Tesla CEO Elon Musk confirmed on Wednesday’s Q4 earnings call that the company will begin making capital investments on the Model Y compact SUV sometime in the second half of 2018.
Musk reaffirmed his position that the Model Y would be created with efficiency and rapid production in mind, and even simpler to manufacture than the Model 3.
“We are going to make some capital investments towards the end of this year related to Model Y. I don’t want to jump the gun on those, but I think we’ve got a good plan. I’m pretty excited about how we’re designing Model Y. It’s really taking a lot of lessons learned from Model 3 and saying how do we design something to be easy to manufacture instead of how to manufacture or difficult, really.” Musk said during the Q4 2017 earnings call.
A welcome update to the compact all-electric SUV was further provided by the Musk, stating that announcements for the Model Y would likely happen late in the third or fourth quarter, including details on where the electric car would be manufactured.
“I really think it’s going to be pretty great and pretty scalable for Model Y. But we are going to, as you suspect, need to make some capital investments in the second half of this year, really late Q3, Q4 for Model Y. But I think we want to wait probably three to six months before announcing any definitive plans on production location and the details associated with that.” said Musk.
Though the serial tech entrepreneur did not drop any clues this time around on where Model Y might be manufactured, Musk had previously mentioned that Model Y is expected to begin production in 2020, and aimed at the Chinese market to start.
“It’s sort of a rough target of start of production in about three years and it would be serving the China market and perhaps some other countries in the region and that’s really the intent,” said Musk in last year’s Q3 earnings call to analysts.
“[Tesla] won’t be making Model S and Model X, but we’ll be making probably Model 3, probably Model Y primarily for the local Chinese market and it’s really the only way to make the cars affordable in China, but it’s three years out, so.”
Built on the Model 3 platform, the Model Y would be marketed as a crossover SUV, competing with the leaders in the field such as the Subaru Outback, Toyota Rav4, and the Honda CR-V. Considering the huge demand for crossover SUVs on the automotive market, Tesla expects the Model Y to be one of its most popular offerings, ultimately helping the company to achieve its goal of producing 1 million cars per year in 2020.
Just like the Model 3, the Model Y would feature a number of new innovations for the electric car maker, including a new “flex circuit,” a wiring system that would drastically lower the number of wires needed for the vehicle. The Model 3 currently utilizes 1.5 km of wiring, which is already significantly less than the 3 km of wires used in the Model S and X. The Model Y, on the other hand, will only use 100 m of wiring, for a 95% reduction over the Model 3.