But will it come in time or be too little, too late?
Whether or not Tesla was wise to make its third car an SUV rather than an entry-level sedan is up for debate, but the SUV craze certainly doesn’t make it seem foolish. The only issue is that Tesla built the wrong SUV. What it really needed was a sub $50,000 crossover that would bolster sales considerably and give the automaker the investment money needed to venture forward with its eco endeavors, not a $100,000 plus toy for the 1%. Luckily, as Autocar so kindly points out, Tesla soon plans to rectify this wrong.
As we know, the Model 3 has been the current buzz topic for the automaker, with fans and between 370,000-400,000 preorder holders waiting anxiously for any new information about the entry level sedan. What we do know is that we’re likely to see the first units out driving by the end of this year. While Musk assured the public that the Model 3 is still top priority, the Model Y will be the car that pivots Tesla into a transitionary phase. As a small SUV featuring the signature Falcon Wing doors from the Model X, it will be tasked with bringing Tesla into the mainstream and is what will give the automaker the diversity it needs to extend its reach into the realm of the auto giants.
With federal incentives for electric cars, which will disappear under Trump's administration, the Model 3 should come in at $35,000 with the Model Y bearing a slightly high starting price. Musk, however, thinks that the average sale price will be higher as buyers are likely to want to add options, which could include Autopilot software (hardware will come standard). Tesla’s success story banks on its ability to stay ahead of a curve, the trend line of which is rising fast as competing automakers catch up. At current, Tesla’s timeline appears to indicate that the Model Y reinforcement will come just as return shots are fired from the rest of the industry. Start stockpiling the popcorn because the resulting battle should be fun to watch.