Tesla is understood to have shut down its PR department and no longer responds to requests for comment.
A demand shortfall wouldn’t be a complete surprise. Production of more affordable EVs outstripped the luxury vehicles a long time ago. Tesla delivered just 15,200 Model S and X units in the third quarter of 2020 out of a total 139,300 cars. There’s also the question of pent-up interest for the souped-up “Plaid” Model S — if you can afford to splurge on an upscale EV, you might be tempted to wait for the most powerful version.
The full-fledged production shutdown is still significant, though, and reinforces just how much Tesla’s strategy has changed in a few years. Even in the early days of the Model 3, the S and X were still considered important parts of the lineup — now, they’re niche cars. Tesla is now aiming more at the mainstream (if still above typical prices), and that’s unlikely to change when the company hopes to produce a $25,000 car in the next few years.