Showing off a rare but refreshing sense of humility, Elon Musk told the world during the Tesla Q2 earnings call that the Model Y SUV intended to complete the company’s passenger car lineup will be based largely on the Model 3 and will feature a variation of the falcon-wing doors that are a hallmark of the Model X.
Just a short time ago, Musk told people the Model Y would be built on its unique chassis in a new factory. With this latest announcement, that has changed. “Upon the counsel of my executive team to reel me back from the cliffs of insanity, the Model Y will, in fact, be using substantial carryover from Model 3 in order to bring it to market faster,” Musk said during the call. He offered no additional input as to where the Model Y might be built.
The Fremont factory may be capable of spitting out a half million cars a year, but the Model Y is the car that Musk expects to make Tesla a million car a year or more company. There just doesn’t appear to be room for that type of expansion at the Fremont location. Musk is pushing for introduction of the Model Y in 2020, but if he gets his way, it will arrive as soon as humanly possible, which means 2019.
Tesla said it delivered 47,000 Model S and Model X vehicles in the second quarter. That was slightly below estimates but close enough is good enough for Tesla investors. The company’s stock price went up on Wall Street on the less than stellar news. Investors seem fixated on what Musk promises to do in the future, not what it actually does in the here and now.
But the company continues to burn through cash at an historic rate, as it rushes to upgrade production lines, expand its Supercharger and service networks, and design new products like the Tesla Semi. “In three out of the past four quarters, Tesla needed outside money to survive — by the billions,” says Clement Thibault, senior analyst at Investing.com.
Musk also said that about 63,000 people have cancelled their reservations for the Model 3 over the past 15 months, but he is not concerned. From a total of 518,000 reservations, the company says it now has a mere 455,000 reservations. People who place an order today will probably not have an actual car in their driveway before the end of 2018 — at the earliest.
“Those cancellations occurred over the course of more than a year,” Musk said on the call. “I think [these numbers] are inconsequential. With a small amount of effort we can easily drive the Model 3 reservation number to something much higher but there’s no point. It’s like if you’re a restaurant and you’re serving hamburgers and there’s like an hour and a half wait for hamburgers do you really want to encourage more people to order more hamburgers?”
The amazing Tesla saga continues. How long can Elon keep pumping helium into the Tesla balloon? How long will he be able to defy the odds and keep bringing in enough money to push his dreams forward? “This is maybe the best I’ve ever felt about Tesla to be frank,” he tells Recode. And he says, mistakes are the best teachers. “When we make mistakes, it’s because we’re stupid, not because we’re trying to mislead anyone,” Musk continued. “We aspire to be less dumb over time.”
That’s what Tesla shareholders are counting on.
Source: The Verge