Hobson’s Choice: Tesla Slashing Interior Options for Big-bucks Models

2016 Tesla Model S, Image: Tesla

Back in September, the House of Elon decreed the Model 3 would be available in fewer colors, an apparent effort to streamline production of the company’s first high-production model. By restricting two of the seven hues – Obsidian Black and Metallic Silver – to special request status, it is arguable easier to move more machines out the factory (tent) door.

Now, option limitations are being applied to the megabuck Model S and X as well. Musk announced yesterday – via tweet, of course – that “many” interior configurations will not be available after the end of this month.

Your author will opine here that this is a kick in the nadgers to anyone paying near to or in excess of $100,000 for a new vehicle. Such a sum at just about any other automaker will assure shoppers a wide variety of options. In Ingolstadt, the Audi Exclusive program allows access to a wide portfolio of paints, leather colors, and wood inlays.

But back to Tesla. It wasn’t wholly surprising when the company chopped the number of readily available exterior shades on the Model 3; after all, when one is trying to make as many of the things as possible, a smaller number of colors being loaded into the paint gun will surely speed things up. The move is a bit surprising on the X and S, given their lower production numbers and higher price tag.

Right now, the Model S and X P100D interiors can be configured as black with brown ash wood trim or white with dark ash wood trim. Both colors can, for $250, have carbon fiber trim substituted for the wooden inlays. That’s a quartet of options, then.

On the 100D and 75D, customers are #blessed with black textile seats and dark ash trim as standard equipment. For extra cheddar (to the tune of $3,300), one may select from the “Premium” menu:

  • white with dark ash trim
  • black with brown ash trim
  • ibid but with a tan headliner
  • cream with light trim

Layer on the choice of carbon fiber, and that’s no fewer than eight different interior configurations, nine if you count the textile option. That is a lot.

It would not be surprising to find at least the cream color to have vanished after the end of this month, along with perhaps the black/tan headliner combo. However, given Musk’s use of the word “many” to describe the number of options on the chopping block, it is entirely possible that selection will be limited to either black or white seats with either dark ash or carbon fiber trim. That’s our fearless prediction.

Henry Ford’s 1909 missive of “any customer can have a car painted any color that he wants so long as it is black” still applies in 2018.

[Images: Tesla]

Leave a Reply