Tesla might take advantage of its current factory shutdown to update the Model S and Model X interior and avoid the usual headaches that come with Tesla updating its vehicles.
Unlike virtually every other automaker, Tesla doesn’t rely on new model years to introduce changes and upgrades in its vehicle programs.
Instead, the automaker introduces changes to improve its vehicles throughout the year whenever they are ready to go into production.
It leads to some frictions with buyers who end up buying cars in the middle of a changeover, but Tesla could use its forced shutdown at Fremont factory, where it produces Model S and Model X, to introduce some anticipated changes.
In 2018, we reported that Tesla is planning a significant interior refresh for Model S and Model X, and we even posted some of the first design drawings:
This was coming from a consistently reliable source within Tesla. However, it was a year ahead of the planned release, and Tesla ended up having to focus on ramping up Model 3 production — delaying other projects.
Last year, CEO Elon Musk said, “Tesla is not going to ‘refresh’ Model S and Model X and instead, the automaker would only do a ‘series of minor changes.”
Tesla aims to reopen its Fremont factory on May 4 after being shut down for a month already.
I think Elon has a different definition of a “refresh” than the rest of the industry, and I don’t agree with his statement that “Tesla doesn’t do refreshes.”
While it’s true that Tesla often releases small updates on their own, they also sometimes bundle them for a bigger update that could easily be called a refresh.
The 2016 Model S design update could definitely be called a design refresh.
I think that an interior design change is still in the plans, and the factory shutdown would be perfect timing to introduce at least some of the changes. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Tesla take advantage of it.
However, Tesla might still release the changes gradually until everything is ready.
As we previously reported, Tesla wasn’t just planning to update Model S and Model X to a Model 3-like dash design with the same single vent air conditioning system that runs along the entire dash and the horizontal display.
In the documents that we reviewed in 2018, Tesla said that it has taken feedback from owners and it is going to introduce a bunch of features to either catch up with the competition in the luxury segments or differentiate the Model S and Model X interior from the Model 3.
They were talking about things like superior materials, softer seat cushions, and improved rear seats with second-row console. The document also mentioned things that Tesla ended up launching over the last year like a new wireless phone charger for Model S and Model X and updated seats.
We are going to keep an eye out for those potential updates in the coming weeks.
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