Tesla will reveal its crucial Model Y utility vehicle next week, on March 14. One day early, it would seem.
Last May, Elon Musk joked on Twitter that he was thinking of first showing the vehicle on March 15, because “the Ides of March” sounded good. Musk tweeted the official date on Sunday, adding that the crossover will be about 10 percent larger and cost 10 percent more than the $35,000-$58,000 Model 3 sedan, with which it shares about two-thirds of its parts.
Full specifications and pricing will be released during an event at Tesla’s design studio on Hawthorne, Calif., but the vehicle likely won’t be on sale before the middle of 2020, and even then in small numbers. During Tesla’s earnings call in January, Musk said the Model Y will likely be built at the automaker’s factories in Nevada and China, but that volume production won’t happen until late next year.
"The - as I understand it, the midsized SUV segment is the - worldwide is the most popular type of vehicle. So we'll probably see a higher volume of Y than 3," Musk said on the call.
Shadowy teaser images of the Model Y released so far suggest that it will sport a fairly conventional-looking SUV shape. Musk has confirmed that it will not use the complex “Falcon Wing” doors of the Model X, but that it will have a few unique features. Musk did not say if the company will be taking deposits on pre-orders for the vehicle.
The Model Y news came just days after Tesla released its long-awaited $35,000 Model 3 last Thursday and also announced that it was switching to an all-online sales system that would see many of its stores closed, which was followed by a near 8 percent drop in the company’s stock price on Friday.
Earlier last week, the SEC asked a court to find Musk in contempt for violating a settlement reached last year restricting his use of Twitter to disseminate material information about the company that could affect its share price.
Musk has until March 11 to file a response to the action.