In a talk in Germany last night, Elon estimated that the Gen III clay model will be revealed in the summer of 2014 and a prototype shown six months later in Jan 2015.
14 months. Feels like forever.
I really hope that he can pull it off, but realistically I am a little skeptical. The model X is already a year behind the original prediction. It now sounds like the deliveries of Signature Model X will be lucky to start about this time next year or a little later.
I think they can have a prototype GEN III in 2015, but that would put production some time into late 2017 or more likely into 2018... The logistics of producing the GEN III will be an order of magnitude above that of the Model S and X combined...
Tesla has done what most people would have considered impossible three years ago with the Model S, so if anyone can do to it would be Tesla...
I think the prototype to delivery window will not be extended. They learned an awful lot bringing the Model S into production. They will learn a little more bringing the X out. By the time Model E prototype comes around they will be well versed.
My current thinking is that it could be a mistake to even talk about or move up the launch date of the Gen3 car because that car will strongly cannibalize S and X sales which are higher margin products.
As long as Tesla is supply constrained, they should ensure that the factories are filled with their highest margin products. Only when they have fully saturated the entire world market with Model S's and X's should they even begin to talk about or roll out the Gen3 and this should be years away from now.
Having said that, they should be putting all their funds back into scaling up all forms of production to scale up to much higher S and X volumes as fast as possible. Truly large scale efficient production to exploit the market opportunity should be their primary focus.
Max; Disagree completely. The whole point of making the S & X is to establish enough momentum to make the Gen3. It will sell at 10X the volume of the others, by design. Margins will be as similar as possible in % terms -- but less per car, of course.
Brian; Your assumption of equal margins for gen3 is optimistic given its price point is 50% lower. Yes, Gen3 will be a big volumes but even Apple found out that if you talk about a new product coming out sooner rather than later, your buyers will quit buying the existing product and wait for the new one. So at a certain unknown point in closeness to the Gen 3 launch date (1 year, 6 months, 18 months), customers will begin choosing a Gen3 over an S or X simply because of 3 reasons. 1. Gen3 will undoubtably be a better value to the consumer. Half the price but most all of the gas free benefits of an S.
2. This is especially true for the main tranch of middle class buyers who are currently stretching their finances a little to finance or buy an S and would jump to a Gen3 quickly if they knew it was launching soon.
3 It's the newest and thus latest and greatest to have.
Again, this is strategy we are talking here to always keep the fabs full with the highest margin products. My back of the envelope strategy would be for Tesla to have 3 factories, US, Europe and China all up and running first. Then, once you have those factories cranking out S's and X's, you give the public a close launch date and quickly ramp up the mass volume Gen3.
In one of Tesla's quarterly conference calls, Elon said he would be willing to reduce the margin in order to get the right price point. Remember, his objective with the roadster, the S, and the X is to get sufficient money to fund the Gen III and make electric cars mainstream.
Sorry, he was willing to reduce the margin on the Gen III.
Yes, Gen3 and mainstream is Elon's goal. But I'm guessing that the worldwide demand for the Model S and Model X is turning out to be MUCH MUCH HIGHER than even Elon imagined and I'm hoping that he and Tesla will make the right decision to milk this very strong demand for all its worth which means until they get the fab(s) at a much higher capacity, there's really no rush to steal assembly line slots to release a car that has much lower margins other than to be a nice guy and help the planet. I hope a Tesla exec reads this thread and brings it up in some executive meetings.
Max; You assume short-term profit maximization is the goal. Elon's playing a long game, and getting 10X as many GenIIIs on the road as GenIIs is part of it. Maximizing penetration of EVs is the name of the game.
And new lines are going to make the E, not "slots" in the existing ones. Lotsa space in Fremont, and new factories are being rumored.
I expect the Tesla execs are way past the issues you want them to revisit.
It is likely that Tesla will at some point be putting in thousands of swapping stations or chargers that will not be free to. What is the alternative? Obviously there must be a bunch of Teslas to use them if they are to make any money off of these and justify the expense, even if it is in partnership with other companies.
We know Tesla is interested in building a wide variety of vehicles and in volume. Musk wants an electric transportation system and is not content to sell a relatively small number of expensive cars.
The Superchargers are a great advertisement for the brand, but will only serve the small fraction of Teslas that are on long trips. Most charging will at some point be local and not for free.
I think that the battery swap was more to prove a point than to actually be deployed. It was to remove that last of the whining points (not talking points) of Ev's.
The fast charging is likely to get down to 15 minutes for 200 miles well before the battery swaps could be deployed. (Just my guess of course) So, I just do not see the need for it...
Hoping that Gen3 come out very soon. Really want a Tesla but can't afford the Model S right now.
Guess its coming sooner than later !
That will be the debut of the prototype. I wouldn't expect it to be for sale until 2017.
You should be able to pick up a Model S used for a good price before then!
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