Tesla Model 3 Week: Elon Musk On Rollout, Configurator — And Model Y
At the Tesla shareholder meeting this past week, CEO Elon Musk spoke about the Model 3 rollout and provided some more color on the Model Y.
The week ended with a bang when Tesla (momentarily) passed BMW in market cap.
But before that happened, Tesla held its annual shareholder meeting in Mountain View, Calif. Note that all shareholder meeting comments below are from Elon Musk. Shareholder meeting transcript excerpts courtesy of Seeking Alpha.
Model 3 configurator, simple configs first (to avoid Model X mistakes) — and first deliveries on track: “We expect that the configurator to go live towards the end of next month [July] when we deliver the first production Model 3. So yes, we are definitely on track to deliver the first production Model 3 next month.
“We have kept the initial configurations for Model 3 very simple. This is critical to achieving a rapid production ramp. Big mistake we made with the X [is] way too much complexity right at the beginning…that was very foolish.
“And [the] Model X…has way too many cool things in it that should have really been rolled in with Version 2, Version 3, that would have been the sensible way to do it. So initially, the Model 3 configurators, it’s kind of going to be like what color do you want and what size of wheels do you want. That’s basically going to be the configurator.
“[There will] just be a single motor to begin with and then we will have the dual motor config, if we are lucky, toward the end of this year or more likely early next.” (Note: that on dual-motor configurations, one motor is optimized for highway travel and one is optimized for stop-and-go traffic.)
Model 3 wait period / some states resist direct sales: “I am guessing, if you put a deposit down on Model 3 now, it’s probably – well, it’s going to be over 1 year. End of next year before you get it, something like that.
“For Model 3, roll out in states that don’t allow direct sales, this is maybe where we got a lot of pushback from the dealer groups. But the answer is actually, you can order a Tesla in any state in the country. So there is no limitation on ordering a car. And we can service anywhere in the country. So actually you need just go on the website and order the car and that’s it.” (Note that Texas, where direct Tesla sales are prohibited, Tesla has galleries and service centers but the company is not allowed to talk about price or delivery information at those locations.)
Service centers and Supercharger stations for Model 3: “We are also adding a lot more service centers in anticipation of Model 3 production. And this year, we will double the number of Tesla superchargers in the world. So double year-over-year. And I think next year, probably be at least 50% increase, may be double again next year.”
Model Y crossover: Demand may exceed Model 3: “Model Y…there has been some criticism, like we should sort of derive from the Model 3 platform. But I think actually we made a mistake in trying to derive the Model X from the Model S platform. It would have been better to just design an SUV the way an SUV should be designed. Design a sedan, the way a sedan should be designed. Otherwise, you would just try to shoe horn something that doesn’t make sense.
“But the Model Y vehicle plant will be a new plant, essentially a new Gigafactory that we are going to figure out the exact location of. But there is just no room at Fremont.
“There are a number of…major manufacturing improvements that can be done that allow us to build the car in a way that a car has never been built before. The capital expenditures I think will be substantially less…So we are aiming for that to hit the roads in 2019 approximately. And probably the demand for Model Y will exceed the demand for Model 3.”
Model 3 sightings: There were the usual Model 3 spy shots this past week. This silver Model 3 gallery was taken while one was charging.