Word 'round the campfire is that despite a planned unveiling on March 14,
executives still aren't sure where the company will build its Model Y SUV. This has us concerned that we could be looking at another Model 3-like production slog, but according to a report by CNBC published Thursday, that might not be the worst of things to come.
See, in a letter to investors, Tesla stated that it planned to begin tooling up and readying itself for building the Model Y, with production at scale scheduled for the end of next year. We're already a quarter of the way into 2019, and if Tesla is still waffling between building Model Y at Gigafactory 1 or finding room in Fremont, we suspect that the 2020 goal might be overly ambitious.
Now, to be fair to Tesla, Model Y is supposed to share the bulk of its components with
. Since the company is turning out Model 3s in substantial numbers, and since Tesla isn't known for frequently changing its vehicles' hardware, there would, in theory, be substantially less guesswork in building a Model Y line.
Still, we've heard the whole spiel about models sharing parts before. Models S and X were supposed to have a great deal of parts commonality, but once the X hit production, it shared only a fraction of its bits with the S, again leading to complications and delays in production.
At the same time, Tesla is going through a period of cutting its headcount. The brand is readying itself to cut the jobs of the majority of its retail sales staff. This is in addition to a 16 percent reduction in staff since June of 2018. Musk has said that some of the sales layoffs would be offset by increased service hiring, but it's not yet clear by how much.
Basically, it seems like Tesla is once again in a big ol' tizzy, trying to do everything at once with fewer people, and it's not clear how well it's going to work. Couple that with a downward trend in stock prices since the brand announced its $35,000 Model 3, and the future could be bumpy for the big T.
Tesla representatives declined to comment on the matter.
Update, at 2:20 p.m.: Added that Tesla representatives declined to comment.