Tesla Unveils the Model Y, Its New S.U.V., Amid Mounting Challenges – News

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Tesla on Thursday unveiled a seven-seat compact sport-utility automobile known as the Mannequin Y, in its newest effort to broaden its product vary whereas contending with issues on various fronts.

Talking on Thursday at an occasion on the firm’s design middle in Hawthorne, Calif., Elon Musk, Tesla’s chief govt, touted the brand new automobile’s efficiency and safety-focused design.

“It has the performance of an S.U.V., however it’ll experience like a sports activities automobile,” Mr. Musk mentioned. “This factor shall be actually tight in corners. And we count on will probably be the most secure midsize S.U.V. on the planet by far.”

The Mannequin Y shall be obtainable starting subsequent yr, the corporate mentioned, at costs starting from $39,000 to $60,000, relying on the mannequin, with a $2,500 deposit.

Numerous variations shall be produced in North America, Europe and China, Tesla mentioned. A protracted vary model will be capable of drive 300 miles on a single cost, it mentioned, whereas the $60,000 Efficiency mannequin can have a high pace of 150 miles per hour. The brand new automobile shall be obtainable in the USA, Canada, Mexico, China, Germany, the Netherlands and various different European international locations.

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The Mannequin Y unveiling comes as Tesla confronts gross sales challenges in Europe and China, markets it has been relying on for growth.

The corporate has additionally confronted some operational uncertainty. Two weeks in the past, Mr. Musk announced that Tesla would begin selling a long-awaited version of its Model 3 sedan priced at $35,000, $8,000 less than the cheapest current version. But he said Tesla would lose money in the first quarter, and analysts question whether Tesla can ever make money on the car at the lower price.

Tesla originally said customers would have to wait two to four weeks for delivery of the $35,000 Model 3. It now says the wait is six to eight weeks.

Sales of Tesla’s other models, the Model S luxury sedan and Model X sport-utility vehicle, have been flattening. And analysts suspect that demand for Tesla vehicles has softened since the beginning of the year, when the federal tax credit available to Tesla customers fell by half, raising the total cost for buyers. Until the end of 2018, Tesla buyers were eligible for a credit of $7,500. That fell to $3,850 on Jan. 1, essentially raising the price of Tesla cars.

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Tesla responded with a series of price cuts to lift sales. In a conference call in January, Mr. Musk said many customers could not afford the company’s cars.

To cut costs, Tesla announced it would close most of its stores around the country. Days later, it backtracked and decided to keep many of the stores, and to reopen some that had already closed, though it affirmed a shift toward online-only sales. It also reversed direction on pricing, saying it would increase prices on all its cars except the $35,000 version of the Model 3.

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There has also been renewed regulatory trouble. The Securities and Exchange Commission has asked a federal court to hold Mr. Musk in contempt for violating a settlement that he and Tesla reached with the commission last year regarding scrutiny of his statements. In a motion to the court, the S.E.C. said Mr. Musk had not sought approval from company lawyers, as required by the agreement, before making a sales prediction on Twitter that varied from previous announcements.

In the Feb. 19 tweet, Mr. Musk mentioned Tesla would make 500,000 vehicles this yr, 100,000 greater than the corporate forecast in January. Tesla’s common counsel left the corporate two days later.

Mr. Musk’s attorneys responded this week, saying that the fee was overreaching based mostly on comparable precedents, that Mr. Musk was appearing inside his discretion, and that there was nothing materials within the Twitter put up that went past data already obtainable to traders.

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