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Tesla Model Y to get third-row seats, 2020 production?

by Justin King

Leaked documents point to production in the US and China by 2020, though Tesla has described the information as 'outdated.'

Tesla has apparently dialed back an aggressive internal production schedule for the upcoming Model Y as a few unique design features come to light.

A leaked internal document distributed to employees ahead of the company's October earnings release and obtained by Business Insider outlines extremely ambitious production targets of 7,000 units per week at the Nevada Gigafactory and 5,000 units per week in China by early 2021, just months after the Model Y begins rolling off the assembly line in late 2020 at both factories.

Tesla responded to the report with a statement claiming "the timelines and information shared here are outdated" and the company remains focused on bringing the Model 3 to more markets.

Separate reports based on a more recent memo sent to employees by CEO Elon Musk suggest the company is still trying to sustain a Model 3 production rate of 1,000 units per day and bring costs down so the car doesn't sell at a loss when the $35,000 base model arrives on the market.

The Model Y was initially planned to be built upon an entirely new platform. After the Model 3 encountered "production hell," however, the company decided to share a common platform between both vehicles to avoid repeating the same struggle for the all-electric crossover. Musk has promised that the Model Y represents a "manufacturing revolution" that is much easier to build than the Model 3, which was billed as much simpler than the Model S and X.

Aside from the production roadmap, the latest leak highlights a few unique design characteristics that will help distinguish the Model Y from the Model 3. The high-riding model will apparently be large enough to accommodate a third seating row, while the Model 3's minimalist cockpit may be swapped for a more traditional layout with an instrument panel.

The company is expected to reveal the Model Y sometime next year.