Chinese Media Reports Reveal Info On Tesla Model Y Debut


It appears the Tesla Model Y may be unveiled at the 2019 Shanghai Auto Show.

According to various informed sources in China, the Tesla Model Y could be revealed to the world as soon as April 16, 2019. A Chinese media outlet first reported the news, which it claims to have gleaned from people “in the know.” Of course, we can’t be sure that this information is accurate, but it would make perfect sense since Tesla is building a Gigafactory in China and plans to manufacture the Model Y there (for the Chinese market), as well as at its primary Gigafactory in Sparks, Nevada (for all other markets).

The report went on to say that the sources learned the Tesla Semi will be “unveiled” in the U.S. prior to the end of this year. However, the semi has already been unveiled. Perhaps there was a translation issue and the parties were suggesting that the all-electric semi will launch by the end of the year? Or, maybe the official production version will debut and Tesla will share more of the missing details? The sources could have actually been referring to the Tesla electric pickup truck.

Finally, the informant shared that Tesla has plans to update or replace its existing lineup in 2020, after the Model Y arrives. Again, strange and likely translated incorrectly, since a “refresh” of sorts makes more sense.

Tesla plans to begin manufacturing the Model Y at its U.S. Gigafactory toward the end of 2020 and ramp up production to some 2,000 vehicles per week shortly thereafter. Later in the same year, the automaker hopes to have a Model Y production line up and running at the upcoming Gigafactory 3 in Shanghai.

CEO Elon Musk has never publicized a date for the Model Y reveal, but he jokingly said on Twitter saying that March 15th sounded good:

Sources: Evzhidao via EVSpecifications

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76 Comments on "Chinese Media Reports Reveal Info On Tesla Model Y Debut"

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Well I sure hope they offer leases on Model 3 soon.

I read in a newspaper that it might happen between the summer and the end of the year. Why don’t a normal leasing company start to leasing out Model 3 ? – that way it would not affect the financials for Tesla. Tesla want to be in charge?
The quicker Tesla can max out production capasity for the Model 3, the better. If other companies have to do the leasing job, so be it.

I think leasing companies don’t just do it on their own because they want the manufacturer to take part of the risk. The risk is in the value of the car at the end of the lease and the vehicle will be returned to the place where it was purchased to be sold as used. The lease company does not want to take possession of the car and be responsible to re-sell it.

Yes. Independent 3rd parties need confidence the Model 3 will hold it’s value. They have 2-3 year resale value data to give them that confidence. Tesla used to guarantee the resale values for 3rd parties (and even individual buyers). But they had to account for those sales as leases, anyway, which was a mess. So they might as well just lease them directly.

Ah, thank you Doggy. I was wondering why third party lenders seemed reluctant to offer leases for the Model 3, when they seemed eager to do so for the Model S before Tesla started arranging for leases.

Yeah, it certainly makes sense that the difference is that Tesla no longer guarantees resale value… or thinks that is necessary.

My theory is Model Y will be a Chinese export only.

Tesla has already stated (repeatedly) that the Chinese production will be for local markets only.

I really think, Europe will be getting chinese Teslas soon because the orange in chief will tax European cars since the are a “threat to the american national security”.
The European counterstrike will of course hit Tesla hard.

The Orange One’s occupation of the White House should be just about over (even if it’s not ended prematurely, as I hope) by the time the Shanghai Gigafactory starts actually assembling Model 3’s in significant quantities. So no, ain’t gonna happen.

The European counterstrike targets have already been announced. Tesla/cars generally not on them. Europe imports very few cars from US makers, many from German plants in the US. They are not going to tax them.
The targets are very political, targeted on Trump and his supporters districts, and industries they favour..

That will be motorcycles from a famous US brand (no, not OCC) , some of the famous high alcoholic drinks and a lot of stuff from supersubsidized US farmers.

These days, every thing seems to be a threat to the “american national security”. Sometimes, and more and more, seeing things from Europe here, the real threat for american national security, and thus for the security of the world, seems to be the “guy” at the White House…Sad times…

Do you have a basis for this, or did it simply waft out of your mind?

