Tesla unveiling Model Y SUV, expanding into popular segment

Gladys Abbott
March 15, 2019

The Model Y is based on the smallest vehicle in Tesla's range, the $35,000 Model 3, which Mr Musk hopes will bring electric motoring to the mass market.

CEO and founder Elon Musk believes that demand for the Model Y could outstrip the Model 3, which has proven itself by a very long yard the most popular EV of 2018 and became the USA's best-seller in its segment late past year.

China's customs authority has lifted its suspension on imports of Tesla's Model 3, an official in the authority's news department told Reuters on Thursday.

Tesla got a huge boost toward ensuring its survival with the 2017 debut of its Model 3 sedan, but a sports utility vehicle could have even more mass appeal, given how popular SUVs have become in the US, Europe and Canada.

It has a panoramic glass roof keeping it in common with the Model 3, adding to the feeling of space.

A lot is known about the Model Y thanks to the loose lips of CEO Elon Musk talking about it over the past three years.

In the lead up to the unveiling, Musk said that due to the increased amount of materials needed for the Model Y's SUV body, both weight and price would be approximately 10 per cent more than the Model 3.

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In preview photos the Y had no side mirrors.

The "sexy" lineup of Tesla cars.

As far as a release date is concerned, the Model Y is slated to become available sometime in early 2020.

The big battery pack on the floor offers a lower center of gravity while functionality is like that of an SUV with performance of a sports vehicle.

Still, the Model Y, like all Tesla's models, has already seen pre-production delays. But once you start stacking features into the vehicle, it starts bleeding into the range of Audi's E-Tron and Jaguar's I-Pace. Two weeks later it made a decision to keep more stores open than anticipated (and bump up prices), as well as announce the new V3 Supercharger.

Data from J.D. Powers, the consumer insights firm, shows SUVs are very popular right now, making up 49 percent of US vehicle sales. This should make production more efficient for Tesla and help keep costs down.

Musk predicted on stage that the Y will sell more cars than the S and 3 combined. They are expected to be delivered as soon as the end of the month, according to the Tesla website. The order page was even available for anyone eager to buy a auto and receive it in more than a year.

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