For the past several weeks, Tesla has been working on retooling its Fremont California factory to produce the refreshed Model S & X. And now as refreshed Model S vehicles are seen being transported by carriers (likely shipping to customers) Tesla has increased the delivery times for the vehicles.
Delivery estimates for the refreshed Tesla Model S are now 10 to 14 weeks up from an earlier 4 to 10 weeks. And delivery times for the Model X are now May-June pushed back from an earlier March time frame. As usual, Tesla hasn’t disclosed any information on the reason behind the change in delivery dates.
However, this is a large enough jump and likely suggests a strong demand for the vehicles. In a leaked internal memo last week Musk said Tesla’s Fremont plant will be going to double shift to accommodate the high demand for the refreshed Model S and X.
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In the memo, Musk urged employees to recommend their friends to the new positions that will be opening up. It is not surprising that there is a high demand for the two new vehicles. The refresh has increased the already amazing performance numbers of the vehicles. On top of the quickest 0 to 60 times, the plaid Model S has now also made the electric four-door sedan be the quickest in a quarter-mile against any production vehicle.
However, more than the performance numbers, which were already ludicrous for a four-door sedan, what is probably exciting to Tesla customers are the new tech features. The refreshed Model S and X come with a new horizontal 17-inch screen with 2200x1300 resolution, ultra-bright, true colors, improved responsiveness, and left-right tilt. There is also now a smaller 11-inch display for rear passengers.
In addition, powering the display is a new GPU with up to 10 teraflops of processing power enabling in-car gaming on-par with today’s newest consoles. The new vehicles also have wireless controller compatibility which lets you game from any seat.
However, that’s just scratching the surface of all the improvements. There is now a new heat pump that enables 5 times more high-speed runs around the track and improves cold-weather performance.
Given all the improvements it’s not surprising Tesla is experiencing very high demand for its vehicles. However, there are also signs this doesn’t tell the whole story for why Tesla increased the delivery estimates.
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One clear sign Tesla is experiencing production woes with the new vehicle is Elon Musk’s statement on Tesla’s Q4 earnings call. During the call, Musk had said The new Model S will start deliveries in February and the Model X soon after. However, we’re almost a third of the way through March, and still deliveries of the refreshed Model S haven’t yet begun.
A second clue that Tesla is experiencing production difficulties is Elon Musk’s Twitter response to a Teslarati article. In the article Teslarati given the multiple sightings of the refreshed Model S vehicles in Tesla’s Fremont California plant opined that deliveries are imminent. However, Musk in response tempered the imminent delivery expectations by saying “still many fine details to address, but the final product will be fantastic”
Still many fine details to address, but the final product will be fantastic. There’s nothing else even close.— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) March 8, 2021
Given all the new technologies coming at once with the refreshed Model S and X, it is not at all surprising Tesla might run into some production roadblocks. As of now, we have no clue what the hang-up in production is. But, we will keep you posted if any more information comes out.
So what do you think? Do you think the pushback in delivery date estimates is due to high demand? Or is it because of production problems? Or both? Let me know your thoughts down in the comments below.
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Tinsae Aregay has been following Tesla and The evolution of the EV space on a daily basis for several years. He covers everything about Tesla from the cars to Elon Musk, the energy business, and autonomy. Follow Tinsae on Twitter at @TinsaeAregay for daily Tesla news.