..and a fascinating theory it is;)

So…very little firm info. I understand that you need to demonstrate that you are keeping abreast of ‘breaking news’ though.

Could be possible. The Semi only had it’s first unveil. So there could be many more in the future.

The 2020 update, or replace could be a misunderstanding. Could be that the person meant a refresh, but worded it wrong, or didn’t find the right word (or it got translated wrong). A refresh is something like an update, who knows if there is even a difference in Chinese.m

Model Y unveil in April also makes sense. But I guess June 23rd would also sound reasonable, or March 18th.

Tesla Semi body production would have to be outsourced surely? I know they will use the Model 3 motors and Panasonic will make the battery, but does Fremont or GF1 have the space and expertise to build trucks?

GF1 can be extended… a lot! Fremont is chaos, just look at an aerial foto.

GF1 is almost certain to be where any new manufacturing goes; as you say it has a lot of room for expansion and Fremont does not.. Other possible options include buying a plant from GM, the Lanthrop building, GF2, or constructing a whole new factory. None of those seem likely right now, so GF1 is it, for the time being at least.

The downside of extending GF1 is that they’ve already maxed out the local recruitment pool in the area. There are reports that they’re seriously considering building staff housing to allow them to keep expanding.

The truth is, they’re probably in talks with several states/cities including Nevada, asking “what kind of incentives can you offer us if we build the Semi and/or Model Y here?” You never know, Shreveport may be willing to give them the old GM factory currently being held by Elio Motors who’s produced nothing so far…

It really is too bad that Elio does not cut a deal with Tesla in which Elio buys drivetrains from Tesla and then builds out the rest.

Yeah, Tesla seriously needs to invest in subsidized housing of some sort, even if it’s just army-style barracks for temporary housing while waiting for local construction to pick up the slack.

In fact, they needed to have started such a program some months ago, if not a year or two ago.

Fremont is in mid-construction, with building permits filed that will double the factory space from back when it was NUMMI.

I question that’s going to result in significantly increased output from the Fremont plant. Tesla already has too little parking there, and plans to put in some sort of local “roller coaster” transit system to bring workers in from further out have not been pursued.

Also, what are the local roads there like? How close is Tesla to having logistics problems with too much traffic on local roads?

But I’m willing to be told I’m wrong on this subject.

You’re wrong Pu-Pu. The “roller coaster” was for inside the Freemont factory to allow workers to quickly get to different parts of the sprawling factory in a fun way.

I see them producing Model Y there but that’s pushing it.

Tesla happens to employee a lot of skilled people so they’ll have no problem building trucks.

As a building, GF1 is only 30% complete. Plenty of room to add things.

When they switch to dry Maxwell Electrodes there will be even more space.


yeah, probably. . but truck production can be very different from car production. Depending on what they will produce of course. If the will make one single model with just battery size difference. .then it would be easy. If they plan to make a LOT of different varieties, and make a truck that they can supply to custom truck companies that will add equipment like container lifts, cranes, or fit the product for special loads.. then they need a very flexible production.. and should consider investing in i4.0 tech a lot. Since it’s their first truck, I’m sure they choose the easy solution and offer one standard model that is made to ship goods on pallets, and that’s all. That should make it possible for them to still sell a lot of trucks (probably much more then they can manufacture). I would think the truck production will be in fairly low numbers to begin with. Take no risk, and ensure profit and the possibility for another truck model. We see a slow start with electric trucks from some of the larger truck manufacturers, and I think there will be a huge market for many brands. I think we’ll see a… Read more »

A low volume production line does not need much space.

Are you talking about the Tesla Semi Truck? Well, I suppose that will be fairly low volume at first, as trucking fleets will want to try it out for a year or so before making any decision about buying in quantity.

Fremont is seriously cramped for space, which is why Tesla went to the rather desperate extent of putting partial assembly lines in tents in the parking lot. Contrariwise, Gf1 has plenty of room for expansion, which is why Tesla is now seriously talking about plans to install Model Y production lines there, and hopefully before the end of this year.

Assembly line expertise can be imported and/or shared from Fremont and/or Grohmann Engineering.

