Tesla’s Model S and Model X refresh will bring closure to the company’s Tilburg, Netherlands production plant, according to sources in the European country. After the electric automaker updated the vehicles earlier this year, the Tilburg plant is being deemed inferior as manufacturing the two new vehicles is “no longer possible.”
First opened in 2013, the 18,900 square meter facility was opened to help produce European versions of the Model S. The company chose Tilburg for its centrally-located availability, which enabled efficient, timely, and cost-effective operations throughout Europe.
As the Model S and Model X received relatively vague updates to their exterior, the interior of the vehicles underwent a full-scale overhaul. The introduction of new powertrains with the Plaid and Plaid+ Model S also rolled out some issues for the Tilburg plant, as sources close to the facility say that the facility can “no longer technically take place on an industrial scale at this location.” Factory personnel were briefed on the situation on Thursday.
Tesla unveiled the Model S and Model X’s updated interiors and exteriors during the Q4 2020 Earnings Call in early 2021. Among the most significant changes were three displays, a new video game engine, Tri-Zone climate controls similar to those used in the Model 3 and Model Y, a Yoke Steering wheel in the Plaid variants, and a full glass roof. Evidently, the changes are too significant to consider updating Tilburg’s lines or even considering a temporary shutdown to rejuvenate the facility.
According to Nu.Nl (via Electrek), a Netherlands-based media site, Tilburg also has more than just Model S and Model X assembly interests within the plant. A spray shop, parts warehouse, and a remanufacturing center, where old or used parts are refurbished, are located at the Tilburg Plant.
Tesla isn’t completely abandoning the facility, however. According to other reports, Tesla is working to find positions elsewhere for the 96 estimated employees who will be displaced due to the closure. It is not clear whether Tesla will consider these employees for other jobs within the Netherlands or will attempt to woo some of them to the upcoming German plant Giga Berlin, which is currently going through an aggressive hiring period.
There is the possibility that the Tilburg plant could be repurposed for other uses.
Tesla plans to deliver the Refreshed versions of the Model S and Model X to the Netherlands starting in November.