Tesla CEO Elon Musk plans to unveil the electric vehicle maker's Model Y crossover March 14, but the company hasn't decided where to build the vehicle, six current and former employees told business network CNBC.
And two suppliers said Tesla didn't contact them about Model Y production plans until Musk tweeted about the unveiling March 3 -- another signal that Model Y planning has barely begun, CNBC reported on its website Thursday.
The Model Y and an electric pickup are important to Musk's plans to turn Tesla into a full-line automaker as it struggles to turn a profit. Musk has told Wall Street the company will not turn a profit in the first quarter.
Employees told CNBC the company is considering building the Model Y at its Gigafactory battery plant in Nevada or at its vehicle assembly plant in Fremont, Calif.
A Tesla spokesman declined to update CNBC on Model Y planning and referred to a February letter to shareholders that said: "This year we will start tooling for Model Y to achieve volume production by the end of 2020, most likely at Gigafactory 1."
But current and former employees told CNBC that production at the Gigafactory probably would require a buy-in from Panasonic, which supplies Tesla's batteries and is a major partner in the Gigafactory.
When Tesla and Panasonic established their Gigafactory partnership in 2014, the agreement said the companies would have to mutually agree on how to manage "the land, building and utilities" at the plant, CNBC reported.
Employees told the network that the Gigafactory, still under construction, is not set up to handle body stamping, glass and seat installation, vehicle painting and end-of-line quality control for assembled vehicles.
CNBC also reported that Musk has warned employees about more cost cuts.
"In the coming weeks, we will be evaluating all areas of our sales and marketing organization to understand where there are operational efficiencies, and how best to support the transition to online sales, while also continuing to deliver a truly awesome and educational Tesla buying experience," Musk wrote in an e-mail to employees.
In Fremont, small items such as rivets and fasteners have been in limited supply recently, when there used to be a surplus on-site, one employee told CNBC.
At the Gigafactory, CNBC said "management has sent hourly workers home mid-shift or asked them to take personal time off or volunteer for unpaid time off in recent weeks, leaving some with less income than they planned to earn."