Tesla is shutting down production of its Model S and Model X lines. It’s only temporary though, from December 24 to January 11.

The company has informed employees that its Fremont, California factory will close during the upcoming Christmas period. Employees have been offered a full week of pay to cover one of the two and a half weeks of the shutdown. A few paid holidays will cover some more.

However, employees were asked to take five unplanned and unpaid days off during the shutdown. Some reports claims they were encouraged to “volunteer” to help make electric vehicle deliveries to customers during the production shut down.

Why Shut Down?

Tesla hasn’t publicly said why they are temporarily shutting down production. It’s not clear what Tesla intends to do with its Model S and X lines during the shutdown period. In a separate email sent to the entire company last Friday, CEO Elon Musk said that the company is “fortunate to have the high-class problem of demand being quite a bit higher than production this quarter.” He then asked employees to increase production as much as possible in coming weeks. If you think it’s kind of odd to ask workers to produce more but then force them to stay home for two weeks, well… you’re right. It is kind of odd.

The shutdown of the S and X lines might suggest that the high demand does not extend to these older models. Tesla has been struggling with a large recall in China and a safety probe by U.S. regulators. They are also dealing with a warranty expansion, covering some of its high-end Model S sedans and Model X, their luxury SUV with gull wing doors.

Deliveries of these vehicles amounted to 15,200 in the third quarter of 2020, according to the company’s report from the end of September. At an annual shareholder meeting earlier this year, executives said that the long-anticipated Tesla Model S Plaid would start deliveries in late 2021.


Devon is a writer, editor, and veteran of the online publishing world. He has a particular love for classic muscle cars.