Tesla Delays Model X, and Model S Volume Production To Third Quarter Due To Parts Shortage
Since announcing the refreshed Model S & X back in January, Tesla has been working on retooling its Fremont California plant to produce the two new vehicles.
At the time of the announcement, Tesla said deliveries of the Model S will begin in late February and the Model X will follow soon after.
However, 2 months have already passed and deliveries haven’t yet begun. And now in the company’s Q1 2021 earnings report, Elon Musk gave an update on the status of the 2 new vehicles.
According to Musk, the refreshed Model S will begin deliveries next month, which is great news for anyone who has ordered the vehicle.
However, Musk also said volume production of the Model S will not begin until Q3. This would mean most likely until July/August the only people to get their hands on the refreshed Model S and X will be Tesla employees and customers living in California around the Fremont plant.
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As for the Model X, even though a Plaid Model X with a brand new spoiler has been spotted in the wild, Musk said production will not begin until Q3.
Musk also added volume production will ramp up soon after. However, the Tesla CEO did not say exactly when in Q3 deliveries will begin.
Musk said the reason for the delay is supply chain disruptions causing parts shortage. However, even though there is parts shortage, Tesla is still producing the refreshed Model S.
Still, since the vehicles don’t have all the necessary components Tesla builds the cars and is currently storing them in the Fremont factory parking lot. Once parts become available Tesla plans to retrofit those vehicles and deliver them to customers.
Having said that, the parts shortage issue is not unique to Tesla. Currently, the entire automotive industry is reeling from supply chain disruption caused by the covid-19 pandemic.
Several automakers have even gone so far as to fully shut down their plants on multiple continents. And the main cause of the shutdowns is chip shortage that is used to control several functionalities in all modern vehicles.
Tesla on the other hand was able to weather the chip shortage issue by swiftly moving to more widely available microcontrollers.
@Tesla: In Q1, we were able to navigate through global chip supply shortage issues in part by pivoting extremely quickly to new microcontrollers, while simultaneously developing firmware for new chips made by new suppliers. @WholeMarsBlog @SawyerMerritt @BenSullins @ray4tesla
— Tinsae (@tinsaearegay) April 26, 2021
This move required Tesla to write a new firmware to work with the microcontrollers. Tesla was able to take on this challenge in a short amount of time insuring Model 3 & Y production was only halted for few days.
This stands as a testament to Tesla being as much a software giant as a manufacturing company. Tesla’s software prowess has enabled the company to deliver a record number of vehicles when the automotive world is scrambling to maintain stable production
Once the supply chain issue is solved Tesla plans to produce up to 2,500 Model S & Xs per week. This would give the company a run rate of 130,000 Model S and X per year.
Beyond the supply chain issues, demand for the vehicles remains strong. In a leaked internal memo back in March Musk said Tesla’s Fremont plant will be going to double shift to accommodate the high demand for the new vehicles.
In the memo, Musk also urged employees to recommend their friends to 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 improved which are arguable the two best vehicles in the world.
The performance Model S was already the quickest accelerating vehicle from 0 to 60, and now the plaid Model S has also made the electric four-door sedan the quickest in a quarter-mile against any production vehicle.
However, more than the performance numbers, which were already ludicrous to begin with, what is probably exciting to Tesla customers are the new tech features.
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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. Among other things, there is also now a new heat pump that enables 5 times more high-speed runs around the track. The new heat pump also improves range in cold-weather climates.
So what do you think? Are you bummed that the refreshed Model X won’t be coming till Q3? Also any of you reservation holders? How has your wait been? 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.