Where the Tesla Semi Truck will be made, and how it will be serviced, are questions whose answers Tesla has yet to even hint at. I still think Tesla would be smart to partner with an existing semi tractor maker for both, but of course Elon and the other top Tesla execs know far better how to run their company than I do!

I do not think that you realize how HUGE GF1 really is.
Here is Boeing’s factory that is SMALLER than GF1.

Now, this is a pix of the outside.
Notice that this has 6 lanes in it.

Here is what a lane looks like.

Now, keep in mind, that Tesla’s GF1 is BIGGER than this in terms of sq ft.

Chinese media take information from sites like this, but some things gets lost in translation. Then we translate their stories back to English, losing more things in the process, and say “look at all this new information!”

Agree. Sounds like “The Telephone Game”. Each “translation” changes and adds to the story.

My theory is that the mistranslation is Tesla pickup truck, not Tesla semi. I base this on what Elon’s said in Tweets.

if you can find the original piece in chinese, I can translate them

I’m English and I don’t understand the argument about refresh vs update regards Models S & X. What is the difference, and how do people know it will be a refresh and not an update?

After he made the “I just made that up, because the Ides of March sounded good” tweet, he followed up with another tweet: “But consider it real. We could unveil Model Y anytime from late this year to mid next year, so March 15 is about right.” But having just gone back and checked, the May 24 Model Y tweets are nowhere to be found. Go figure. Revealing an amazing Model Y next month (or April) could very well dampen demand for the Model 3. I doubt very much a Model Y reveal in China. Expect Hawthorne.

Yeah, I also doubt that Tesla will do a Reveal for the Model Y this far in advance, when they’re having to lower domestic Model 3 prices to maintain demand.

But we’ll see. Elon rarely follows my freely offered advice on these things. 😉

I think the Model 3 will be produced first at Gigafactory 3 a d then after the Model Y is manufactured in the US then China will begin manufacturing the Model Y.

During the latest Q&A with analysts, Musk said the Tesla Pickup would be unveiled this summer. I expect the Model Y will be unveiled at that same event this summer. It won’t be an early prototype like was shown at the Model 3 unveil. It’ll be an early one off a partially built assembly line – like what Musk unveiled for the Model 3 in a tweet in February 2017.

SR Model 3 likely first show at the same event?

I don’t think so. They released the All Wheel Drive, Performance, and Mid Range without anything more than a tweet and a press release. I expect the same with the standard range Model 3.

It’s kind of what Tesla should have built first. Tesla can save Model 3 sales by pricing the Model Y at $70k -90k (Performance model) but it’s going to suck the life of S and X sales.

Every time Tesla releases a new model, detractors predict that will cannibalize it’s existing models. Does that happen at other auto makers? No. Has that happened before, with the Model X or the Model 3?

No. But detractors keep regurgitating the same ol’ B.S.

If the Y was built first, before figuring out the volume production with Model 3, it could have been a bigger problem, as most people say it will have an even high demand.

Basically, walking before running, is wiser!

Tesla needed to produce very expensive cars with high profit margin to start. No one really likes the X with the gull wing mistake. The S is nice but HUGE. The Y has all the features people want, hatch back, AWD, 300+ range, ground clearance, towing.

S and X sales have been flat since Model 3 came out.

“Gull wing mistake” The couple weeks I had an X, the doors come off as the best feature, at least when compared to my Model S. Why would you call them a mistake?

I think he may mean that the complexity of the gull wing doors cost a lot of money and time to develop, at a time when Tesla was burning through a lot of dough. Also, some worry that a few years down the road, repairs to the doors will be expensive after warranty runs out. They are cool, though.

well, the problem was that the original German company really screwed things up. Tesla had to bring it in-house and re-design it from the ground up.
Now, that they have had years of experience with it, they have little issues with manufacturing of it.

Most everybody that refers to the Falcon wing doors as gull wings, never spent time with them. Nor do they have kids that they pulled in/out in bad weather. In addition, they are likely younger.

The falcon wings are great.
However, they were a manufacturing disaster.

“No one really likes the X with the gull wing mistake.”

