Tesla Revamps Fremont Plant to Build Y, Model S refresh

Tesla Revamps Fremont Plant to Build Y, Model S refresh

from Marketwatch 15 minutes ago...

--Tesla Inc. (TSLA) is rejiggering its car factory in Fremont, Calif., to make way for production of the Model Y crossover SUV, as well as a refresh of the Model S with a more minimalist interior design and longer-range battery, CNBC reports, citing several current and former employees.

DBrohm | 29 mai 2019

I just read this and came here to see if anyone was talking about it. I love my '13 P85+. I've been waiting on replacing it until there's a significant increase in range in a performance model (e.g. 400+ miles). But if this refresh makes the S interior look like a 3, I'll never buy another S. I would really prefer to buy another Tesla, but I can't help but think this is more cheap than minimalist. Honestly the S interior is *already* minimalist compared to any other luxury sedan. Between cheapened interiors, relatively low numbers of options for paint and interior colors, no sunroof ... it's going to get a lot harder for Tesla to maintain the position of the S in the luxury market. And I say that as a huge Tesla fan. I'd even buy the new P100D in a heartbeat if it had a sunroof. At least they brought the cream interior back...

jordanrichard | 29 mai 2019

CNBC always cites "several current and former employees". If they are former employees, then how would they know what is going on?

Bighorn | 29 mai 2019

Just toured the factory again a few days ago. Don’t see where there’s room for a new line, but there is a secret building project going on out front.

ebirckelbaw | 29 mai 2019

@DBrohm My thoughts exactly. I currently have a 2014 P85D and an order in for the refreshed "Raven" P100DL, still no word on delivery date and I'm starting to second-guess myself. The way I see it the options are:

1) Buy a refreshed S now with the upgraded powertrain, better range, and (at least for P100D) free ludicrous before they fully refresh and at least get a Tesla that doesn't completely look like a slightly bigger 3, but then you're risking missing on other potential perks of a refresh. E.g. I'd be okay with a lack of dash screen if they added a nice big HUD or something. And I'm really hoping they bring back the sunroof, because I love mine now and it was really hard to convince myself I won't miss it on the new P100DL.

2) Wait to see the full extent of the refresh, risk missing the opportunity of free ludicrous (normally $20k), and potentially end up with a slightly bigger / much more expensive model 3, but *maybe* get some cool new features in return.

3) Take advantage of the free unlimited supercharging offering for a new inventory model now, give up even the refreshed powertrain but potentially get my sunroof back and save a few bucks in the long run not paying for charging. At least in my area I don't see any P100DLs left though so I guess this is a non-option in my case.

I'm curious, does anyone have any ideas on possible features we might get in a full refresh, other than just looks? Also, how many people would buy a model S with the model 3 interior / why? Like honestly what is the selling point for tesla if that's how they upgrade the S; sure there'll be almost 100 extra miles of range if they bump to 400+, but otherwise you're paying almost double for a car with slightly more cargo space and a power lift gate while giving up track performance (1000lbs heavier, no track mode, and even with upgraded suspension surely worse handling)?

Tropopause | 29 mai 2019

I don't trust the fake news media, especially when they cite former employees; always been fake in the past when citing these sources.

Agree with BH, Model Y will need more space than what's avail at Fremont.

jsahasi | 29 mai 2019

I'd buy it - I like the Model 3's minimalist interior, but also like the roomier S for the family.

Wish they'd do the same for Model X, I'm up for a refresh on my 2016 90D.

ebirckelbaw | 29 mai 2019

@jsahasi, I guess the question then would be would you still buy a new S over a new Y? Presumably the Y will be as roomy as the S and at model 3 prices will still be significantly cheaper. There's no doubt the S should remain the nicer of the two post-refresh, but unless Tesla brings prices down or more features to differentiate than I think the price will be hard to justify for an S.

Mathew98 | 29 mai 2019

@ebirckelbaw - If you compare the cargo space, perhaps. The MS would still be 10-15% wider than the MY.

Range wise, the MS wins by 70 to 100 miles, with the pending refresh.

Acceleration wise, P100D still have at least a second advantage from 0-60 MPH.

Seating - MY gets an extra 2 seat option. However, my vintage MS also has 7 seats...

