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Tesla shoots down leaked Model Y production schedule

The documents said it planned to produce 7,000 Model Y SUVs a week at its Gigafactory 1.
Saqib Shah, @eightiethmnt
December 4, 2018
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Tesla CEO Elon Musk has said its notorious Model 3 manufacturing issues almost bled the company dry. So it's no wonder everyone is interested in whether it's learned from past mistakes ahead of the launch of its new EV, the Model Y. The latest news suggests that as recently as October, Tesla was pursuing an aggressive production schedule for the crossover SUV.

Citing internal documents sent to staff before Tesla's last earnings call, Business Insider reports the company planned to produce 7,000 Model Y SUVs a week at its Gigafactory 1 in Nevada by December 20th, 2020. In addition, it was eyeing 5,000 Model Ys a week at its China Gigafactory by February 2021. The leaked documents also reiterate that the car will be based on the Model 3 platform. And, more interestingly, they reveal it will have a third row of seats in the back thanks to its higher frame.

Tesla also initially promised 5,000 Model 3 cars per week by the end of 2017 -- a goal it didn't achieve until July of this year. Those lofty projections, on top of additional public statements on production and Musk's statements on taking the company private, led to the SEC issuing a subpoena to the EV-maker in November. The previous month, the Wall Street Journal reported that the FBI was also probing whether Tesla "misstated" its Model 3 production capabilities and misled investors back in 2017.

In a statement, Tesla said that the "timelines and information shared here are outdated," but it didn't dispute their validity. We know from Musk that Tesla is eyeing a Model Y production start date toward the end of 2020, with plans to unveil the heavily teased EV in March, 2019. The company's filings in Shanghai previously showed that it sought to make two different cars at the planned Gigafactory there: one likely being the Model 3, meaning the other could be the Model Y.

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