At the Tesla shareholder meeting, Elon Musk announced that Tesla vehicle owners might soon get a chance to test out Autopilot again through a free trial. One person asked whether people should discount Musk's prediction in the future given the Model 3's long delayed ramp up. Responding to a question about the smaller segments the brand will expand into, Musk said: "I think we'll do a compact vehicle in less than five years".
Musk said manufacturing will be Tesla's greatest long-term strength and predicted the company would be profitable in the third and fourth quarters.
"The biggest constraint on output is general assembly", said Musk.
Apart from assuring investors that the Model 3 line is steadily approaching its production goal, Musk also discussed what could very well be the dark horse of Tesla's ecosystem - its energy business. "Then I had a road bike until I was 17 and was nearly killed by a truck", Musk said.
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The Model 3 is Tesla's first mass-market vehicle and was created to broaden the company's customer base beyond the luxury segment.
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The news is welcome to electric bike makers, including Harley-Davidson CEO Matt Levatich, who has said the company remains on track to bring its first-ever electric bike to market in 2019. Ordered today, wait times for Model 3s with the existing configuration would be three or four months, said Musk. The vehicle starts at $35,000, but now, only the $44,000 version with a long-range battery is available.
The new teaser is once again a shadowy shot devoid of details but it does provide a glimpse of the proportions of the Model Y, which Musk said Tuesday would be revealed in March 2019 and put into production in early 2020.
Musk still thinks manufacturing will become a strength for the company in the long term, though he acknowledged this was a counter-intuitive prediction after Tesla's trying experiences over the a year ago. "I kind of say when I think it can occur, but then I'm typically optimistic about these things".