Gosh, I’m sure that will come as a great surprise to all those Model X owners surveyed by Consumer Reports, who have given the Model X a high enough customer satisfaction rating to put it in the top 10 of all cars in multiple years. 🙄

A possibility might be an “unveiling” on the March 15th date, then following it up with an appearance at the Shanghai Motor Show a few weeks later?

Quite more likely a chain of events! “Unveiling” for Chinese people, as in, go and see, at the show!

Chinese Media is often manipulated or full of organic cow droppings…

This could be the reason why mention of Model 3 Standard Battery has disappeared from the Tesla site. There is much more demand for a very expensive Model Y compared to cheap Model 3. Tesla does not want to make the same mistake it did with Model 3, 2-3 years wait between unveiling and mass availabliy. It will be good to reveal the pick-up truck as a surprise.

I have no problem at all believing there will be another Tesla Semi Truck reveal later this year. Tesla said some months back that they would be making revisions to the prototype based on feedback from potential customers. The first version — as I said from the start, and my prediction has been vindicated — was more of a technology demonstrator or concept vehicle than a near-production prototype.

Will the Tesla Model Y be revealed at the 2019 Shanghai Auto Show? Heck I dunno, but it certainly seems possible.

As far as the claim that “Tesla has plans to update or replace its existing lineup in 2020…”, well that could just be something lost in translation for some overdue refreshes in the Model S and Model X…. which was already one of the possibilities suggested in the article. After all, switching them over to the 2170 Gigafactory cells has already been delayed for some time.

Or, of course… these rumors could have no more substance than most rumors do. But I appreciate IEVs reporting rumors even when they are nothing but that! Speculation is always fun.

Related to said speculation, my own speculation on the purchase of Maxwell systems. Everyone thinks it’s the electrodes that’s the big thing…..probably. But I think we are underestimating the ultra-capacitor stuff. Why? Let me count the ways all of which are related to the fundamental properties of a capacitor vs a battery which are highlighted in this link. Reasons for Maxwell’s ultra capacitors. (see the pros/cons table in the link) 1) Very fast charge and discharge. i.e. a low amount of stored energy but a very high power. 2) Very long life without degradation. Many many times longer than a battery. Basically can be cycled infinity times. 3) Less temperature sensitivity (high and low). 4) My understanding of the lithium batteries is that you can have low price, high energy, and high power….but not all in the same cell. i.e. there’s a bit of tradeoff. If you use cells that are of greater energy density, then you may give something up on charge rate and power output. This has led to applications already in place which are all in Tesla’s wheelhouse. They include…. 1. Mazda uses ultra capacitors on its i-eloop mild hybrid system. The ultra capacitors can charge… Read more »

*Sigh* If Tesla wanted to put a bank of capacitors / supercapacitors / ultracapactitors into their battery pack, they would already be doing so. They didn’t need to buy Maxwell for that.

Other EV makers putting a bank of ultracapacitors into their EVs probably points to an inadequacy of the inverter and/or using battery cells with inadequate power. Tesla famously uses higher power cells, and their inverters are cutting-edge tech.

March 15 = Ides of March

As in beware the Ides of March.


I find it unlikely that Tesla would unveil the Model Y in any event that isn’t their own. Unless it was somehow part of their Chinese gigafactory deal or something, but still unlikely.

You are absolutely correct. I wasn’t thinking it through; there is no way that Tesla is gonna do the Model Y Reveal at an event that’s not their own.

Musk tweeted he thought March sounded good

So a whole bunch of known inaccurate information (possibly mis-translation… possibly just wrong) plus some speculation. Great article.

Fake news. Now CHINA is getting in on the trend! 😀

I think 2019 is still The Year Of The Model 3. 2020, The Year Of The Model Y. My impatience for the Y is huge. I want to see the Y show the world how to build a $40,000 – $50,000 SUV.

2018 was the year of the model 3.
Hopefully, 2019 will be Model Y.

what if the cheaper model 3 is a shooting brake with the pick-up rear suspension

Will Tesla announce the New Dry Battery cell technology for the Model Y Launch.