Franz von Holzhausen, the automobile designer of Tesla Motors, Inc. (TSLA) revealed in an interview with Autobild, that the company’s third-generation Model E car is expected to be unveiled in the 2015 Detroit Auto Show. However, deliveries of the car are anticipated to start in 2016–2017.
This time gap in unveiling and selling is a common practice for Tesla. The company had revealed the first version of Model S in 2011 and the final version in early 2012, although the deliveries didn’t start before the first quarter of 2013.
The launch of Tesla’s third-generation electric car is highly awaited as it is expected to cost half as much as Model S and is meant to serve the mass market. The estimated range of the new car is over 200 miles, solely on the basis of electric charging. It is well known that while Tesla currently produces expensive electric cars for the luxury market, the company’s ultimate aim is to make electric cars accessible to the masses by manufacturing an affordable family car.
Holzhausen revealed that the Model E car will not be smaller than Model S, as expected earlier. He also announced that the Model X, which will hit the market next year, is almost ready with only some finishing touches left to be done. Further, he clarified that the recent fires have not affected the designers’ approach to making the car as their goal has always been to build safe cars.
Apart from Model E, Tesla is also developing an autopilot system, which will allow its cars to be 90% self-driven. The company is aiming to launch the auto-pilot system in 2016, though a completely self-driven car will take much longer to develop.
Moreover, in Nov 2013, Tesla announced that it is considering developing an electric pickup truck within five years. The truck will be modeled after Ford Motor Co.’s (F) best-selling F-150 pickup. It is expected that the company will launch the pickup truck after introducing Model X and Model E.
Tesla currently has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Better-ranked automobile stocks include Honda Motor Co., Ltd. (HMC), Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd. (FUJHY) and Ford. All these stocks carry a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).