Category Archives: Model Y

Tesla brings love to an unloved segment

First sedan on Earth

See? Even the very first sedan drivers were miserable.

The word “sedan” is a variant of “seat,” and it traces back to that hand-carried thing in the picture. It had some pretty humble specs.

  • HP — almost
  • Torque — grounds for termination
  • Powerplant — dual motor
  • Turing circle — four-wheel steering, so pretty good
  • Acceleration — yes
  • Drag coefficient — moot due to velocity deficit
  • Suspension — height-adjustable, independent, lateral arms
  • Fuel type — pasta e fagioli and vino mixture
  • Road-holding, lateral Gs — performance rubber a must
  • Exhaust — dual

Skipping ahead a bit, the sedan evolved into a mainstay of automotive transportation. But now Ford says there’s an unmistakable change in the “silhouette” of the typical car, and so it’s ditching sedans entirely in the next few years. Fiat-Chrysler scrapped its Dart and 200 a few years back. It was a bold call.

Here’s a “then and now” of parking lots. Draw your own conclusions about whether the silhouette is really changing:

 

Then

 

 

 

Now

 

 

Actually, never mind your conclusions. It’s obvious that non-sedans are taking over. And remaining sedans are getting taller under peer pressure.

What does this have to do with Tesla? This is the wrong time for the debutante Model 3 to don its evening gown and make its appearance atop the ballroom staircase. It has a trunk? Ewwww! It should be pelted with tomatoes. And yet it’s hailed as the iPhone of cars. People wait in line to see it. It’s devouring market share from premium brands and unwashed brands alike. Frugal people who planned to hang onto their decade-old Civics for another decade are suddenly throwing in the towel and spending much more than they ever thought they’d spend on a car — just to have this sedan.

What does this mean? Three things:

  1. Tesla has built a very strong brand. Strong enough to violate trends.
  2. Lots of people can get by just fine with a sedan, regardless of their flimsy rationale to drive anything but a sedan. “Gotta haul people and cargo, and gotta handle all kinds of terrain.” Bullshit. When gas prices spike, suddenly a Corolla suits them just fine. Their adventurous lifestyle fits in a duffel bag. A really compelling sedan is having the same sobering effect, forcing people to re-think what they really need.
  3. Model Y won’t have to overcome a trend. A headwind will become a tailwind. TeslaMondo thinks Model Y will eventually become a serious rival to Toyota’s Recreational Activity Vehicle with Four Wheel Drive and Honda’s Compact Recreational Vehicle, also known as Comfortable Runabout Vehicle, even with Model Y’s higher price tag and profit margin.
Tagged ,

Why not start Model Y pre-orders?

Model X reservations article TeslaMondo

Yes, people started lining up for Model X in 2012. They didn’t begrudge Tesla a whole lot for the long wait, did they?

Too early, you say? Well, let’s see. Model X pre-orders began in February of 2012. Meaningful volume production began four years later, much longer than expected. This time around, a four-year incubation period would actually be expected, true? With Model III about to launch two years ahead of its original forecast, Tesla is proving to be a fast learner. Those four years might really become three.

Remember the erstwhile Tesla resale guarantee? Tesla could offer a similar guarantee to Model III buyers: If you turn it in for a Model Y in _________ years, you’ll get at least __________ trade-in value toward a Model Y assuming __________ miles on the odometer and wear/tear under ______________ dollars.

This would keep today’s Model III reservation holders from defecting to the Model Y queue. The III would become an early reservation for a Model Y. A nutty, slapdash idea? Probably, but don’t forget which website you’re reading.

Here’s a Model Y rendering leaked directly from a source at Tesla.

Tesla Model Y rendering TeslaMondo

But seriously, Tesla now has such brand cachet that anything will trigger $1,000 deposits en masse. So Y not open the spigot?

Tagged ,

The Riddler drops two hints

Musk on Twitter:

Musk Tweets III and Y, falcon doors TeslaMondo

The Bat Computer says the III is the sedan, and the “more adventurous” version is the Y, a crossover, with falcon wings. Hey, the R/D is already done for those wild n’ crazy doors. Why not get more mileage out of the technology? Yes, very clever Mr. Riddler. The S and X will each have a younger sibling, so to speak, and you will finally complete the word S-E-X-Y in your product lineup — all part of your twisted sense of humor.

So the Y will have three rows, eh, to justify the falcon doors? Or maybe that’s what you want us to think . . .

Riddler TeslaMondo

Tagged ,