Does Tesla need a new Model Y? Maybe, but not right now


Rumblings of a potential Tesla Model Y update have circulated for months, but as the company’s most popular vehicle is coming off the title of best-selling vehicle in the world in 2023, is it the right time for it?

It does not seem like it.

As the old saying goes, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” The Model Y was the best-selling vehicle in the world in 2023, and until it loses that title and sales are sluggish, there is no sense in entertaining a design update from an external perspective.

If It Ain’t Broke

The Model Y capped off 2023 with 1.2 million sales. This outpaced the Toyota RAV4 and Corolla, which are two of the best-selling cars in the world and have been for years.

There is no debate that the Model Y offers a lot of what people want in a vehicle: a crossover body design, state-of-the-art tech, performance, acceptable range ratings, and an affordable price.

Refreshing the Model Y at a time when it is the most popular car in the world would not make much sense from a business perspective. Until consumers prove that they’re tired of the design and want something new, Tesla should not make the change.

Typical Vehicle Generations

In typical automotive industry fashion, OEMs have offered new looks to their cars in roughly five-year increments.

For example, the Honda Civic has gotten an update every 4-7 years, with five years being the most common timeframe for a change, which occurred between the Sixth and Seventh generations, and Seventh and Eighth generations of the car. There has only been one instance of a new design after four years, which was the Ninth and Tenth generations.

Tesla is anything but traditional, but it followed a similar timeframe for the Model 3. Tesla first released the Model 3 in 2017. It then underwent a slight refresh with Chrome Delete and other slight cosmetic changes in 2020.

The new Model 3 was under development in Summer 2022. However, the Model Y had started to overtake the Model 3 as Tesla’s most popular vehicle by 2022.

Tesla could use the same strategy with the Model Y and could determine whether it is worth refreshing in perhaps the next year or so. With it only being available since early 2020, it seems that it could be due for a new look some time next year, which is what is now being rumored.

No Plans for It

Tesla already clarified that it won’t be refreshing the Model Y this year, anyway.

Tesla says Model Y refresh won’t be launching in North America in 2024

We heard your feedback that some customers are waiting to place their Model Y order as they anticipate a refresh similar to Model 3,” Tesla said in a message to employees. “It is important that we communicate transparently that there is no refresh for Model Y launching this year.”

While it might be disappointing for some who are expecting a new Model Y design, it is smarter for Tesla right now to keep with what’s working.

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OPINION: Does Tesla need a new Model Y? Maybe, but not right now


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