Recent comments by CEO Elon Musk have led people to believe that Tesla may soon unveil the Model Y, the automaker’s upcoming all-electric CUV.
Now the company has started posting job listings for engineers to join the new Model Y program.
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Last month, Musk said that Tesla plans to unveil the Model Y production plans in the next 3-6 months and that the company will start capital investment into the program this year. This indicates that Tesla could be aiming to start producing the vehicle within the next two years even though they have yet to unveil a prototype.
Now, the company has open positions for in ‘New Programs Engineering’ for ‘Mechanical Design Engineers’ at “multiple levels.”
The job description on their website states:
“The New Programs Engineering, Design Engineer is responsible for designing, developing, and delivering prototype level components and systems for the Tesla Model Y program as well as future Tesla product programs.”
The job is based in Hawthorne, where Tesla’s Design Studio is located. At this location, Tesla’s design and engineering teams work on prototypes of future vehicles and other products.
Last year, Musk surprised people when he said that Model Y will be built on a new platform for production in “late 2019 to 2020”. This is a change from their previous plan to build the vehicle on the Model 3 platform in order to bring it to market faster.
Musk later walked back on his latest announcement and said that Tesla will go back to its original plan in order to bring the car to market sooner.
Nonetheless, he added that the automaker plans some significant upgrades to the platform to make it easier to manufacture.
As previously reported, the Model Y is expected to be a compact utility vehicle with similar range and capacity as the Model 3. At one point, Musk said that it could feature Falcon Wing doors like the Model X.
Tesla has been reportedly working on the Model Y for almost as long as they have been working on the Model 3. The vehicle is certainly an important part of Musk’s plan to reach a production of more than 1 million vehicles per year in 2020.
The Model Y is pretty much required to be in volume production in 2020 in order for Tesla to reach that goal.
I have no doubt that if they are working on the prototype now, they could unveil it in the second half of the year with their plan for production, but then they would have to deliver on those plans in just over a year.
It’s an even shorter development cycle than for the Model 3 and we all know what was the result on the production ramp.
Granted, if the vehicle shares enough parts with the Model 3, it could be easier, but Musk almost made it sound like they would build a new factory to produce the Model Y, which makes the timeline sound almost impossible.
In short, I do think that we are going to see the Model Y soon, probably around the time that Tesla reaches a production of ~5,000 Model 3 vehicles per week since they will not want to shift the focus too much as long as they are having difficulties with the production ramp of the Model 3.
But as for the production plan of the Model Y, it still remains a mystery to me.
What do you think? Let us know in the comment section below.