Tesla to shut down Model S and Model X lines for rumored design “refresh”

(Photo: Tesla Photographer/Instagram)

Recently leaked emails from Tesla CEO Elon Musk have revealed that the electric car maker intends to shut down the Model S and Model X line at the Fremont Factory for 18 days starting December 24, 2020. The reasons behind the halt in the flagship sedan and SUV’s production were not specified by the company, though speculations suggest that the 18-day halt may be used to introduce some much-needed hardware updates for the Model S and Model X.

In one of his emails, a copy of which was retrieved by CNBC, Elon Musk announced that Tesla employees working on the Model S and X line will be offered a full week of pay to cover 7 of the 18 days that will be affected by the shutdown. The CEO also encouraged the affected workers to volunteer and help out in the company’s Q4 delivery efforts.

Following is Elon Musk’s email in full:

Subject: S/X Holiday Shutdown

Hi Team,

The SX lines will be shut down for the holidays starting Dec. 24th and returning Jan. 11th.

We would like you to take the opportunity to refresh or spend time with your family, so Tesla will be giving you a full week pay for the week of Jan. 4th. There will also be limited paid opportunities for you to support other shops or volunteer for deliveries during some of this time.

Dec. 23rd – last day of work before shutdown

Dec. 24th-25th – Paid holidays*

Dec. 28th-30th – Unpaid time off (may use PTO**), support deliveries or other shops.

Dec. 31st-Jan. 1st – Paid Holiday*

Jan. 4th – 8th – Paid time off (40 hours)

Jan. 11th – return to work

If you would like to volunteer for deliveries for Dec. 26th — Dec. 31st, or support other shops from Dec. 28th – Dec. 30th, please use the survey below to let us know your preference. We will do our best to accommodate your requests, but preferences are not guaranteed and will be granted on a first come first serve basis.

While the shutdown of the Model S and Model X line this Q4 may be interpreted as a bearish sign of declining demand by Tesla critics, the production halt does give the company some time to update the vehicles’ manufacturing facilities. Tesla has kept silent about any upcoming improvements for the Model S and Model X, of course, but considering the company’s reputation and nature, it would not be surprising if it ends up using the 18-day shutdown to make sure that the two flagship vehicles will return better than ever.

In a separate email, Elon Musk emphasized that Tesla’s main issue today is demand. In true Tesla fashion, Musk also asked for any suggestions that would help the company improve its output further. Such improvements would go a long way in aiding Tesla this fourth quarter, seeing as the company would have to deliver about 180,000 vehicles before the end of the year to meet its half-a-million vehicle target for 2020.

Following is Musk’s email to Tesla employees about the matter.

Subject: Vehicle Production

We are fortunate to have the high class problem of demand being quite a bit higher than production this quarter.

To ensure that we have the best possible customer outcome and earn the trust of the customers and investors who have placed their faith and hard-earned money with us, we need to increase production for the remainder of the quarter as much as possible.

I would only send this note if it really mattered.

Super appreciated,


Btw, please send me a note directly if you see ways to improve output, but feel that your voice is not being heard.

Tesla to shut down Model S and Model X lines for rumored design “refresh”
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