While most car manufacturers are quick to refresh and update the models in their lineup, automobile innovator Tesla doesn’t always play by the rules. And while there may have been some expectations of an update to Tesla’s fan favorites Model S and Model X, it seems CEO Elon Musk is more focused on what the future. And with Musk confirming there will be no refreshed Tesla models coming anytime soon, there are many wondering about Tesla’s future as well.
Refreshing Model S and Model X: Tesla’s change of heart
Many Tesla fans were excited to hear back in May 2019 that CEO Elon Musk was planning an overhaul for the Tesla Model S sedan and Model X SUV. In fact, CNBC reported that Tesla cut prices on both of their oldest models and had committed to a refresh of Model S, as well as moving both models onto one production line in order to make room for the upcoming Model Y, a crossover SUV set to be released later this year. These refreshes were said to include interior updates that would adopt the minimalist design of the Model 3, a longer-range battery, and some additional hardware updates.
But in the wake of recent events, this all appears to be a rumor. According to Jalopnik, Elon Musk tweeted that there would be “no “refreshed” Model X or Model S coming, only a series of minor ongoing changes.” So far, there seem to be no major plans for updating either of their oldest models in the lineup, aside from technological updates as they become available.
Most current refreshes of Tesla models
The last year has brought some updates and refreshes to the Tesla Model S sedan and the Model X SUV. It seems, however, that these are the last major changes we should be expecting for the foreseeable future. The largest update was last seen in 2016, when the Model S received a newer, higher-efficiency drive unit, redesigned fascia, two new wood interior trim options, and upgraded onboard charger, and a HEPA air filtration system. According to RoadShow by CNET, other recent upgrades of the Model S and X include:
- New inverter and gearbox
- An updated magnet motor in front, induction motor in rear
- A more adaptive suspension system
Is Tesla’s choice bad for business?
Not investing money in updates to both models could be smart, but it could also limit sales for Tesla, especially when considering the growth of new competition in the market. The Model X is already seeing competition from current electric crossovers like the Audi E-Tron and Mercedes-Benz EQC, while the Model S will soon be sharing the spotlight with electric sedans from BMW, Audi, Ford, and Mercedes-Benz.
According to CarSalesBase.com, sales for both models have been on a steady decline for a few years now. The Model X SUV is on par with last year’s decline, already down 325 in sales so far this year. Sales for the Model S sedan have been on an even steadier decline, down 3,270 sales already from last year. And as many car manufacturers turn to model updates and refreshes to rev up sales, the decision from Tesla to forgo these standards is raising eyebrows everywhere.
Despite these sales, however, Tesla still had a strong second quarter and there seems to be plenty of demand for Tesla’s popular Model 3. And in every respect, the Model S and X may be just right the way they are. One thing, however, is certain. With Elon Musk and Tesla seemingly on the fence about their current models, Tesla may find itself relying more and more on its future innovation and much-anticipated Model Y.
All images provided by the manufacturer unless otherwise noted.