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Elon Musk: Model S, Model X production continues for ‘sentimental reasons’

The S and X were never meant to be high volume cars. I think it was fantastic strategy to build those and then come in with the mass market cars. 3, Y, and Truck will be the bread and butter. S and X are going to be those rare and special cars :) I also see S and X hit a price drop floor soon, meaning they will reach a minimum price. Maybe if they start becoming rare prices can actually go up.
The Model S and X were always meant as lower volume cars - just that originally they were Tesla's ONLY cars. Higher volume, lower priced vehicles, such as the Mode 3 and Y, were always in the plan as the bread an butter for Tesla's survival, and place as a major player in the automotive EV market. Audi sold about 1800 8Ls last year in the US, but they aren't getting rid of it - the flagship models are always lower volume, higher margin, and appeal to a more niche market, regardless of the vehicle brand.


Well-Known Member
Sep 30, 2015
Seattle area, WA
As an owner of an S & X, am I the only one not bugged by this news at all? Since I'm treating my S & X as forever cars, I selfishly wish they stop production now.

Unit you need a part replaced, but oh wait, no longer produced! Already true for MCU1 which is no longer available new, only returns.
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Senior Software Engineer
Jul 12, 2018
Doesnt S/X have higher margins? Or did at least before the cuts. I wouldnt mind if they increased the prices back and gave some premium features that dont involve hardware like priority service, free or high cap wifi/LTE, free supercharging, priority phone line, loaner

Not sure if the actual margins are that high when you consider all the SC visits, lemons etc
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Well-Known Member
Supporting Member
Whatever happened to flagship and they get new stuff first and blah blah blah. Yeah, I know, never really happened. And I’ll probably get a Y next year and trade/sell my X.

But someone may take action on this. Didn’t he say ‘it will always be the flagship’ or am I using hopium on that? (Frequent stock trader drug, lol.)
Musk is just acknowledging that the S and X are now filling the roles of the MB S series and the BMW 7.

He could have been more tactful. He was thinking from the standpoint of Tesla revenue.

Totally agree.

If you listen to the earnings call, the whole 'context' was revenue and earnings and that was spirit in which he answered the question. But yes he could have been more tactful. Just Elon being human which I like to be honest. If people freak out, c'est la vie.
This is definitely one of the many cases where there is a disconnect between what Elon is thinking and what he is saying. Sometimes his brain is going faster than he can speak, and other times (actually, often the same time) he speaks without fully thinking out what it is that he's trying to say. As a result, he stumbles on his words and makes mistakes (e.g., he likely meant "you're not going" instead of "you're going" in "I think if you're out there and you're buying -- and you're going to buy a Model S, I think you just made a mistake, to be totally frank." and then saying "Model S" not once, but twice, when he meant Model X in "And then, Model S, I think, is like Faberge egg of cars. I mean, not Model X. Model X is like the Faberge egg of cars."). Slow down Elon. Think about the point you want to make, and then make it.
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Last tank of gas: March 2009
Jul 16, 2009
Redmond, WA
My take on his comment:

1. Tesla - or any other company - would not really sell a car just for "sentimental" reasons. There is clearly more at play. With far better space, range and performance than the 3 (and better autopilot controls and biohazard filters and a better ride and more screen space and a better appearance and all sorts of things we miss from our old S) there is clearly still room in the market for the S; and (for now at least) a lot of people looking for a 7-passenger SUV or for towing are not going to even consider a 3. Both the S and X still have a market, and are useful if nothing else as "halo" cars. Given that the development costs are long sunk (well, unless they continue to develop them - which just confirms it is more about halo than sentiment) all they have to do is sell the cars for more than it costs to make them. Or even possibly a little less, if they consider the halo effect (wouldn't want to do that with very large volumes though; I don't think they will).

2. So, why would he - in the context of earnings - say they are not important, but rather sentimental? To me, he is signaling that their current volumes are not significant - it is OK if volumes drop in the future. Most likely some sales of both the S and X will be cannibalized by the Y. My impression is that he is saying that is OK, and won't hurt their overall earnings. As long as they are the ones doing the cannibalizing.

But of course I am having to read between the lines to get this. I agree it would be nicer if he was more clear about his meaning.
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Uncle Paul

Well-Known Member
Nov 1, 2013
Canyon Lake,CA
Believe S/X are still the Flagships.

S is the most beautiful, has the longest range, is the quickest and highest speed. It has much greater interior volume than the 3, is made of high tech aluminum underneath, has the largest wheels and brakes, has the premium adaptable and adjustable air ride suspension, has two displays instead of just one in the middle, has the most rear seat passenger room, etc.

The X has the signature Falcon Wing doors, is equipped to tow 5,000s, seats up to 7, has an option for executive rear seating, has the most carrying capacity, qualifies for Section 179 tax breaks for profitable business owners, has the fantastic panoramic windshield, the latest ceramic bearings, and the best of both worlds front and rear motors.

Both S&X can come with Ludicrous Mode, and are in line to also receive the ultra high performance 3 motor Plaid Modes. They also have the fresh air HEPA filters with Bio-Defence mode and come standard with private gate/garage door actuators.

Model 3 is cute and nimble, and comes with some newer gadgets, but a big stretch to call them the Flagship of Tesla....plus they are much more common. More that they are the value brand. Don't even come with self opening power doors or hatch. Even a simple fob costs extra.
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Well-Known Member
Sep 30, 2015
Seattle area, WA
really? They only sell refurb? Does not seem like pricing has come down.
Yep, read the threads on failing MCU1's: ~$2,200 for a refurb MCU, +$500 core charge if you want to keep the old one (though one person just reported they were able to keep theirs with without the core charge, so that may have changed, or in famous Tesla fashion is just inconsistent SC to SC).


2020 Model S LR+ Owner
May 3, 2015
New Mexico, USA
I wish Tesla still made Panoramic Sunroofs for the Model S for “sentimental reasons” if for no other reasons, because that would hasten my ordering of a new S. My existing S is 6.3 years old with 110,000+ miles on it—but it has the Pano roof and I use it quite frequently and have *never* had an issue with it. Lack of Pano option in new S’s continues to be a showstopper for me.

And now Elon’s “sentimental” comment makes me fear S/X are not long for this world.

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