It looks like Tesla’s flagship Model S and Model X are finally coming back to China as the electric vehicles now appear on an updated list of cars receiving tax exemptions.
Tesla is different from most other automakers in many ways, and the way it handles model updates is no exception.
Instead of taking the usual model-year route, Tesla introduces changes to its production vehicles whenever they are ready.
Every now and again, the automaker will package more changes together at once and create what has been referred to as a “design refresh,” but those can come at any time. Tesla doesn’t wait for a model-year update.
These design refreshes are rarely significant enough to shut down production for a long period of time. However, in early 2021, Tesla did shut down Model S and Model X production for its biggest design refresh to date, and the impact is still felt today almost two years later.
The update took way longer than anticipated, and Tesla was without Model S production for months and didn’t deliver any new Model Xs for almost a year.
Now almost two years since starting the refresh, production is finally getting back to pre-design refresh levels.
No markets outside of North America have received any new Model S or Model X vehicles since the refresh, but that’s finally about to change.
We recently reported that finally Tesla started taking new Model S and Model X orders in Europe with deliveries expected by the end of the year.
Now we learn that China is also finally getting some new Model S and Model X vehicles.
The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) released its update “Catalogue of New Energy Vehicle Models Exempted from Vehicle Purchase Tax,” and it included new Model S and Model X variants.
Interestingly, it’s the first indicator that Tesla is bringing back Model S and Model X in China since the automaker has yet to update its Chinese online configurator like it did in Europe.
Furthermore, a Tesla Model S Plaid has been spotted in China for the first time:
Since Tesla is now self-sufficient in China for Model 3 and Model Y with production at Gigafactory Shanghai, the return of Model S and Model X should almost mark the return of Tesla exporting US cars to China.
There’s still no word on the timing for deliveries.
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