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.