Tesla CEO Elon Musk has revealed that the firm is planning to launch a compact car within the next five years.
Speaking at the brand’s annual shareholder meeting, Musk also said the forthcoming Model Y SUV would go into production in early 2020.
The event featured Musk and other Tesla officials speaking about a range of topics. Here's the other news from the event.
Smaller car plans
Musk's claim that Tesla will bring a compact car to market within the next five years came responding to a question about the smaller segments the brand will expand.
Musk said: “I think we’ll do a compact car in less than five years.” No further details were given, and Musk didn’t answer another part of the question that asked whether a subcompact (B-segment) car would be made, suggesting that Tesla will not go smaller than the Volkswagen Golf — at least within the five-year timeframe.
Upcoming and existing rivals such as the Fiat 500e, Mini Electric, Renault Zoe and Honda Urban EV all occupy the B-segment EV market, although the Nissan Leaf, BMW i3 and upcoming VW ID would be more direct competitors to a C-segment Tesla, given their £27,000-plus prices.
Musk also said that the Model Y is confirmed for reveal in March 2019 and production in the first half of 2020. Musk later tweeted that 15 March would be the small SUV's official unveil date. While a second preview image of the Model Y was released, it revealed little more than that before.
Despite the fact that the Model 3 is expected to become Tesla’s best-selling car once the current step up in production is complete, the Model Y could usurp it, given SUVs’ growing dominance in the industry.
Wait times for the Model 3 are three to four months for an order placed today in the US and 15 months for right-hand-drive cars, meaning the Model 3 is unlikely to arrive on British soil before the third quarter of 2019. Meanwhile, production of the all-wheel-drive variant is imminent, so US customers who are waiting to configure their D-badged Model 3 order will receive a notification within the next week, said Musk.
Tesla Semi, Roadster Mk2 revisions
Musk also suggested revisions to the design of Tesla’s upcoming Semi lorry. Answering a Twitter question about whether European customers will get a cab-over-engine model, Musk said that an upcoming revision to the design that was revealed in late 2017 will make the truck fit in with legislations across the world. Musk claimed that the Semi’s range will be “way beyond what most people in the industry think is possible”; he has already claimed 600 miles previously.