Tesla will shut down production for its Model S and Model X for 18 days beginning December 24th according to an internal memo, CNBC reported. Why and what the company will do with the two lines during the shutdown wasn’t immediately clear, but workers on those production lines will apparently get a week’s pay, some paid holidays, and will have opportunities to work on other teams within the company.
The memo also says the workers can volunteer to help with delivery of vehicles to customers while production is on hold.
Auto industry analyst Edward Niedermeyer noted that Tesla asked California for tax exemptions in 2015 for equipment it needed to build 195,000 Model S and Model X vehicles by 2021. The company told the state of California at the time it would expand its production capabilities in anticipation of producing “approximately 118,000 additional Model S and X vehicles per year,” in addition to its projected annual rate of approximately 77,000 Model S and X vehicles.
In the third quarter of 2020, Tesla produced 145,000 vehicles and delivered 139,300. Of that number, Tesla produced just under 17,000 Model S and X vehicles, delivering 15,200 of them.
Tesla is building its next factory in Austin, Texas, and CEO Elon Musk has threatened to move all Tesla production out of California. He confirmed he has relocated his personal residence from California to Texas, a move predicted to save him millions in taxes.
In a separate email to employees Friday, Musk said demand for Tesla vehicles has been “quite a bit higher than production this quarter,” and urged employees to increase production as much as possible, Bloomberg reported. “Please send me a note directly if you see ways to improve output, but feel that your voice is not being heard,” he wrote in the email.
During Tesla’s October battery day event, the company said it expected to deliver 500,000 vehicles in 2020. But by that point, the company had sent 318,350 cars to customers, so it will need to deliver more than 181,000 vehicles before the end of the year to hit its target.
Tesla did not respond to a request for comment Sunday.