as cars, since trucks have notoriously maintained much worse fuel mileage…up to half and sometimes a third of the MPG compared to the same brand’s/make’s cars, especially if towing. Even today, the average truck roughly achieves 20mpg when empty, when the same brands’ cars are achieving more than 30mpg (up to 40) and their CUVs at or exceeding 30mpg. Take the trucks to their rated loads and their mpg drops no less than 30% and some by more than 50%.

          So CAFE isn’t being violated by these new vehicles, CAFE is being vindicated by them.

      • 0 avatar

        High ground clearance is also for staying on the road when it snows, an important consideration for certain areas.

        • 0 avatar

          @Ia834: Perhaps. But again, not all crossovers have it or have ever had such high ground clearance. I believe a 5″ ground clearance is Federally mandated today (it could be 6″) but any more than that is more user choice than a requirement.

          Of course, I should talk. My wife’s Renegade is 6.7″ by spec and my Colorado Z71 4WD is 8.3″ by spec.

    • 0 avatar

      It’s almost like an unlifted hatch. This misses so much about what many people who buy CUVs want.

    • 0 avatar

      High ground clearance is a one thing that annoys me in SUVs/CUVs most.

    • 0 avatar

      It’s not a crossover. It’s a hatchback Model 3 for people who like to wear fancy hats while driving sitting on a booster seat. Shame they just HAD to put the crappy black plastic around the wheel wells like every other lemming car company though.

      It’s Tesla’s version of a BMW 3GT or 5GT.

  • avatar
    White Shadow

    For anyone who may not realize, the first picture is a Model 3. Only the second picture is the Model Y.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    “Model Y Production Already Underway, Tesla Claims”

    “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.”

    Those are big claims; might they be lying?

    Not mentioned in the story: TSLA hit $640 today, they posted their first annual profit (yes, under GAAP), and the shorters lost $1.5 billion in paper money in one day.

    • 0 avatar

      “Not mentioned in the story: TSLA hit $640 today, they posted their first annual profit (yes, under GAAP), and the shorters lost $1.5 billion in paper money in one day.”

      I stand in awe of your marvelous accomplishment here.

  • avatar

    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).

    • 0 avatar

      – 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.

  • avatar

    OK, why is EVERY comment “awaiting moderation”? This place is getting really bad…

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