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Elon Musk rolls out Tesla Model Y, touts the 'S3XY' lineup

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By Paul A. Eisenstein

Eleven years after founding a battery-electric car company few expected to succeed, Tesla CEO Elon Musk rolled out the upstart automaker’s latest vehicle, the Model Y, late Thursday.

Surrounded by a standing-room-only crowd at the company’s Los Angeles design center, Musk said he expects the new battery-powered SUV to quickly become the company’s best-seller. “I think we’ll do more Model Ys than S, X and 3 combined,” the South African-born executive said.

During an earnings conference call in January, Musk told industry analysts the Model Y could double sales of the carmaker’s current leader, the Model 3 sedan, reflecting the overall shift to SUVs in the American market.

The new Tesla comes at a critical time for a company that has been struggling to turn a profit. It was in the black during the second half of 2018 but has cautioned investors it will lose money again during at least the first three months of this year. Complicating matters, a wave of new competition is coming from established automakers such as Volkswagen which, this week said it plans to have more than 50 different all-electric models in production by 2025.

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