Minimalist is not the same as bare bone. The MS was never a luxury car. It has always been a premium EV sedan, although at the luxury price point.

ebirckelbaw | 29 mai 2019

Yeah there's definitely value in the performance difference, there's no doubt the MS will continue to be worth a good premium over M3 or MY, obviously I'm still buying a P100DL over a P3D despite the ~$40k difference ($60k if I didn't already own an S).

That being said, I'll be very interested to see what Tesla offers when the full refresh comes. Adding the seats from the 3 and (most likely) the same center-screen-only design, while admittedly very sexy, if nothing else removes some of the exclusivity of the S, so I hope they add something visual to distinguish their more premium sedan, I'm definitely excited to see the exterior refresh.

Given they aren't even putting the "Model S" or battery trim badges on the Raven refresh cars anymore doesn't bode well though...

NCC1701S | 29 mai 2019

Just saw this article on Electrek with pictures of the potential interior refresh. The dash of my 2015 MS is stylish and elegant, worthy of the flagship vehicle. Yes, the doors and center console materials could use an upgrade. But personally, Tesla has done enough cheapening of the MS with the V9 interface. The Model 3's bolted on monitor looks like an afterthought and should be reserved for a less expensive vehicle.

I had planned on upgrading to a newer Model S in 2020 but NOT to a car that was designed by the junior design team. With two distinct price points targeted at two varied demographics, there should be two vehicles - one elegant and more refined for the older crowd and the other vehicle - well not. Not variations of one homogeneous car with four body styles. That is not SEXY (S3XY) at all. I cannot imagine my grandparents driving a Lincoln Town Car patterned after the Ford Fiesta.

barrykmd | 29 mai 2019

Well said, NCC.

volkeno | 29 mai 2019

I saw that they were going to combine the X and S lines to make room for the Y line.
I was wondering if the September refresh was just going to be interior, or add larger cables and more cooling to increase the charge capability to match the 3 charge speed? Plus maybe a battery bump to get over 400 miles?
I don't mind the horizontal center screen, although things on the right side might be a reach, if they put in a HUD.
I wouldn't mind door pockets and better cupholders than the aftermarket ones I bought for my 2015.

jlhm | 29 mai 2019

When I did my factory tour in April I could see S and X on the same assembly line.

thranx | 29 mai 2019

"...more minimalist interior design..."

Can't be, unless they've hired a designer from IKEA.

I'm with everyone else here. I'll sub the driver console screen for a good HUD, but if they just go to the M3 bolted-on center screen then (after owning two of them) I'm done with the S. Not only will it not differentiate from the 3, it will be harder to differentiate from new models coming out from Volvo, etc. Cheapening your top-of-the-line product may make it cheaper to produce...but much harder to sell.

bryan.hopkins | 29 mai 2019

Well said NCC....I like the layout of the current MS. Not a fan of the screen off centered of the steering wheel for speed, etc. I don’t mind I’m almost, but let’s not go bare bones.

IflyI95 | 29 mai 2019

I hope any refresh includes the exterior. While the S is gorgeous, it's been around since 2012 and it's time for a change. I love my car but have had it for years, and there's no way I'd buy another if it still looked the same. As for the interior, I'm with the majority. Just tweak/update the interior, keep the built in, vertical center screen, and while they're at it, give us back the old split screen where we could decide what went where. Do not turn this into a larger version of the 3.
I've been waiting to buy another S for almost a year, holding off in hopes for an exterior refresh. I'm ready to pull the trigger if they do this. If not, I'll stay on the sidelines.

murraypetera | 29 mai 2019

NCC +1

I would never get an MS with a bolt on display. I would stick with my 2013 or upgrade to a used MS before the refresh.
HUD with nav over the road would be brilliant. Keep the S a flagship not cheapened with M3 interior. M3 Ventilation would be nice but not the lack of console screen and bolt on center.

murraypetera | 29 mai 2019

NCC +1

I would never get an MS with a bolt on display. I would stick with my 2013 or upgrade to a used MS before the refresh.
HUD with nav over the road would be brilliant. Keep the S a flagship not cheapened with M3 interior. M3 Ventilation would be nice but not the lack of console screen and bolt on center.

