Tesla Model Y leaves market underwhelmed

Tesla shares drop 5% after launch of new compact crossover based on Model 3

Published: March 17, 2019, 9:30 PM
Updated: November 21, 2021, 2:55 PM

With its newest model, Tesla may be joining the traditional automotive establishment, producing a vehicle that ceases to innovate in order to lessen delivery delays and not hurt the company bottom line.

Just like the Model X was a crossover version of the Model S, the smaller Model Y is a crossover version of the Model 3. But whereas Model X distinguished itself with some inspirational changes to the look of the Model S(such as reworked fascias and falcon-wing rear doors), the Model Y is basically a slightly stubbier, seemingly more upright Model 3.

The reason for a model almost identical to a current sedan variant is simple — crossovers are in demand (that’s why Ford has turned its back on “cars,” in favour of “utilities), so if you want to maximize your ROI, you go with what the crowds want (a lesson the auto industry learned long ago).

Model Y will reportedly be available in Standard Mode (the entry point of the model line, reportedly around $39,000 US), Long Range ($47,000), Dual Motor All-Wheel Drive ($51,000) and Performance ($60,000) versions. Launch will reportedly start with the latter three, with the Standard version following in 2021.

For the most part, industry watchers were underwhelmed by the vehicle, as were shareholders, and Tesla shares dropped by about 5% the day after the reveal, though analysts said the timing of the model launches is most likely the reason for the drop, more than the design. Tesla shares are down over 17% since the beginning of the year (a value of $10 billion)

Due in the fall of 2020, the new crossover shares about 3-quarters of its pieces with the Model 3 (including the panoramic glass roof, an identical instrument panel and smartphone-controlled access to the interior and various vehicle systems).

Split folding rear seats expand cargo capacity to a maximum of 1,869 litres (including the front trunk), and there’s the opportunity to add a third row of seats to carry up to seven people.