Tesla Model S/X Production Shutdown – Refresh or Low Demand?

by Denis Gurskiy

Both the Model S and X have remained long time stalwarts within the electric brand and helped prove to the world that an electric future could be possible. However, their importance, and delivery numbers, have taken a back seat to their more affordable cousins the Model 3 and Y. Tesla now sells a fraction of the Model S/X that they sold before the inception of the Model 3, of course, I’m sure they are not complaining as their overall sales have increased dramatically since that time. Still, the question of how to handle the S/X lingers in many fans’ minds. With a new email revealing that Model S/X production would be shut down for a little over two weeks, the rumor mill is starting back up regarding the fate of the two electric cars.

According to emails obtained by CNBC, the Model S/X production line will be shutting down from December 24th to January 11th. The email (transcribed by CNBC is as follows):

Subject: S/X Holiday Shutdown

Hi Team,

The SX lines will be shut down for the holidays starting Dec. 24th and returning Jan. 11th.

We would like you to take the opportunity to refresh or spend time with your family, so Tesla will be giving you a full week pay for the week of Jan. 4th. There will also be limited paid opportunities for you to support other shops or volunteer for deliveries during some of this time.

Dec. 23rd – last day of work before shutdown

Dec. 24th-25th – Paid holidays*

Dec. 28th-30th – Unpaid time off (may use PTO**), support deliveries or other shops.

Dec. 31st-Jan. 1st – Paid Holiday*

Jan. 4th – 8th – Paid time off (40 hours)

Jan. 11th – return to work

If you would like to volunteer for deliveries for Dec. 26th — Dec. 31st, or support other shops from Dec. 28th – Dec. 30th, please use the survey below to let us know your preference. We will do our best to accommodate your requests, but preferences are not guaranteed and will be granted on a first come first serve basis.

A followup Tesla email was also sent out:

Subject: Vehicle Production

We are fortunate to have the high class problem of demand being quite a bit higher than production this quarter.

To ensure that we have the best possible customer outcome and earn the trust of the customers and investors who have placed their faith and hard-earned money with us, we need to increase production for the remainder of the quarter as much as possible.

I would only send this note if it really mattered.

Super appreciated,


Btw, please send me a note directly if you see ways to improve output, but feel that your voice is not being heard.

In a recent podcast episode, we pondered the reasoning for the increased delivery times as well as a price increase in Europe. At the time we did not know that a shutdown would happen, but the idea of a much-needed refresh was put out. The Tesla Model S and X have largely remained unchanged design-wise from their initial looks. In the world of vehicle refreshes happening every four to five years, the S/X, while still good looking, have grown stale to many and a refresh has been asked by many. But would Tesla do a noticeable refresh of two cars that make up 10-20% of their sales? Would they put forward the effort with so many other things happening within the company?

As nice as it would be to envision a model refresh, we also have to accept the option that this shutdown might have occurred for a multitude of other less exciting reasons, such as a lack of demand for the two cars. As always, we will have to wait and see. Personally, I would love to see any kind of refresh for the S/X whether it be exterior, interior, or both. Will the upcoming Model S Plaid really keep the same looks as the current Model S?

What do you guys think? Is a Tesla refresh coming or is everyone overthinking this? Let us know down in the comments below.

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