Tesla has given the world a sneak peek at its newest car in the pipeline. The electric carmaker has had plenty of ups and downs this year. It’s hoping its latest product will help get it over the hump.
CGTN’s Mark Niu reports.
At Tesla’s design center in Hawthorne, California, the company’s newest vehicle made a grand entrance onto center stage.
At the event, founder Elon Musk sauntered around the Model Y in admiration–it’s an all-electric mid-sized, seven-seater SUV.
The standard Model Y will have a range of 300 miles, or 482 kilometers, eventually have self-driving features and will be priced from $39,000 up to $60,000 for the performance version. Musk believes this car will outsell Tesla’s previous three vehicles by far.
“I think we’ll probably do more Model Y’s than S, X and 3’s combined. Most likely,” said Musk.
Musk did admit how tough it’s been to manufacture his vehicles, especially its Model 3, whose lower price has fueled higher demand.
“The difficulty and value of manufacturing is under appreciated. It’s insanely difficult,” said Musk. “It’s like relatively easy to make a prototype and extremely difficult to mass manufacture that prototype, or to mass manufacture a vehicle reliably and at scale. ”
Earlier this month, Tesla announced it would be raising prices on cars by three percent and closings its retail stores. Instead, it was to move all sales online. That stunned staff and had store landlords reminding Tesla, it still had leases that could not be broken.
“That came back to bite them because basically people do want to go to the stores, touch it, feel it drive it. And they have now backtracked,” said Tim Bajarin, President of Creative Strategies.
Musk also continues to draw ire from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, especially after he recently tweeted that Tesla would deliver about 400,000 vehicles for the year.
The SEC argues that’s in contempt of a previous fraud settlement that stipulates Musk seek company pre-approval to share such information on social media.
“He argues he can tweet because it’s free speech. He’s right in that sense,” said Bajarin. “But words matter and in this case when it comes tot he SEC and words that would move stock, that’s when he comes under great scrutiny. I believe all of his life he’s going to need more supervision, just because he’s an enigmatic, charismatic type of person and he tends to communicate and use Twitter off the cuff.”
But on stage, it was full speed ahead. Musk said in a years’ time Tesla will have produced a million vehicles, even joking that in ten years’ time that we’ll be driving a Tesla on Mars.