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Model S range and interior update imminent?

Discussion in 'Model S' started by Thorbjorn, Jul 29, 2017.

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  1. wdolson

    wdolson Supporting Member

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    The S and X have improved quite a bit since they were introduced. Drive unit replacements are rare on newer cars, the battery packs have always been pretty good and have just been getting better. Some noise "problems" are just noticed because the cars are otherwise quieter than ICE.

    The cars aren't perfect, but my 2016 has had fewer problems in the first two years than my last car did and I drove that car for 24 years. Mechanically it was still in great shape for its age when I sold it. All the problems the car has had I would classify as nuisance problems rather than anything serious.
     
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  2. emmz0r

    emmz0r Member

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    I have this Rattle noise coming from front Air Suspension (2017-18)

    It's not minor.
     
  3. wdolson

    wdolson Supporting Member

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    The thread looks like people are talking about a number of different problems. I didn't address any suspension problems because I was not aware one way or the other about any ongoing issues. Tesla has had some issues with their cars and for some problems, they have been slow on the uptake. I've been trying to convince them of a firmware issue with mirror folding for over a year now. I still would classify that as a minor problem. Noises from the suspension could be a harbinger of something bad is coming, or it might just be a noise.
     
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  4. R.S

    R.S Active Member

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    The bigger question is how much is Tesla planning for the next S and X? Just a refreshed interior? Or will they want to move to the new cells and possibly motors of the Model 3?

    A small refresh could be doable, but a full redesign, that can take the larger cells, will not happen, while Tesla is focused on the base 3 and Model Y.

    It just takes away engineers from those projects, or adds cost. Both isn’t something Tesla can afford right now.

    The Model X also isn’t old enough to get a new version. I guess they will let them run mostly unchanged for at least another 2-3 years. Most changes will probably be cosmetic. Until the Y is out and ramping, then they can focus on the S and X again.
     
  5. Brian-MS90D

    Brian-MS90D Member

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    After today's news leaks from those 7% laid off, I am doubtful the S and X have much future. Tesla is eliminating low range versions. Tesla is eliminating a full production shift for S and X. And this makes sense I think. The future for $100k+ BEV vehicles is likely coming to a quick end as competition comes online (both from the 3, Y, and VW, Polestar, Rivian, GM, etc). Additionally, high price/profit and low production volume vehicles like S and X no longer advance Tesla's mission of promoting sustainable transport and energy. As @R.S noted, Tesla's resources are better devoted to mass production vehicles, semi, powerwall/solar, etc. It's looking more and more like Tesla will sunset the S and X slowly until demand ends.
     
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  6. outdoors

    outdoors Member

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    Tesla slashed Model S and X staff in recent layoffs

    From above:

    A former Tesla engineer agreed that the company made significant improvements to its Model 3 production process in recent months. But Tesla has long debated whether or not it should "sunset" either the Model S or X, or move production of these vehicles out of the crowded Fremont factory, this person added, noting there is no "upgrade" team in place to refresh either the S or X yet.

    Never like unnamed sources. These folks do have something to lose by giving up anonymity however.
     
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  7. DocZ

    DocZ Member

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    I don’t think so at all. They are still their most profitable models. And Elon himself said the S/X are sticking around for the long term.

    Production efficiencies resulting in eliminating night shifts (the most expensive shift) is a good thing. They could be winding down some current suppliers as well, in anticipation of a refresh in the next few months. As competition comes online, Tesla will just have to outdo themselves and the competition so I fully expect continued innovation and continued high margin flagship cars.
     
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  8. DocZ

    DocZ Member

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    Don’t trust anything from a former employee. Never know their intentions.
     
  9. electronblue

    electronblue Member

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    Hard to say how much factory floor knows but the premise certainly fits — and very probably has fit for a long time — that Tesla simply hasn’t been able to do both Model S/X upgrades and Model 3 ramp-up at the same time.

    Compared to years past Model S/X have stagnated significantly during the past two years and many rumblings suggest plans have been made and then postponed several times.

