Tesla Model Y deliveries to start in Q1 2020?
Suppliers claim the crossover could arrive earlier than expected.
The Tesla Model Y could arrive on the market sooner than expected, according to a Deutsche Bank analyst.
The company had initially targeted fall 2020 for the start of deliveries. CEO Elon Musk later suggested the company was "confident" the launch timeline would be moved to summer 2020.
Suppliers have now told Taiwanese newspaper United Daily News that Tesla has asked for parts supplies even earlier, pointing to a launch window in the first quarter of the year -- six months ahead of schedule.
"This would mean that the Model Y could be available to the public in the first quarter of next year," Deutsche Bank wrote in a letter to investors, as quoted by CNBC. "The suppliers additionally claimed that Tesla Semi part orders are being accelerated as well, with the truck set to be released in limited quantity sometime next year."
To be fair, it is possible that Tesla still expects some suppliers to be late in ramping up parts production. If the company anticipates some will be six months late in reaching their output targets, moving the goalposts to Q1 could simply be a pressure tactic to ensure they are actually ready by the third quarter.
The automaker is believed to have implemented a unique supply-chain strategy that relies on multiple suppliers for certain parts that are likely to cause bottlenecks, hedging against production interruptions if any single supplier fails to keep up with demand.
Bringing the Model Y up to high-volume output in the first half of 2020 would be a significant achievement for Tesla after the Model S, X and 3 were all delayed by many months. Launch timing is now particularly important for the company as the Model Y will be its first vehicle that faces direct competition from established automakers. Any delays could consequently have a larger negative impact on sales if impatient prospective buyers simply look elsewhere, such as the Ford Mustang Mach-E that features similar specs and is slated for arrival in relatively low volumes by late 2020.
Tesla originally planned to build the Model Y on a new platform architecture. Musk later conceded that it would be a better idea to use the Model 3 platform to avoid any production trouble. The company has been consistently delivering the mass-market sedan in high volume, suggesting there may be minimal hiccups in ramping up Model Y output.
The Model Y is projected to be Tesla's best-selling vehicle by far, potentially eclipsing sales of the S, X and 3 combined.