In what we can only describe as a bomb of a presentation, Elon Musk mumbled his way through Thursday's planned Model Y reveal that started fifteen minutes late and ended with the reveal of a vehicle that looked suspiciously like the Model 3. The Model Y, to put it lightly, seemed to be met with a tepid reception, not just from the crowd at the event, but also by Musk himself, who seemed none too enthused to be introducing it.
Musk spent the first 45 minutes of the event stumbling through what appeared to be unprepared remarks, briefly reviewing all of the models and factories that Tesla has produced and built since its inception as a company. The first three quarters of the presentation seemed uneasy and melancholy to a degree, with Musk talking fondly about all of the work the company has done over the last decade.
There were the normal Musk promises: Shanghai factory would be done by the end of the year, Superchargers are coming in Saskatchewan and Kazakhstan and a Tesla would be driving on Mars in 10 years. At one point, Musk promised that 12 months from now, Tesla will have produced a total of 1 million cars, implying that Tesla will produce about 450,000 vehicles over the next year (1 million minus the 550k he said the company had produced to date), yet another stab at production guidance, which has been inconsistent - to say the least - over the last few months.
At one point, Musk even made a joke about the company being called a fraud. "You can drive that fraud," he retorted.
"You can drive that fraud" --what a line— Dana Hull (@danahull) March 15, 2019
Musk also made several uncomfortable jokes during the presentation, playing off the fact that the Models S, 3, and X incidentally spell out the word "sex". Like a junior high student at the cafeteria lunch table, Musk launched into backhanded criticisms of the traditional auto industry, even at one point saying "Ford killed sex". The crowd laughed, Twitter was slightly more mystified.
Ford killed sex— KingKublai5 (@KKublai5) March 15, 2019
This guy is definitely on drugs$TSLA
Tesla Model Y launch event, favorite quotes:— Mike Brinker (@GreenDotMike) March 15, 2019
1. “The Gigafactory produces more lithium-ion than the rest of the world combined”
2. “In ten years we will be driving a Tesla on mars”
3. “Ford killed sex”@tesla #ModelY pic.twitter.com/gpaaVjLIlS
When the time came for the big reveal, everybody at the presentation, including Musk himself and the crowd seemed completely underwhelmed. Musk almost poignantly asked for the Model Y to be revealed and what rolled out onto the stage looked suspiciously like a Model 3. Edmunds immediately said the Model Y was "not a true SUV", stating that it was instead a "slightly raised Model 3".
The live "reveal" was hardly met with any applause as the confusion and disappointment from the audience in the room was palpable. Musk himself did not seem enthused by the reveal either. Twitter was also, skeptical, to say the least.
I'm still watching the $TSLA Model Y reveal on YouTube. This guy is live streaming it all from his phone. I heard the crowd complaining that it looked too much like the 3 and angrily wondering how you could fit a 7th person in there. The faithful are losing faith.— Michael King, $TSLAQ Chairman (@WallStCritic) March 15, 2019
“It has the functionality of an SUV, but it rides like a sports car,” Musk forced out during the reveal.
Here's the lineup the company promised:
Shortly after the vehicle rolled out, the audience began to shout out questions and comments to Musk and there appeared to be a bit of unease in the room. Musk described the specifications of the Model Y, which is supposed to be available starting in the fall of 2020 and hurriedly exited the stage.
In the same disappointing fashion, those who tried to logon to the company website to order the Model Y, post-reveal, found that it had crashed.
Model Y order page is down. Good sign! pic.twitter.com/YoT6dTPavj— John Allan (@JohnFAllan) March 15, 2019
Model Y order link about as rehearsed as that presentation pic.twitter.com/RZPTqTinXT— Quoth the Raven (@QTRResearch) March 15, 2019
You can watch the full video of the Model Y reveal, unedited and from the crowd's perspective, below (starts about 1hr 5min in).