    Now things may well be aligning quite unfortunately for them in the sense that Model S/X demand is taking a hit from the age of the product, cannibalization from Model 3 and external factors like the tax credit cut.

    Updates still seem more likely than not.
     
  10. wdolson

    wdolson Supporting Member

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    The S and X are individually more profitable, but the 3 and Y will be overall more profitable programs over the long haul. I believe Tesla makes about $25K profit on an S 100D, and even if they only make $10K profit per Model 3, if they sell 4X Model 3s, they are raking in more profit overall.

    The big question for Tesla is how much profit is each production line bringing in. At this point the S/X production is probably just about even with each Model 3 production line.

    I do think that Tesla is going to have some kind of top trim car in the years ahead, but they may drop the Model S entirely. Sedans are dying off fast in the US, though the S being a hatchback helps. In other parts of the world, the S is just too big for the market. A lot of Europeans are looking forward to the 3 because it's more right sized for Europe. Tesla might keep the 3 in production because sedans still sell in a lot of markets outside the US. I suspect the Y is going to be the most popular Tesla yet though.

    I heard rumors that Tesla planned a refresh of the S and X for late last year, but the delays in getting the 3 production numbers up delayed that. If I was Tesla I would be using the delay to redesign the cars to share as much with the Model 3 as possible and either drop the Model S entirely or make a wagon out of it. Someone in the UK made a Model S "shooting brake" wagon and it not only had better back seat headroom, but was also a more practical hauling vehicle.

    A redesigned S/X would also be able to take advantage of new ideas in manufacturing to make the cars cheaper. Then they could price them only about $20K more than the 3/Y with more creature comforts and sell more of them while still maintaining the good profit margins.
     
  11. thegruf

    thegruf Active Member

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    I can only revert to Elon's tweet "refresh 2019; new model 2021"
    I suspect the only factor to be applied is timing.

    For sure the ModelS has sold exceptionally for a vehicle in its price bracket and future numbers may be lower but that does not make it an overnight disaster. Retooling for a whole new model on the other hand presents clear risk to get a return on investment in design and especially tooling.

    The biggest question for me is when will the refresh be and what will it entail. The magnitude of the refresh may in turn will have a bearing on how used car values hold up for current owners.

    Beyond the refresh, for Tesla to maintain credibility and wide brand awareness they will need to offer a range of vehicles and M3, MY, MS, MX plus a pickup and the new Roadster appears to be a very rational offering.
     
  12. Mark_T

    Mark_T Member

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    The 3 is better than the S in size terms but it is still a large car in European terms. Width and length puts it equal to a Jaguar XE and wider than an Audi A4. Only offering a saloon with no hatchback also significantly limits the appeal.

    I'm still not sure that even the MY will really come it at a size that really addresses the European market in the way that other car manufacturers are doing...
     
  13. sandpiper

    sandpiper Active Member

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    A good refresh will bump sales back up. With the layoffs and such, all I can assume is that Tesla has cut the 75 to reduce sales volume to allow them to build out the final run of this variant of the S into inventory, in anticipation of the re-tool.

    This is the sortof situation when having a true model year cycle helps. Nobody has to play any guess-what-we're-doing games. Everybody knows, well in advance, that the new model years are coming. I suspect Tesla will make this change eventually.
     
  14. henderrj

    henderrj Member

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    The model year idea was added because car manufacturers had nothing new to sell. This way they could save all those little changes for once a year, and give something to the public to look forward to. In other words, it's entirely a sales gimmick. I think it will go away entirely. At least I hope so.

    As to an upgrade for the S I believe it's still entirely probable. In fact I would call it an absolute foregone conclusion. Volume of the S is still plenty significant to be worth developing. Even if it sold at 1/10 its current numbers an entirely new model would be worth it. And they certainly don't have to do that.

    But, I think it's all about the battery. Any upgrade we see will mostly be centered around that. A brand new body design if it's required to get the output they need.
     
  15. sandpiper

    sandpiper Active Member

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    Yes and no. Tesla didn't do model years, in part because they're terrified of the Osborne effect. They've never had the capital and diversity of models to deal with the fluctuating annual demand.

