Tesla isn’t like other car makers when it comes to announcements. It loves to be secretive with its developments, before setting its stall out in the most grandiose way possible. Generating a barrage of headline grabbing, imagination snatching bombshells not too unlike how Apple grabs the spotlight has always been Tesla’s way, and it’s getting ready to do it all over again.
On 1 March, the brand will host what it’s billing as its 2023 Investor Day, which will take place at its Texas ‘Gigafactory’ and internet speculation as to what Tesla and indeed Elon Musk will be revealing is at boiling point. Musk has teased that the ‘Master Plan Part 3’ will be unveiled in full - the previous two being the manifestos from which Tesla has operated from. Here’s what we could see next, from the world’s most notorious electric car company.
Generation 3 platform
Here’s the obvious place to begin, because Tesla has already confirmed that it will be on the agenda at Investor Day. The company has long been working on what it calls its ‘generation 3’ platform, which will provide the technical basis for the next-generation Tesla line-up. Like all manufacturers, Tesla is targeting a reduction in how much it costs to make its cars that goes hand in hand in a fall in the time it takes to make a car, too. How much detail we’ll be getting on the platform remains unknown though.
Elon Musk has mentioned Tesla's new, cheaper-to-make platform on numerous occasions, so we'd expect this to be at the heart of the product update.
The $25,000 Tesla – the most affordable Tesla yet?
And, if you want to continue down the captain obvious line of enquiry, it would make sense that following the announcement of a new vehicle structure that will allow Tesla to build a cheaper car than the Model 3 in greater numbers than its electric BMW 3 Series rival, then that’s exactly what we’ll see next. Tesla’s current-generation ‘Sexy’ line-up (After the Model S, 3, X and Y) can’t go on forever, and the brand has a knack for unveiling new cars out of thin air. It revealed a successor to the Roadster in 2017 with no apparent warning, and the Cybertruck broke cover at an event in 2019, which was similar to what we’re likely to witness next week.
Elon Musk has hinted in the past of a desire for a ‘compact’ member of the Tesla line-up, so the baby Tesla that could spawn from the Generation 3 platform could be something to rival electric hatchbacks like the Volkswagen ID.3 and MG 4. The price? In an 2018 interview with YouTuber Marques Brownlee, Musk suggested that a $25,000 Tesla could be a reality 'within three years'. Well, three years was up in 2021 and we're still waiting for anything resembling even a concept car. Buyers hoping for a $25,000 car should also bear in mind that the figure actually relates to the build cost rather than the retail price. Given that Tesla's profit margins are around 15%, the final car could well be around the $30,000 mark.
Never say never, but Musk has been concentrating Tesla's efforts on building volume for Model 3 and Model Y. A cheaper car will inevitably cannibalise demand for the higher margin models, so is unlikely to be a reality before 2025.