News stories and Tweets indicate that Elon Musk is planning several models of Tesla Motors (NASDAQ: TSLA) electric vehicles. Those models will be in addition to the ones he’s already unveiled or hinted at.
The first of these to appear will be the much anticipated Model 3 sedan, Tesla’s version of what the chaps at Top Gear would call a “reasonably-priced car.” That would be a vehicle for somebody who just wants a car for basic transportation and nothing else.
The welding and assembly lines for the Model 3 are almost ready at Tesla’s plant in Fremont, California, and gearing up for a July launch, Bloomberg reported. Tesla has a lot riding on the Model 3 because it’s a mass market car and Musk wants to churn out 5,000 a week by the end of the year.
Musk’s Anti-Marketing Strategy
That would make Tesla a real car company and present some huge marketing problems because it will now need to sell to school teachers and soccer moms. Selling a souped-up muscle car to nerds and gear heads is easy; selling a sedan to some woman who just wants a cheap and reliable ride to work or the train station will be a lot harder.
Musk is currently planning an anti-marketing strategy to promote the Model 3, Bloomberg Technology reported. That means he might have some new sales gimmick up his sleeve; perhaps Tesla stores in Walmart Supercenters and Kroger Market Places to reach middle and working class buyers.
Hints about Upcoming Tesla Models
Musk also dropped hints that several new Tesla Models might be coming in 2019 or 2020. The next definite Tesla vehicle after the Model 3 will be the Model Y, a small SUV similar to the very popular Jeep Renegade.
The Model Y will be built on a whole new platform, that platform might serve as the basis for several other models. Two obvious vehicles to put on the Model Y platform would be a small pickup truck similar to the Ford Ranger; a small work van similar to the Ford Transit Connect, and a minivan like the Dodge Grand Caravan. Another might be a next-generation Roadster sports car. The Model Y might also be used to get military or other government contracts.
Another platform would be the Tesla pickup truck Musk has talked about. The pickup chassis can serve as a platform for a work van like the Ford Transit, a large SUV similar to the Dodge Durango, and a wide variety of specialized work vehicles. It can also be used to get military contracts, as could the Tesla Semi. The Semi can serve as the platform for many specialized vehicles including fire trucks, armored cars, dump trucks, tank haulers for the army, tow trucks, motorhomes, garbage trucks, cement mixers, cranes, tank trucks and buses.
Musk’s Industrial Empire
All of this means that Tesla might soon be able to bring out a whole line of vehicles to compete with big automakers like Ford (NYSE: F), Toyota (NYSE: TM), Volkswagen (OTC: VLKF) and General Motors (NYSE: GM). Therefore Tesla is going to need a lot more production, it will either have to build new factories or start buying them.
If all that was not enough Musk is planning to open its own network of company owned body shops and 100 new retail delivery and service locations; in other words dealerships to service the Model 3. Beyond that there are plans for mobile repair trucks to service Tesla vehicles in the field.
This brings us to one obvious conclusion, Elon Musk is trying to disrupt the entire auto business and build a major industrial empire in the process. Even if he fails the results will be spectacular.