- Redesign — When Big Auto spends a lot of money to update a product.
- Refresh — When Big Auto spends a little money to feign a redesign.
That’s because the Model S has developed into a far better creature thanks to Tesla’s engineering kaizen and OTA update regimen. It’s not the same car that debuted six years ago, period. Not even close. So it’s fresh where it counts.
Yet the car hasn’t changed visually since birth, besides the schnoz. How long can this sameness continue before boredom creeps in and affects sales? And what would a second-generation Model S look like?
There won’t be a second generation.
The current one will go on for a few more years and then die just as interest starts to wane. Tesla can jettison its big sedan and pare its core lineup to the 3, X and Y without losing many, if any, customers. You want something more airy than the 3? Get the Model Y. You want something bigger still? Get an X. You don’t want the SUV profile? Maybe not this year, but you’re more easily persuaded with every passing year. Criswell knows this about you. Right now an SUV might seem like a sedan hampered by tallness. But five years from now, a sedan will seem like an SUV hampered by flatness.
The only problem with this strategy is the falcon wing doors. Some people don’t like them. They’re too fickle. They’re too showy. They preclude a roof rack. So Criswell hereby predicts that a second-generation Model X, with normal doors, will bow within five years and will negate the need for a second-generation Model S.