It’s the fifth new car design to come from Tesla’s shop since the company was founded in 2003. Musk has been teasing the car’s release since 2015, and in a January letter to shareholders said that high volume production would begin by the end of 2020.
Tesla said that it would begin tooling for the Model Y later this year and that the company would be producing the vehicle at its “gigafactory” in Nevada. In the same letter, Musk predicted that the cost of the Model Y line would be substantially lower than the Model 3 line in Fremont, Calif., because it will share roughly 75% of the same components with the new low-cost vehicle.
Tesla’s Model Y reveal comes amid sweeping changes that the automaker announced last week in tandem with the commercial availability of its $35,000 low-cost Model 3.
Tesla said that to achieve this lower price it will shift all sales globally to online only, meaning the company will be closing many of its stores over the next few months. The stores that remain, in high-traffic locations, will be turned into information centers, Musk said on a call with reporters. There will be some layoffs as a result. Musk later said they would be hiring more service technicians.
“Shifting all sales online, combined with other ongoing cost efficiencies, will enable us to lower all vehicle prices by about 6% on average, allowing us to achieve the $35,000 Model 3 price point earlier than we expected,” the company wrote in a post.
Tesla’s management expects that all of these changes should result in better results for the company. “Model 3 will become a global product, the profitability of our business should become sustainably positive, our new Gigafactory Shanghai should start producing cars, and we will start tooling for Model Y production,” the January shareholder read.
If the Model Y were to finally go into production, it could mean a phase out of older Tesla models, although that’s not a certainty.
Tesla also has two other models that are waiting in the wings — the Roadster and the Tesla Semi, which are both under development.