Tesla Model Y demand might be weak judging by automaker's latest move

The automaker added the Model Y SUV to its referral program, which it often uses to boost demand for various cars.

Sean Szymkowski
It all started with Gran Turismo. From those early PlayStation days, Sean was drawn to anything with four wheels. Prior to joining the Roadshow team, he was a freelance contributor for Motor Authority, The Car Connection and Green Car Reports. As for what's in the garage, Sean owns a 2016 Chevrolet SS, and yes, it has Holden badges.
Sean Szymkowski
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Is the Model Y just not piquing interest like the Model 3?


It's possible Tesla faces weaker than expected demand for the Model Y SUV as the company now includes the vehicle in its referral program.

Electrek reported Tuesday on the Model Y's inclusion in the program, which Tesla has defined crystal clear in the past: the company adds vehicles or products to the referral program to boost demand. Seeing the Model Y show up so soon after production and deliveries started is, frankly, kind of surprising.

The whole concept is to reward the Tesla owner referring a new buyer and each receives 1,000 miles worth of free Supercharger station use. Then, hopefully, enough current owners flip new buyers into Teslas to help create more demand.

In contrast to the Model Y's very early addition to the referral program, the Model 3 didn't show up until one year after deliveries started, according to the website. The electric sedan was also limited to the most expensive version, too. Reportedly, Tesla also sped up current Model Y delivery timelines, which could also signal a lack of demand.

Tesla did not immediately return Roadshow's request for comment.

What doesn't add up is an alleged leaked email from CEO Elon Musk that surfaced Monday evening. In the email, Musk told employees it was extremely important to ramp up Model Y production and reduce errors. The wording hinted at a lack of supply for the electric SUV. Or, perhaps Tesla just wants to sell as many Model Ys as it can.

Tesla pulls the wraps off its Model Y crossover SUV

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Watch this: Elon Musk unveils the Tesla Model Y