Elon Musk, CEO of electric-car maker Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA), said on Twitter over the weekend that the three-row version of the company's new Model Y may be released this year instead of next. The electric-vehicle maker has been rolling out products at an accelerated pace, and an early launch would emphasize Tesla's terrific implementation of its growth plans.

Here's a closer look at the Model Y's move to market -- and why it is an important vehicle for the automaker.

A blue Model Y on a road with hills in the background

Model Y. Image source: Tesla.

Here comes Tesla's 7-seat Model Y

When Tesla first announced the Model Y, a crossover that's smaller and cheaper than its Model X SUV, the company said it would eventually release a seven-seat version of the vehicle. Today, however, the only seat configuration available for Model Y buyers is a five-seat version with two rows. But Tesla promised a seven-seat version with a third row would come to market in 2021. However, Musk said on Sunday that the third-row version will now likely launch in the fourth quarter of 2020 instead. 

Tesla's website notably still says the third-row Model Y won't come to market until 2021. So there still may be a chance that the automaker won't be able to begin deliveries of the seven-seat model this year.

A blue Tesla Model Y driving in a hilly lanscape

Model Y. Image source: Tesla.

Impressive execution

It's not particularly surprising to hear that Tesla's third-row Model Y will probably launch before the end of the year. Lately, the electric-car maker has been making rapid progress on production milestones. Indeed, the company's accelerated pace of execution is one reason the growth stock has performed so well this year.

In 2019, Tesla broke ground, built, and started production in a new factory in China in less than 12 months. More recently, the company started delivering the first Model Y vehicles about six months ahead of management's initial timeline. Finally, Tesla said in its first-quarter update the Model Y contributed to the company's profit during the period, marking the first time a new Tesla product was profitable in its first quarter of deliveries.

As 2020 progresses, investors will be watching Tesla's Model Y rollout closely. The vehicle should be the company's next big catalyst following the U.S.-built Model 3, which launched in 2017, and the China-built Model 3, brought to market at the end of 2019. Tesla management has indicated that the vehicle's annual delivery volume could grow to outpace the Model 3, which currently accounts for more than 85% of quarterly deliveries.

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