Tesla CEO, Elon Musk has announced the company is bringing a new SUV to market by the end of 2019, and it is sure to whip up another pre-order frenzy.

AT TESLA’S ANNUAL SHAREHOLDER meeting this week, Musk provided some positive news on Tesla Model 3 production and the company’s official confirmation of a new SUV – the Model Y.

The Model Y will be smaller than Tesla’s current SUV, the Model X, and Musk has also hinted that it will be produced on an all-new platform to be produced at an all-new Gigafactory production plant.

“The Model Y vehicle plant will be a new plant, essentially a new Gigafactory that we are going to figure out the exact location of. But there is just no room at Fremont,” said Musk.

Tesla’s production of its current top-selling Model 3 has provided something of a hurdle for the new vehicle manufacturer, as it figures out how to increase production to deliver on its promises and turn a profit.

Despite current criticism of its struggle to get the Model 3 out of the door, the company will march forward with the Model Y, which is predicted to be an even bigger seller than the Model 3. And Musk is confident the first production Model 3 will rollout next month: “We expect (the Model 3 car) configurator to go live towards the end of next month when we deliver the first production Model 3. So yes, we are definitely on track to deliver the first production Model 3 next month (July).

Musk is also confident the Electric vehicle maker can utilise better production methods so that building the Model Y is more efficient, and cuts cost.

“There are a number of major manufacturing improvements that can be done that allow us to build the car in a way that a car has never been built before.

“The capital expenditures, I think, will be substantially less, so we are aiming for that to hit the roads in 2019 approximately. And probably the demand for Model Y will exceed the demand for Model 3,” he said.

Part of this increased efficiency is building the small-mid size SUV on a new platform, rather than trying to make it work on its current sedan focused unit: “There has been some criticism, like we should sort of derive (the Model Y) 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. It would have been better to just design an SUV the way an SUV should be designed, otherwise, you would just try to shoe horn something that doesn’t make sense,” Musk said.

For now, details on the Model Y are scarce, and the only hint we have is a teaser image that shows it may share some front-end styling with the Model 3.

Musk said he expects the Model Y to be on roads by 2019, and following the company’s commitment to deliver its other models to the Australian market, we expect it should arrive here sometime after the US rollout.


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Alex Rae

Alex Rae brings almost two decades’ experience, previously working at publications including Wheels, WhichCar, Drive/Fairfax, Carsales.com.au, AMC, Just Cars, and more.

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