We heard more than a year ago that Tesla was planning to start production on the Model Y in November 2019 and then possibly launch it in 2020. Now we have some evidence that the company could be on track with that timeline, despite the weak balance sheet and difficulties in Model 3 production. Someone saw a black Tesla Model Y driving on a road near the automaker’s headquarters in California.
Black Model Y in action
InsideEVs spotted the video of the black Tesla Model Y, which was posted on YouTube. It’s a mere three seconds long and simply shows the black Tesla Model Y driving past. Interestingly, the person who captured the video did so on the TeslaCam of a Model 3.
What’s particularly interesting about the video is that it seems to be the first one showing the Model Y actually being driven. Someone saw a blue Tesla Model Y charging over the summer, but that one wasn’t moving. It was the first time a Model Y was seen out in the wild, and there haven’t been any other sightings until the black Model Y was seen this month. Here’s the video of the vehicle:
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Most profitable Tesla vehicle?
Tesla desperately needs a profit maker, and one Seeking Alpha contributor argues that the Model Y could be exactly what the cash-strapped automaker needs. SUVs apparently represent the biggest segment of the vehicle market in the world, and the Model Y will be less expensive than the Model X. In fact, the Y shares about 75% of its parts with the Model 3, so any improvements in production should especially benefit both vehicles. Of note, even though Tesla has said the Model Y is only a little bit more expensive to produce than the Model 3, it is meaningfully more expensive at around $4,000 to $5,000 more than a comparable Model 3.
Not everyone sees such a rosy future for Tesla, however. The automaker missed consensus estimates for its third-quarter deliveries, and according to CNBC, JMP Securities analyst Joseph Osha downgraded the company’s stock. He said this is the first time since he started covering the stock that he has been worried about whether demand growth for the EV maker’s vehicles is “leveling off.”
Tesla reported a record 97,000 deliveries for the third quarter, including 79,600 Model 3 cars and 17,400 Model S sedans and Model X crossovers. Wall Street had been expecting the company to deliver 99,000 deliveries in the July-to-September period, according to CNBC. CEO Elon Musk has said that he expected Tesla to delivery 360,000 to 400,000 vehicles this year, and that range remains possible if the company delivers 105,000 vehicles during the fourth quarter.
Tesla stock plunged by about 7% in early trading.