Tesla is targeting a start date of production on its subcompact electric SUV, the Model Y, in November 2019. The fourth car in Tesla’s lineup has been scant with details. All that’s known about is that it’ll be smaller version of the Model X.
A report from Reuters sheds details on Tesla’s current plans for the Model Y. Sources close to the situation say Tesla is currently “accepting preliminary bids” from supply contractors for the Model Y.
The process is known as a “request for information,” or RFI, in which car manufacturers give possible contractors a directional view of the supplies needed and the timeframe of production. The information provided from Tesla is said to be much lighter on details compared to other manufacturer’s RFIs.
The report notes that this usually happens about two to two and half years before production begins. Given Tesla’s November 2019 target, that pegs the timeframe at just about one and a half years. One of the sources said the move is “aggressive, but possible.”
It’s not entirely clear how many Model Y units Elon Musk hopes to build on a weekly basis upon this production date. Two sources close to the situation estimated Tesla’s end goal is to build 500,000 Model Ys in the United States at some point, but that seems unlikely. That’s the same number of cars Tesla aims to build this year alone.
An exact year was not mentioned of the 500,000 yearly production goal for the Model Y, which could easily mean 2020 or possibly 2021—a much more achievable timeframe.
That will be easier said than done. The news of the Model Y production start date comes amidst the Model 3’s production woes. Tesla has attempted all kinds of maneuvers to stabilize production—from skipping pre-production testing phase to shutting down production for five days in February—but the issues still persist.
A recent report revealed Tesla manufactured over 2,000 Model 3s during the last seven days of March. That’s a still a ways away from its stated goal of 5,000. Building the Model Y on the existing Model 3 line may help alleviate some production questions that will undoubtedly surround the compact electric SUV.
The way the Model 3 production problems are handled moving forward will play a large role in Tesla’s November 2019 production goal for the Model Y.