Tesla said Wednesday that it would begin delivering its new electric SUV ahead of schedule this year as the automaker continues to enjoy a rapid rise in its stock price.
Tesla it has already begun installing equipment to manufacture the Model Y and expects to begin deliveries by the end of the first quarter. CEO Elon Musk had previously predicted the Model Y would arrive in fall 2020.
The Model Y is a slightly larger vehicle than the company’s most popular and affordable vehicle, the Model 3 compact car. The vehicles share the same basic architecture, but the Model Y will cost slightly more and come with an optional third row.
The company also said it has increased the battery range of the all-wheel-drive version of the Model Y from 280 miles to 315.
Tesla reported its second straight quarterly profit with net income of $105 million for the fourth quarter. That came after a surprise $143 million profit in the third quarter, which helped spark a tremendous rally in the company’s stock price.
“2019 was a turning point for Tesla,” the automaker said in its earnings report.
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Tesla investors liked what they saw Wednesday. The company’s stock continued its feverish rally, rising 6.5% in after-hours trading to $618.63. The stock has more than tripled in value since early June and more than doubled since late October.
For the fourth quarter, Tesla had revenue of $7.38 billion in revenue, up 2% compared with the same period in 2018.
Investors are betting that the company will post tremendous growth in the future, starting with the Model Y’s release later this year and the recent launch of vehicle production at the company’s new plant in Shanghai.
Tesla is also planning to build a plant in Berlin and has revealed other new products to come, including an electric semi-truck and an electric pickup called the Cybertruck.
In the fourth quarter, Tesla sold 92,620 units of its most popular and affordable vehicle, the Model 3, which was up 46% from a year earlier.
Sales of the ultra-luxury Model S sedan and Model X SUV fell 29% to 18,475.
Follow USA TODAY reporter Nathan Bomey on Twitter @NathanBomey.