Tesla Creates Confusion – Is a Model 2 Coming?


For weeks, Tesla followers and traders have had one essential query for the corporate – is there, or is there not, a cheap “Mannequin 2” coming?

Yesterday, the corporate used its first quarter earnings name to additional confuse the matter.

Tesla reported a 55% decline in revenue on yesterday’s name – its largest year-over-year earnings slide since 2012. The mark was worse than analysts had anticipated, and most predictions for the quarter have been dire.

However Tesla’s inventory worth rallied on information that the corporate would, within the phrases of CEO Elon Musk, “speed up the launch of recent fashions forward,” together with “extra inexpensive fashions.”

Musk’s that means is lower than clear.

The Deliberate/Not Deliberate $25,000 Tesla

Tesla has lengthy adopted a progress technique of transferring steadily down the market, producing inexpensive vehicles over time. It launched itself to the broad automotive market with dearer, lower-volume vehicles just like the Mannequin S luxurious sedan and Mannequin X luxurious SUV.

Know-how created for these vehicles trickled all the way down to the less-expensive Mannequin 3 sedan and Mannequin Y SUV, which offered in a lot better numbers. The Mannequin Y briefly grew to become Earth’s best-selling automobile at one level final yr.

The following step within the technique, Musk had lengthy mentioned, could be the presumed “Mannequin 2,” a small automobile with a goal worth of round $25,000. It will be constructed on a completely new platform. That worth would make it compete for the title of America’s least-expensive EV. At one level, Musk informed traders Tesla may produce 20 million vehicles a yr – greater than ten occasions then-current manufacturing ranges – as soon as it debuted.

Then, he reportedly canceled the brand new EV. Traders and observers have been surprised by a Reuters report in early April claiming that Musk had canceled plans for the Mannequin 2 in favor of a plan to supply a self-driving “robotaxi” – a enterprise model different tech corporations have struggled with.

Musk disputed the report, however additional reporting by different media shops appeared to again it up.

Ambiguous Solutions to Direct Questions

Traders headed into yesterday’s earnings name searching for particular solutions on the Mannequin 2 plan. They didn’t get them.

Musk indicated that Tesla nonetheless plans to supply extra inexpensive fashions in “early 2025 if not late this yr.” However he left questions on what “extra inexpensive fashions” may imply. He mentioned they’d “use features of the next-generation platform in addition to features of our present platforms,” as if they’d incorporate classes from Mannequin 2 analysis however share the platform that underlies the Mannequin 3 and Y.

“We’ll be capable to produce on the identical manufacturing traces as our present car lineup,” he continued. That implies the Mannequin 2 platform gained’t end in a automobile on the market to shoppers.

Callers pressed him for specifics, however he declined to offer them.

One requested for “an official announcement of the timeline for the $25,000 car.”

Musk responded by saying, “Actually, the way in which to think about Tesla is nearly solely by way of fixing autonomy and having the ability to activate that autonomy for a huge fleet.”

One other requested, “Are these like tweaks on current fashions, provided that they’re going to be operating on the identical traces? Or are these like new fashions?”

Musk replied, “I believe we’ve mentioned all we’ll on that entrance.”

That response acquired an audible “wow” from a veteran tech reporter within the viewers.

What It Could Imply – Fewer Vehicles, Extra Automation

Tesla doesn’t function a public relations division or reply to reporters’ questions. So these month-to-month earnings calls, and Musk’s statements on his social media web site X (previously Twitter) are regularly all analysts should go on in understanding Tesla technique.

More and more, a sample is rising. Musk deflects questions on future vehicles and focuses on autonomous driving know-how as a substitute.

Musk answered Mannequin 2 questions with particulars concerning the firm’s efforts to construct an autonomous cab. He promised to unveil extra particulars on a “Cybercab” in early August. He confirmed screenshots of an Uber-like app prospects may sometime use to summon a driverless Tesla.

Musk informed traders to think about the corporate as “a mix of Airbnb and Uber that means that there will probably be some variety of vehicles that Tesla owns itself and operates within the fleet.” However he additionally hinted that personal Tesla house owners may also enable their vehicles to function taxis once they weren’t utilizing them, saying, “There’ll be a bunch of vehicles the place they’re owned by the tip consumer.” 

He mentioned makes an attempt to license the corporate’s self-driving know-how to different automakers.

Tesla nonetheless reveals new vehicles, however they’re attention-getting merchandise by no means meant to promote in large numbers.

The latest new product the corporate unveiled was its Cybertruck – a dialog starter however a low-volume automobile. Its subsequent deliberate launch is the Roadster, a 2-door sports activities automobile with a reported quarter-million-dollar worth and buzzy options like optionally available rocket boosters. That’s not the form of factor that may ever promote in Mannequin-Y-style quantity. 

Tesla, he appeared to recommend, is not really an automaker. “When you worth Tesla as identical to an auto firm, you simply should — basically, it’s simply the unsuitable framework,” he mentioned.


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