Published on May 15th, 2023 | by Subhash Nair


Excited For Tesla In Malaysia? They Just Stopped RHD Model S And Model X Production

Malaysian Tesla Model S and Model X fans who were excited for the company’s launch here are in for some disappointment.

Sometimes patience is not rewarded. Tesla just confirmed they would stop production on right-hand drive variants of their flagship Model S and Model X vehicles. An email was sent to reservation holders of these two models in UK, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, and Japan that stated Tesla won’t be making these vehicles available for the foreseeable future.

tesla electric cars

These potential customers were left with a few options. They could either receive credit toward a Model 3 or Model Y OR accept a left hand drive model OR just cancel the reservation for a full refund. Bear in mind that some reservation holders have been waiting for their Model S or Model X for as long as two years now. To be fair, the credit from Tesla towards a smaller Model 3 or Y was quite generous, valued at about US$2,000 depending on model and market.


Malaysian Tesla Fans: No Reward For Patience?

Earlier this year, we learnt that Tesla Sdn Bhd had been registered under the Companies Commission of Malaysia (SSM), which indicated that their electric cars would finally be officially available here. Up to this point, Tesla customers in Malaysia had all purchased their vehicles through the grey market. These were vehicles that were initially sold in markets such as Hong Kong and the U.K. Thus, these owners were taking an immense risk by driving their vehicles around with official support for parts, software updates, product recalls and more.

Tesla Model S 2021 revision
Tesla Model S (Plaid)

What will this mean for our market? Well the obvious one is that you should not expect a Model S or Model X to be available in our country when Tesla officially begins operations here. The not so obvious one is what will happen to used car values of these two vehicles. These two models have been hurting in the recond market as of late. The government removed excise duty on all electric models, so they’re no longer competitive. Plus news of Tesla’s official arrival here also caused many potential customers to pause on their grey market purchase. Now the tables have turned. Any grey market dealer with an inventory of Model S and Model X vehicles may be sitting on a pot of gold but only if Tesla decides to support after sales claims and software updates on these models once they arrive here.

Tesla Model X

Why Did They Stop Production Of the RHD Model S and Model X?

Tesla did not elaborate beyond saying that “recent changes to the vehicle program” have made it so that these orders “unable to be fulfilled and will be cancelled.” We wish we knew exactly why but we can only speculate. From what we can gather, the latest revision (2021) of the Model S and Model X has simply not been made in right-hand drive form at all. Tesla’s largest markets – the US, the EU and of course China are all left-hand drive markets.

Tesla Cybertruck

From a business standpoint, Tesla is already stretched pretty thin. It may not be worth it to pursue sales in less lucrative, low-volume markets. They’ve also got to spend resources to get their delayed Cybertruck and Roadster back on track while taking on about 3 dozen new EV brands in China.

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Written work on @subhashtag on instagram. Autophiles Malaysia on Youtube.

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