The “baby Tesla”, perhaps Model Q, will become the best-selling car of the American manufacturer: word of Elon Musk. The platform of the new model, whose dimensions are unknown, should guarantee important margins or, at least, compensate for the higher costs associated with the recent and important increases in raw materials. The South African-born manager – whose assets were reduced by 200 billion dollars last year – has announced that the new electric architecture will cost 50% less than the one on which both the Model 3 and the Model Y are produced , which are worth 95% of the volumes.
The rumors about the platform and therefore about the development of a smaller model (probably no more than 4.3 meters in length, about forty centimeters less than the smallest Tesla, the Model 3) had been circulating for some time: Musk had confirmed Tesla’s commitment to a new, smaller platform last October during a quarterly conference call. The last, the fourth, was archived with the delivery of 405,000 machines, a level higher than the same period of 2021, but lower not only compared to analysts’ expectations (421,000 on average) and also lower than the corporate objectives, albeit unusual and significant discounts both in China and in the USA. In any case, Tesla closed 2022 with volume growth of 40% to 1.37 million units, the new record. Forecasts for the year that has just begun exceed 2 million thanks to the progressive increase in production at the sites in Berlin, Germany, and Austin, Texas.
It is precisely at the manufacturer’s new headquarters that, as Tesla made official in a note two days ago, the awaited Investor Day 2023 will be held on March 1. On that occasion the new platform destined for the next car should be presented best-selling by the American house for which there is talk of an admission price equal to the equivalent of 25,000 dollars. According to rumors, the “baby Tesla” would be developed, designed and manufactured in Shanghai, where not only the Chinese Gigafactory is located, but also the manufacturer’s first R&D center outside the United States. It is probably no coincidence that Tom Zhu, number one in China and also in sales in Asia, has been promoted to become the most senior manager after Musk. His responsibilities range from manufacturing to commercial operations including in North America and Europe.
For the assembly of the possible Model Q, a potentially very interesting car for a market like the European one, the new and modern German factory could also come into play. The plans were probable that the car would debut in 2023, but the timing (it would not be new) could not be respected. The Chinese rumors speak of three versions: basic with a single engine, long range (up to 400 km) and high performance (3.9 seconds to go from 0 to 100 per hour).