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Tesla announces extended Model S/X production shutdown, hinting at design refresh

Tesla announced that it is going to shut down Model S and Model X production lines for an extended period of time during this holiday season.

It’s the latest indication pointing to a possible design refresh.

Tesla first brought the Model S to market in 2012.

The electric sedan has been slightly updated over the years, but design-wise, it has remained mostly unchanged since 2016.

In the automotive industry, that’s a long time, since most vehicle programs release a design refresh every four years or so.

While it hasn’t changed much design-wise, Tesla has introduced several significant performance improvements to the Model S over the last few years.

Despite those spec bumps, Model S sales haven’t been doing great over the last few years, and many believe that a design refresh would help the program.

Back in 2018, we reported on Tesla working on a significant interior design refresh that was at the time planned for the summer of 2019.

This refresh was delayed as Tesla focused all its resources on ramping Model 3 production.

The automaker is now in a much better situation and could be preparing to finally breathe more life into the Model S program.

Rumors of a possible Model S and Model X design refresh have been increasing lately — especially since Tesla announced that the Model S Plaid is going to require several important changes.

Last month, we also reported on Tesla significantly increasing the delivery timeline and price of Model S and Model X going to Europe in March.

Now we learn that Tesla is also planning an extended shutdown of the Model S and Model X production lines in Fremont factory.

In a new email this week, Tesla told employees working on those production lines that they would be shut down between December 24 to January 11.

It’s not unusual for Tesla to shut down production lines during the holidays, but this 18-day shutdown is longer than usual and not the same as Model 3 and Model Y production.

Aside from the normal holiday vacations, Tesla is giving employees an extra week of paid vacations during the shutdown.

The automaker is suggesting to employees to spend time with their families, but it also says that they could support other teams and deliveries through volunteering or some limited paid opportunities.

Tesla didn’t tell Model S and Model X production line employees the reason behind the extended shutdown, but it is adding to the rumors of a design refresh for Model S and Model X.

As we reported yesterday, Elon Musk also sent an email to employees in which he said that Tesla is seeing strong demand, and the automaker has to increase production fast.

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