As the Tesla Model 3 gets closer to its sixth birthday, it is reportedly getting closer to receiving its first facelift.
The report comes via Reuters. The news service said it spoke to four sources with information on the plans.
The revamp is part of an attempt by Tesla to cut production costs as well as to entice buyers through visual changes to the car—a rare move from Tesla.
Most auto manufacturers put their cars through through multi-year cycles, complete with small year-to-year updates. Tesla does it differently; the EV maker prefers to rely on over-the-air (OTA) updates and simply change mechanical parts as they are developed. Because of this unusual method, the nearly six-year-old Model 3 has never received a facelift. But now, according to a report from Reuters, a refreshed Model 3 code-named "Highland" is on the way and is expected to be put into production in the third quarter of next year.
The revamped Tesla is part of an attempt by the company to simplify its design and drive production costs down. According to the Reuters report, one focus of the new Model 3 design is to reduce complexity in the interior while maintaining features that Tesla customers care about, such as the center display. Never mind the fact that the interior of the Model 3 looks as barren as that first apartment out of college: it's got a place to sit, and a massive screen, and not much else. The last major vehicle update from Tesla was swapping the steering wheel of the Model S for the yoke setup and switching to a horizontal screen orientation, something the Model 3 already possesses.
The other major reason for an update seems to be increased pressure from the competition, especially competition within the China market. The Model 3 remains Tesla's cheapest offering, though its $48,440 starting price has steadily crept skyward, and more established automakers have begun to put their weight behind EV production. According to Reuters, the facelifted Model 3 will go into production at Tesla's Shanghai, China, and Fremont, California, factories. Car and Driver reached out to Tesla for written comment, but did not receive a response.
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