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Here's Why Tesla (TSLA) Stock Popped Today

Ryan McQueeney

Shares of Tesla TSLA gained more than 4.2% in afternoon trading Tuesday after a speculative report from a British car publication fueled rumors that the electric vehicle manufacturer is set to launch a new compact SUV.

This new speculation was caused by a story published by Autocar detailing the Model Y, a rumored compact crossover that is reportedly based on the same platform as Tesla’s new affordable Model 3. According to the report, the Model Y is “expected to be slightly more expensive” than the Model 3.

Citing the popularity of crossovers throughout the U.S, the story claims that “the compact Model Y could turn out to be Tesla’s best seller.” The website even generated their own mockup of what the new car would look like, and its sleek design cannot be overstated.

The only problem is that the report seems to be based on absolutely no new information. In his updated “Master Plan” published on Tesla’s own website this past summer, Elon Musk detailed his goal to “address most of the consumer market” with the Model 3, as well as “a future compact SUV and a new kind of pickup truck.”

So we’ve already known that a compact SUV is in Tesla’s future. Throw in an obvious observation that the new car will probably cost more than the Model 3, speculate that it will be a bestseller based on the popularity of similar vehicles, and boom—you’ve got yourself a story that looks powerful enough to move this stock.

In reality, if the Model Y starts production in late 2018 as Autocar suggests, it will be behind several other comparable compact electric SUVs.

And that’s not even mentioning the fact that Musk’s brief mention of a compact SUV was sandwiched in between his plans to shake up the energy storage market and his aspirations to revolutionize trucking and public transportation.

In the new Master Plan, Musk said that, outside of consumer vehicles, “there are two other types of electric vehicle needed: heavy-duty trucks and high passenger-density urban transport.”

He also claimed that both are in the early stages of development and should be ready to be unveiled in 2017.

So maybe that’s what we should be looking forward to next?

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