Tesla CEO and founder Elon Musk expects to reach an annual production rate of half a million for the Model 3 version of the company’s electric vehicle range later this year, and predicts that the upcoming all-electric SUV, the Model Y, could be twice as popular as its current best-selling electric sedan.
Speaking during the Tesla Q4 earnings call earnings call on Thursday morning (Australian time), Musk spoke about the highly anticipated all-electric SUV.
“I expect the demand for the Model Y will be maybe 50% higher than the Model 3,” Musk said, adding that he saw annual demand for the existing Model 3 at around 700,000 to 800,000 units a year, and maybe as low as 500,000 if a recession emerges.
“It could be even double. The mid-size SUV segment is worldwide the most popular type of vehicle, so we will probably see higher volume of Y than 3.”
If Musk is right, the success of the Model Y will represent a successful next stage for the EV maker, which still has its sights set quite firmly on its goal of upturning the automotive world to reduce carbon emission levels irrevocably.
Musk noted that after a year that was both challenging, and its most successful, Tesla had grabbed 80 per cent of the EV market in the US, with the Model 3 being the most successful premium car of any type. “I think that’s not bad,” he said.