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Facelift and potential impact on trade in value

Discussion in 'Model S' started by tomy, Feb 15, 2016.

  1. tomy

    tomy Member

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    Many current and potential owners of a MS are expecting a refresh. Presumably only a minor facelift and leveraging some of the MX engineering effort as well as the long awaited LED headlights which hopefully will solve the issue around the poor and rather basic 25W Xenon headlight version in Europe. I don’t want to touch on the controversial topic – the nosecone. The only problem – we simply don’t know when it’s going to happen.

    However, I wonder of how big the impact on the sedans manufactured before the refresh is going to be? Will it be as much as $5,000 or rather $10,000?
     
  2. calisnow

    calisnow Active Member

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    Who knows - it's mere speculation as to what happens with values. If you enjoy speculating - proceed. If you want real information you'll have to wait until after the fact and look at the data.
     
  3. Drivin

    Drivin Member

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    If the facelift is highly desirable and has features like "real" autopilot (additional sensors), better lights and even the addition of a left phalange, then it could be more than $10k.
     
  4. ElectricTundra

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    The current S is the original and that may carry some value.
     
  5. zer0cool

    zer0cool Member

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    It depends on the level of face-lifting done... If it's like many BMW or Porsche facelifts, where the changes are so minor you have to put the cars side to side to discern, then value impacts will be little to none. Or if the changes are subjective aesthetics (e.g. nose cone that some love but others hate), again impact will be little. If instead the changes are technical (e.g. better battery (highly unlikely since that just happened), more efficient motors (again unlikely since the Model X uses the same motors, or more advanced automation hardware/software) then the impacts will be large.

    However I think those technical changes are highly unlikely since the Model X is just being built and uses the same tech (electric, drive, and automation) as the current model S. It would make absolutely no sense (would actually be terrible business practice) to facelift (in essence) the Model X as well, like one year after release (really before that many people even get their hands on the actual cars).

    Therefore, if there's an upcoming facelift, I expect the changes to be superficial, maybe with auto door like the X, hidden sensors like the X, LED lights as an option, and nose cone changes. Maybe some option changes, mostly cosmetics. Given what's out on the Model X, I don't expect any major change in the Model S. Therefore, resale impacts will be minor, just like a BMW or Porsche facelift.
     
  6. skilly

    skilly Member

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    Any change will have impact. And, whenever you're selling a buyer will be quick to remind you of that.

    With that said, there have already been changes that were very impactful that one could glean an estimates of loss between a model upgrade. There have been minor battery additions, such as the P85D to the P90D, and more specific to a general upgrade would be comparing those cars with autopilot to those (like) cars without it. Aside from this, I would expect them to follow suit with the auto industry - my guess is it will be more in line with the development cycles with the 911; subtle and over long periods of time, demonstrating engineering improvements over esthetics. We can probably anticipate LED lighting or signals additions on the mirrors; however, changes beyond something like that would require retooling, which is VERY expensive and takes focus away from the lifeblood future of the company - the Model 3.
     
  7. zer0cool

    zer0cool Member

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    Agreed with skilly... I really don't expect to see any significant S changes until the Model 3 production line is running and the first cars are in customers' hands... really the financial impacts of say updating the S and selling a few more is pretty much immaterial with the production and sales of Model 3, which is basically make or break it for Tesla (e.g. if Model 3 is not successful or is significantly delayed, I would expect Tesla to be sold).
     
  8. MsElectric

    MsElectric Active Member

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    I thought a Model S redesign was imminent but I don't think it is. We are likely at least about a year from the unveiling of a new design. If a new design was around the corner I doubt they would have updates their Web site with new Autopilot videos showing the existing design.

    The cars will get better every year and it will be due to aesthetics and features and I really don't think a new design will really impact the depreciation much more than what we are already seeing now. Any new premium car depreciates significantly over the first 1-2 years.

    The benefit in buying a Tesla is that they build the best car ten can each week with incremental improvements introduced to the car throughout the whole build process.
     
  9. AmpedRealtor

    AmpedRealtor Active Member

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    #9 AmpedRealtor, Feb 16, 2016
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2016
    Every car currently sold gets refreshed every few years. Tesla is nothing special in this regard. When a new refresh is released there will be an increase in trade-ins, which will apply downward pressure on resale and CPO pricing for older vehicles. Fact of life for everyone with any car, not just a Tesla.

    With that said, Tesla can barely find its way out of a paper bag lately. They can't figure out how to make Model X in any decent quantity, they are probably going to announce Model 3 without actually having a prototype vehicle - just photos or sketches - and so it would seem that a redesign to Model S is probably at least a year away, just guessing.
     
  10. Twiglett

    Twiglett Single pedal driver

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    The reason the rest of the auto industry do model refreshes that consist of minor body panel tweaks and different colors is that they have no other way to maintain interest. Look at the latest model BMW i8 now has a new color, or the 2014 Leaf that got new colors and modified options.
    On that basis the Model S has been refreshed hundreds of time since it was released,so the effect on value is much more subtle and progressive rather than solid demarkation from year to year. Obviously there are some rather more major hardware changes like AP and dual motor that will cause bigger blips.
     
