Shareholder meetings are full of business formalities as well as hints of upcoming products and discussion on the company's future. At Tesla's annual meeting, CEO Elon Musk talked about new vehicles, reflected on past challenges, and hinted at some big future announcements.
Musk teased the upcoming Model Y once again. The Y will be a crossover SUV positioned between the Model X and the Model 3. It's expected this new model will have a simpler electrical design than current vehicles in an attempt to lower the amount of wiring used and make production of the cars more automated. The target release is 2019, built on a new platform rather than using a modified Model 3 chassis.
The construction for the Model X SUV borrowed heavily from the Model S platform. This is usually done to cut out unneeded design work, but Musk now views that as a mistake. He didn't go so far as to call the Model X a failure, but he did wish they had designed "an SUV the way an SUV should be designed."
Moving to the much anticipated Model 3 that is launching this summer, Musk is planning to keep initial configurations very simple. Pre-orders will start at the end of the month, but some of the more advanced customization options will wait until the platform matures down the road. This was another lesson learned from the Model X rollout.
The last big topic covered was Tesla's work on a semi truck. This big rig is being designed with input from real truckers in hopes that the vehicle will be successful right off the bat, so they can crank up the production volume as soon as possible. Musk also hinted at another big announcement at the semi truck reveal in September. He recommended "showing up for the semi truck unveiling” because “maybe there’s a little more than we’re saying here. Maybe. Could be. Who knows?”