Elon Musk Pours Cold Water on Rumors About the Refreshed Tesla Model Y Launching Soon

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Photo: @LaMianDesign via X
In September 2023, Tesla launched the refreshed Model 3 in Europe and Asia, with the US variant landing four months later. Many thought that a redesigned Model Y would not be far behind, with rumors indicating that production might start this summer. However, Elon Musk dashed hopes of a refreshed Model Y this year.
After six years on the market, Tesla offered the Model 3 a fresh new face and a tech infusion. Although the design changes were rather subtle, the impact was substantial. Many compared the refreshed Model 3 with a mini-Model S, with some hints from the MIA Tesla Roadster. Beyond the cosmetic changes, the so-called Highland update brought new technologies and a more upscale cabin. This included ambient lighting, ventilated seats, and a rear infotainment display for the first time.

The Model 3 redesign has been a huge success, offering customers new reasons to buy the electric sedan in a market favoring SUVs. This is why many believed that Tesla would soon bring similar changes to its best-selling model. The Tesla Model Y has been often dismissed as a useless Model 3 on high heels, but it conquered the market nevertheless, becoming the best-selling car in the world in 2023. However, many consider it outdated, especially when compared to the Model 3 Highland.

Rumors indicated that Tesla would update the Model Y design as soon as possible. Some even said that production of the refreshed Model Y, known as Project Juniper, might start as early as this summer. After all, transplanting the Highland changes to the Model Y shouldn’t have been difficult. However, things are more complicated than they seem, which is why Tesla will take longer than expected before updating the electric crossover.

One of the reasons could be that the Model Y has been constantly updated with new features, even though the design remained unchanged. The bestseller received important structural updates, including front and rear megacastings, a redesigned suspension, and other goodies that few are aware of. As Tesla doesn’t have a PR department and doesn’t advertise either, there are many things that customers outside the Tesla fan circles don’t know.

The expectations that Tesla would update the Model Y rather soon have hurt sales, with many delaying the purchase, hoping that the redesigned model would be just around the corner. This is known as the Osborne effect, and it played a role in Model Y’s slowing sales this year. This is why Tesla instructed its sales advisors to tell potential customers that a redesigned Model Y will not launch in 2024. This didn’t have the expected result, not least because people thought Tesla employees were keen on selling existing stock.

This is why Elon Musk felt the need to put a sharp end to these rumors. In a recent post on X, he said that “no Model Y refresh is coming out this year.” This should clarify that a Model Y redesign will not start production this year, not even in China. Musk reiterated that Tesla continuously improves its vehicles, and cars even six months apart might feature significant differences. Indeed, Tesla has already introduced some Model 3 changes to the Model Y vehicles sold in China. These include ambient lighting and a new rear drive unit that makes the Model Y more efficient.