Firaz | 29 mai 2019

A display directly in front of the driver is a must in my opinion, HUD will probably be too intrusive as it may be tough to calibrate and would interfere with the view, especially when it is dark. Another potential solution is to offer a phone/tablet app interface via bluetooth for example, but that would seem a little gimmicky. Last, potentially sticking a display on the steering wheel itself, but it may be too fragile and prone to being damaged. Bolt-on display is likely a risky move, I would get an M3 if the MS refresh would look like one. I hope Tesla would not make assumptions based on M3 segment and go through a serious market research before launching a 'new coke'.

Anthony J. Parisio | 30 mai 2019

It seems there is all this blustering over looks that none of you have seen. How do you know the new interior won't be much more upscale than the current interior? I think Tesla knows many buyers don't find the interior to be upscale enough for the price tag. One of my clients told me just yesterday he bought a Audi Q7 over the Model X because the X interior looks to cheap to him. That was his only complaint.

bp | 30 mai 2019

Tesla needs to simplify manufacturing of both the S & X, and decrease costs to allow them to maintain profit and/or reduce sales price to compete with other manufacturers.

The horizontal vents (like 3) would be an improvement for both S&X. S could use front door pockets (like the X). We could see the display rotated to horizontal - which would be better in the future for displaying videos while operating under FSD.

Hope they retain the dashboard display - that could be a differentiator between S/X and 3/Y.

The biggest functionality change for a refresh wouldn't require any changes to the vehicle - Tesla is dropping far behind on smartphone integration - and should add something comparable to Apple CarPlay and Android Auto (or 3rd party screen mirroring) or at least add basic smartphone features like voice-to-text and text-to-voice for accessing smartphone text messages and e-mail.

While the interior design hasn't been changed much since S/X were introduced and the S/X interior are missing some of the "luxury" features available in luxury ICEs (and likely coming in upcoming EVs from other manufacturers), this probably isn't impacting sales that much - since customers wanting to purchase a long range EV, Tesla still is the only game in town.

If Tesla is introducing an S (or X) refresh now, it's more likely driven by cost or restructuring Fremont to add Y manufacturing as soon as they can.

Madatgascar | 30 mai 2019

BP+1. Guys - the Model 3 only looks more minimalist. I have both S and 3 and I’m currently favoring the 3 because the interior has so many more simple amenities I use every day. Door pockets, covered charging for two smartphones, more ergonomic cup holders, adjustable seat belt tensioners, coat hooks, rear center armrest with cup holders, seat back pockets, etc. The minimalist air vents are better and fun to use. Can’t tell you how many times I have wished my S had the same interior as the 3. Bring it on!

I do vote for some small binnacle behind the steering wheel, if only to preserve real estate on the main screen for a full map or videos once FSD is unleashed.

sr.smr | 31 mai 2019

I suspect some of the physical features from the Roadster could be a template for the refresh S/X. I have nothing against the M3, but I agree with everyone that the S/X should stand alone as the flagship models and not look in any way like the M3.

carlk | 31 mai 2019

@DBrohm Owner of a 14' P85+ here too. We also got a 16' X. The interior design even at a glance is almost exactly the same as the S it's noticeably better in materials and details than the S. I also agree with @Madatgascar the Model 3 interior is very nice when seen in person. I have to think the refreshed S interior would look great even if it adapts the same design theme.

TabascoGuy | 31 mai 2019

@jlhm +1 - I'm not quite sure what these reports about combining S and X production to make room for the Y are all about. The S and X's have always been made on the same line.

rjairam | 31 mai 2019

I have seen the model 3, test driven one and i DO NOT WANT the single screen in the S or X.

bhanuk99 | 1 juin 2019

I wish and hope that Tesla does not make the refresh S similar to M3. S is a superior car with smooth ride compared to M3. I felt like the M3 was rattling more when I test drove and S ride is superb.

jsleeq | 1 juin 2019

I will never buy another x or s again if they make the interiors the same as 3. In a few years when I’ll be buying a new car, there will be all kinds of different electric car brands. Hope Tesla is paying attention because this could be a terrible move on their part.

Ohmster | 1 juin 2019

I really don't think Tesla will homogenize the platform to the extent that everything and anything looks like a 3 on the inside. If there is no distinction of note that aligns with the pricing delta, there is no point.

My guess is that they will take some of the improvements and less visible common bin parts (for economy of scale) but the S and X will be have a much higher end 'look and feel'. Anything less makes no sense to me.

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