According to Tesla CEO Elon Musk, the Tesla Model Y is not going to get a major refresh this year, although some work on the updated version (aka Juniper) is progressing. This week, we saw photos of a test vehicle.

The lack of the Model Y refresh seems to be taking a toll on Tesla's EV sales. Customers warmly welcomed the Tesla Model 3 refresh (aka Highland) and assuming a similar update to the Model Y, many might delay their purchase decision.

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The EV Osborne effect

Introducing a new, significantly improved version of a product is always challenging. If potential customers will delay their purchase while the market launch is still far away, it might harm current sales. In the industry, it's called the Osborne effect after the Osborne Computer Corporation.

Tesla does not break its sales results by individual models but gathers Model 3 and Model Y together. Deliveries of the duo in Q2 were down by 5% to 422,405. This is why we have to search for other sources to understand the situation of particular cars better.

One such source is the China Passenger Car Association (CPCA), which provides wholesale shipments of Tesla's Made-in-China (MIC) Model 3/Model Y cars.

According to the latest report, out of 71,007 units sold locally in China or exported in June, 27,056 were on the Model 3, and 43,951 were on the Model Y. The Model Y was down 30% year-over-year, dragging its year-to-date result to 256,979, down 19%. For reference, the Model 3 was down by 12% in June but is up 6% in the first half of the year.

Tesla MIC Model 3/Model Y wholesale shipments last month (YOY change):

  • Retail sales in China: 59,261 (down 20%)
  • Export: 11,746 (down 40%)
  • Total wholesale shipments: 71,007 (down 24%)

The Model Y noted the fifth consecutive year-over-year decline in volume. The closer we get to the refresh of the Model Y, the higher the decline might be. Prices can play a role here, too. In other words, the second half of the year will be challenging because the Model Y is the company's main model.

Similar numbers come from other sources. In May, the European registrations of the Model Y were down by 49% year-over-year to 11,236 units. In the U.S., the Model Y was down by almost 5% in the first four months of the year, too.

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