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Why doesn't Tesla distinguish between new Model S years e.g. Model S 2012, 2013, etc?

Discussion in 'Model S: Ordering, Production, Delivery' started by thgchris, May 26, 2014.

  1. thgchris

    thgchris Member

    May 19, 2014
    Seattle, WA
    We've all seen the car commercials for a other automakers where they talk about the great new deal on a 2015 BMW blah blah.

    Why doesn't Tesla distinguish between the years of the vehicles? I assume there are changes between each model year or perhaps not?

    Is there a thread with a list of changes from 2012 to 2013, 2014 etc?

    I'm a noob so perhaps a dumb question but curious.
  2. GoBlue88

    GoBlue88 Member

    Apr 1, 2014
    San Diego area
    Most changes are accomplished via software upgrades. As such "model years" don't actually have much meaning, because a MS built in 2012 can be upgraded to have mostly the same features as a MS built in 2014.

    There are some physical upgrades that have happened (auto-folding mirrors and parking sensors to name 2). However a huge number of features are software-based.

    As I found out while researching the insurance and registration process, Tesla "model years" are based on the year the car was built. So while most companies are releasing their "2015" models now, Tesla won't have a 2015 MS until Jan. 1st, 2015.
  3. TechGuy

    TechGuy Member

    Oct 16, 2013
    I had also heard that Tesla didn't want to be limited to making hardware changes once a year. When they have something ready, they want to release it on their own terms without regard for an arbitrary annual schedule.
  4. Chipper

    Chipper Active Member

    Sep 23, 2013
    Chattanooga, TN
    Welcome!!! And don't worry about asking dumb questions. I have plenty of dumb answers!:rolleyes:
  5. Pilot_51

    Pilot_51 Member

    Jan 18, 2014
    Metro Detroit, MI
    Tesla releases new features when they're ready, rather than waiting for the next model year. While that makes much more sense to me, they have some work to do on informing the public about physical changes.
  6. simonog

    simonog Member

    Jan 9, 2014
    United Kingdom
    When changes are complex and mechanical based (ie hard wired), a once a year "release" is usually as good as it gets.

    tesla has digitised whatever they can in car. One of the benefits is the option for a much more frequent release cycle. Old cars get the new functionality and bug fixes; only where they too need to upgrade the hardware is there an issue where a car may not fully be able to support a new feature.

    there, too, Tesla is, I think, doing a much better job than traditional manufacturers, upgrading where the simpler hardware makes it easy as part of the Tesla experience.
  7. TexasEV

    TexasEV Well-Known Member

    Jun 5, 2013
    Austin, TX
    I'll turn the question around. Why should a car have model years? Is there any other product that arbitrarily changes once a year, not more or less often when a change is ready? We don't buy a "2012 brand A laptop computer" or a "2013 Whirlpool dryer" or whatever. Just because traditional car companies use model year designations and changes for marketing doesn't mean Tesla should. Model years equates to planned obsolescence.
  8. HankLloydRight

    HankLloydRight Fluxing

    Jan 18, 2014
    It's not just Tesla.... John Delorean did it in the 1980's... He produced Deloreans in 1981 and 1982* without a "model year" change. Sure, there were A LOT of minor improvements incorporated into the production line as they happened, but with no distinction of a "model year".

    * and a few in 1983 under receivership, but those don't count
  9. No Tailpipe

    No Tailpipe Member

    Jul 1, 2013
    Eden Prairie, MN
    I wish all car makers were like Telsa when it comes to firmware upgrades and software changes.

    I had to take my bimmer in for service a few weeks ago and the 2014 BMW service loaner I received had an upgraded interface for their 10" screen with updates to navigation, media player and other car telemetry. Since my current bimmer isn't that old and looks just like the 2014 I asked if the firmware could be upgraded to the 2014 version. Short answer, no. Only through service bulletins.
  10. Achilz

    Achilz Member

    Jul 27, 2012
    I don't know, but I suspect the reason is that Tesla makes the cars on demand. Unlike traditional auto makers, who develop a line and then churn out thousands of vehicles in order to supply dealers with inventory, Tesla doesn't make a vehicle unless someone orders it. And since they don't use dealers, Tesla doesn't have a wholesaler looking for product to push. So there isn't really a model year because there is no last year's model in lime green that sits on the dealer' slot waiting like Charlie Browns's Xmas tree to be sold. Tesla just makes cars as the go. While I'm sure they must have a rational process for when and how they announce upgrades, I would think that they don't need to be as focused on a model year. Perhaps this will change over time, when Tesla becomes a mainstream car manufacturer but for now they have no competition so why not just be in a state of constant improvement.

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