  11. whitex

    whitex Member

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    Lots of possible "what if"'s. What's the point of speculating? If you are looking to wait to have the latest and greatest, you will never buy. Anything could happen, different refreshes can have different effect. While some people were willing to pay $30K-$40K or more to trade up to D and/or AP, auto-folding mirrors did not have any such effect, neither did the A to B battery upgrade. Personally I agree with skilly, Tesla needs to focus on Model 3 rather than trying to refresh the Model S which is still in good demand. If you want to ponder extreme effects of a refresh on residual values, consider Tesla spending all the efforts refreshing the Model S and missing the Model 3 deadline by a couple of years, causing it to fail as a company - not *that* would have a profound effect on trade-in values.

    If you are thinking of buying, look for what a good deal is now, buy what you want and don't look at residual values every day - who cares, you get what you want, enjoy it, why ruin it because you could have gotten it cheaper or some other option 6 months later? If you are not ready, wait until you are ready and buy then. If depreciation is something that will take the fun away from driving the car, don't buy a car - they all depreciate.
     
  12. wdolson

    wdolson Active Member

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    New car designs always have quality problems, the bigger the change, the bigger the problems. The Model X has some features that make it one of the most complex car designs in history. It's way over designed and is will take a while for the problems to get sorted out. It's the nature of engineering anything new.

    I strongly doubt there will be any significant changes to the Model S before the M3 comes out. As I said in the very long thread on this (don't be surprised to find the two threads merged as soon as the mods notice) a month or so back, Tesla has limited engineering resources and they aren't going to put any engineers on any upgrades to the Model S that aren't either safety issues, cost cutting, or simple things that can be transferred directly from the Model X with no engineering. The door handles from the X might move over, those are probably cheaper than the motorized ones on the S. I just found out the X comes with a built in center console, Tesla might offer that as an extra or something on the S in the near future. That area is unchanged enough it might be able to be moved from the X without any difficulty. The headlights may not make it all that soon. While the lights themselves may be easily moved, the LED headlights require a different housing which requires engineering resources. I doubt the S will ever get the X nose cone, the need something to make the two cars a bit different, though they might offer an upgrade of a color matched S nosecone, which would be fairly cheap to do.
     
  13. PeteP

    PeteP Member

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    I would not count on a design refresh in the near future. While some have speculated that the front end will be redesigned to eliminate the nose cone and be more consistent with the X, don't bet on this. The jury is still out on the design of the X. Outside of the die hards on this board who have grown to love the X's design, there are quite a few people who don't. Indeed, it has been described by some as "polarizing." Tesla is not going to monkey with the S until it knows that the marketplace has embraced the design of the X. Only time will tell on that.
     
  14. ohmman

    ohmman Maximum Plaid Member

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    This argument reminds me of some posts I see about the effect of mileage on depreciation. Some say they limit their miles to achieve less depreciation. That seems counter-intuitive to me. The car is for driving. I look at my cost per mile driven, not my cost per hour owned in the garage. So in that way, more miles on the vehicle equate to a more diluted cost per mile and better value - even if the car depreciates more over the same timeframe.

    In the case of a depreciation hit related to a facelift - yep. There will be one. If I were a buyer, I might wait until after March 31st, just to see. Otherwise, I don't see the point in worrying about it. Take a long road trip in your MS and get some value!
     
  15. sorka

    sorka Active Member

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    The Model X door handles won't come over unless the doors are auto opening as well.

    And I still get "NO WAY!!!??" from kids and other onlookers from time to time when the handles slide out. It's one of the major cool factors of the car. Just hope they're reliable now.
     
  16. AmpedRealtor

    AmpedRealtor Active Member

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    From a design perspective, the Model X front end is spot on. It would be horrible if Tesla kept the nose cone. I think Tesla is employing solid design principles in styling the X and those same principles need to be leveraged to the S and the 3. If I were in the market for a Model S today, I probably would wait to buy one because I don't want to put so much money into a car that already looks obsolete.
     
  17. green1

    green1 Active Member

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    And I'm in the opposite camp, The Model S front end was spot on, the X is a huge step backwards. I wouldn't want to be stuck with the X nose when the S is so much nicer.
     
  18. MsElectric

    MsElectric Active Member

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    I think it is way cooler for the doors to actually open and close on their own :) Especially useful when you have something in your hands. For this to work well I think you need sensors on the doors so that the doors don't open into something.

    - - - Updated - - -

    What if after the face lift they make available an appendage nosecone that you can stick on? :tongue:
     
  19. AmpedRealtor

    AmpedRealtor Active Member

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    I understand that you feel this way, it always comes down to personal preference at the end of the day. But Tesla is applying more timeless design principles to the Model X front end. I'm speaking from a design perspective, as I was a designer for 15 years and worked for many Fortune 500 companies designing their marketing and annual reports. The fewer conflicting design elements you have, the fewer color changes, the less trim, the more timeless the design. Flourishes (like the nose cone and all the chrome that goes with it) are trendy and have limited "shelf life", so to speak.
     
  20. green1

    green1 Active Member

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    And yet, boring boxes don't sell... People like flourishes, remember the 90s where all cars devolved to what looked like a half-used bar of soap? it was "timeless", it was also boring, and now looks very dated. Instead we now have sharp corners and shape again, it's not as "timeless", but it's much more attractive.
    Your most timeless design would have as few defining characteristics as possible, many automakers have tried that, and the verdict is always the same. "Ugly"
    The X has a massive empty spot on the front where "something" should be. The nose cone may not be perfect, but it's a lot better than the blank spot.
     

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