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2021 Tesla Model S production hasn’t started, but it will soon

Tesla provided a sales and production update for the first quarter of 2021 on Friday morning. 

The company summed that it made just over 180,000 vehicles globally from January through March, while delivering nearly 184,800 vehicles.

While those weren’t wildly outside what had been expected by analysts, they’re impressive as amid supply-chain concerns the company more than doubled its delivery numbers versus the same quarter last year—spurred by continued strong sales of the Model Y.

But one of the surprises was that the carmaker hasn’t yet built a single Model S yet.

2021 Tesla Model S Plaid+

In Tesla’s last quarterly call, CEO Elon Musk said that the company was in the process of upgrading its Fremont factory for the new 2021 Model S, including their fully redesigned battery pack and modules, new powertrain, new interior, and updated exterior. Production had been due for a production start and first deliveries within weeks. 

The rollout of Model S information spurred much controversy over both the yoke substituted for a steering wheel on early photos—to be offered after it’s approved by the federal government, reportedly—and the apparent lack of a shift lever, relying on touchscreen inputs for shifting to Drive and Reverse. But with the tri-motor Plaid+ model due to join the lineup late this year, the carmaker could be the first—or one of the first—to deliver a 500-mile EV. 

Stalkless steering wheel in 2021 Tesla Model S

Stalkless steering wheel in 2021 Tesla Model S

Tesla claimed that the Model S and Model X have “been exceptionally well received, with the new equipment installed and tested in Q1 and we are in the early stages of ramping production.”

The company hasn’t provided any other update on Model S availability outside that. Its build page today shows that deliveries aren’t available until 2022.

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