    I think demand for the S will likely stay in the 50K annual range... as long as the vehicle gets some upgrades soon:

    - yes, the new battery
    - a revised interior that fixes up some of the silliness in the current design.
    - bodywork required to accommodate dual charge ports

    This still fits into the scope of a "minor refresh" that EM had talked about for 2019. The major refresh for 2021 is probably going to be something much more interesting.
     
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  16. wdolson

    wdolson Supporting Member

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    With batteries the way they are now, a larger car is pretty much necessary for a long range pack. The Bolt is pretty much topped out in the battery capacity department. While most people around the world want something in the 300 mile/450 Km ballpark, mid-200 miles is a pretty much a necessity for road trips in the US unless you don't travel much or are OK spending half the day charging. The distances in Europe are much smaller. London to Glasgow is around 660 Km, from here to San Francisco is over 1000 Km and that's considered a fairly short road trip.

    There is a fairly large range of ~300Km EVs that are fairly compact and popular in the European market. Many of them are not available in the US yet and some may never be. Ultimately I think Tesla's competition will be stiffer in Europe than in the US. European car makers are more serious about making EVs (in part because the European governments are pushing the market that way, but also because Tesla has hurt European makers more than American thus far), the distances are generally shorter and the roads are tighter so people like smaller cars to long range and larger sizes are less popular, and Tesla is the foreign brand with a long wait time.

    When Tesla builds a factory in Europe, that will help with the wait times, but it's going to be a long time before Tesla has a mass market car smaller than the Model 3/Y and they may never do one if the smaller EV market gets saturated with other maker's cars.

    For the US market Tesla is going to have to make a truck and some kind of SUV built on a truck chassis. Full size pickups are the dominant vehicles in the US market. Personally I think it's ridiculous, but with all the trucks on the road, others want SUVs so they are up higher and can see around the trucks. A fairly large segment of the population also likes to entertain the idea they are going to go offroading in their SUV, even though most don't. Though AWD cars are also popular in places that get snow, especially places that get a serious snow only a few times a decades because those places have few snowplows. Economically it makes more sense to just not plow the roads and wait for the snow to melt. Around here Subarus are among the most popular vehicles. Going to the local healthy food supermarket the parking lot is pretty much 50% Priuses and 50% Subarus with some Leafs.

    When we go into Portland and it's narrow, old streets near the center of the city, the cars get much smaller. There the ratio of Priuses to pickups goes way up. Most people in those neighborhoods would love to have an electric, but don't have a way to charge them. If they have a garage, it was built for a Model T and is used as a storage locker. Most people park on the street.

    Anyway, I think Tesla will do OK in Europe, but over the long haul the European companies are going to have the bulk of the market share, though in the medium term the European market will be much larger as you adopt EVs more aggressively than the US.
     
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  17. emmz0r

    emmz0r Member

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    300 km NEDC. Which is ~200 km during summertime :)
     
  18. FreqFlyer

    FreqFlyer Member

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    This timeline makes sense. What Elon calls a refresh, car makers call it a MMC or MCE. I expect the model S "refresh" to get the model 3 like interior and 2170 batteries which will fend off the upcoming Porsche Taycan, and MB S sclass EV when it comes to marketing range. And should lower production costs with more parts shared with the model 3.

    By the time a new generation model S and X are ready, Tesla will have a better idea of what the competition will bring, especially since most of the competition is preparing an EV offensive in the 2020-2021 time frame.

    Its my opinion that though the Y is based on 3. It will be an improved 3 platform that will underpin the Y, Roadster and upcoming S and X.

    One can imagine a new 2021 Model S that's in essence a four 2020 Roadster. Man, that would be a sexy looking beast.
     
  19. R.S

    R.S Active Member

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    Well, if he had bad intentions, he would have said they will have a new version later this year and let S and X sales fall into a bottomless pit.
     
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  20. Tiger

    Tiger Active Member

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    In the most recent earnings call, Elon could not admit (to avoid the Osborne effect) that they are working on an imminent refresh.

     
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