Tesla's Model Y hasn't begun production, but CEO Elon Musk predicts it will easily outsell the electric automaker's first three vehicles.
"I've actually recently driven the Model Y release candidate and I think it's going to be an amazing product and be very well received," the billionaire said on a conference call following Tesla's breakout earnings on Wednesday evening. "I think, it's quite likely to — this is just my opinion, but I think it will outsell S, X and 3 combined."
Musk also told investors and analysts on the call that Tesla has moved its production plans for the crossover forward from the fall of 2020 to the summer.
"There may be some room for improvement there, but we're confident about summer 2020," he said, noting later that this timeline referred to "volume production" of 1,000 units per week.
The new model, which was unveiled in March 2019 at the company's annual meeting, could also help Tesla sustain its return to profitability with higher average selling prices (ASPs) than the Model 3, CFO Zach Kirkhorn said on the call.
Shares of Tesla surged as much as 20% overnight, pointing to the stock's biggest gain in six years when markets open Thursday morning if the gains hold.
"There was plenty for the bulls to feed on," Christopher Eberle, an analyst at Nomura Instinet, said in a note to clients following the earnings report, citing the pull-forward of Model Y production, China factory timeline, and plans to release a new version of Tesla's solar roof. The firm has a neutral rating on the stock.
"We remain constructive on Tesla's longer-term opportunity given the company's leadership in both hardware and software development and integration," he said.
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