Tesla isn’t exactly known for hitting its own deadlines, but the company is apparently turning over a new leaf with the Model Y.

When Tesla announced the new crossover vehicle last year, it projected the first deliveries in the fall of 2020. Spring hasn’t even begun, yet Tesla says it is already shipping out the first Model Ys to customers—putting it a solid six months ahead of schedule.

A key part of Tesla’s strategy for the Model Y has been to share as much as possible from the Model 3. That saved Tesla from having to design the Model Y from scratch, and it also allowed the company to reuse major portions of the Model 3 manufacturing process. This strategy may explain how Tesla was able to get the Model Y to market so quickly.

Tesla was supposed to follow a similar strategy with the Model X, the company’s premium SUV released in 2015. The Model X was supposed to be a slight modification of the Model S, allowing for low development costs and a quick time to market.

But Tesla added so many bells and whistles—most notably the Model X’s fiendishly complex falcon-wing doors—that the Model X came in behind schedule and over budget. It was still a reasonably popular and successful vehicle, but it wasn’t an easy way to monetize the Model S platform as Elon Musk had hoped it would be.

This time, though, Tesla seems to be showing more discipline. The Model Y really does just look like a Model 3 with some extra height. It’s not larded up with exotic new features that add cost and complexity. This could allow Tesla to tap into the substantial market for crossover vehicles, sell a lot of cars, and make a healthy profit along the way.

As usual, Tesla is selling the more expensive—and profitable—variants of the Model Y first. Right now, the cheapest Model Y you can buy is a Long Range model that starts at $52,990. For an extra $8,000, you can get the high-end Performance model, which offers shorter 0-60 times and a higher top speed.

However, if you were hoping to get a Tesla crossover for under $40,000, as Tesla originally advertised last year, you’ll have to wait until next year when the low-end Standard Range model goes on sale.

Source: arsTechina | By Timothy B. Lee| March 16, 2020 | https://arstechnica.com/cars/2020/03/tesla-starts-delivering-model-y-months-ahead-of-schedule/

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