Tesla has quietly discontinued the right-hand-drive (RHD) Model S sedan and Model X SUV in Australia and New Zealand. A glimpse at their regional websites reveals a straightforward notice on top stating that the models are unavailable to order and that the specs displayed are US values.
The company is implementing similar measures in other RHD markets like Hong Kong and Singapore. Tesla has offered reservation holders in Australia a full refund, or the option to buy the smaller Model 3 or Model Y with a $2000 credit (3000 Australian dollars).
Several buyers have expressed their ire on social media, and understandably so as some of them have been waiting for their orders since 2020.
Here’s what Twitter user @BennyShoogs wrote after Tesla canceled his Model S Plaid reservation:
A bit sad. Cybertruck order was canceled and now Model S Plaid. Still happy to have an RHD Model X already. Now apparently a collector's item. Would be super interested in anyone doing conversions from LHD to RHD in Australia. Would happily import one from the US to do so.
The brand’s decision affected other RHD markets as well, including the UK, Ireland, Thailand, and Japan. However, these markets allow LHD cars, which is why the brand’s Japanese and British websites mention that the Model X and Model S are still available, albeit in LHD configuration.
In the UK, Tesla is offering reservation holders the option to buy LHD versions of the Model S or Model X, switch to the RHD Model 3 or Model Y, or cancel their orders altogether for a full refund. After receiving Tesla’s notice, some UK buyers reportedly booked the Mercedes EQS and the Porsche Taycan.
It’s unclear at this point whether the RHD Model X and Model Y will ever be available again in these markets. Last month, the brand reportedly resumed talks with the Indian government to consider setting up a local manufacturing facility. India is an RHD market.
Do you think Tesla will resume production of its RHD flagship models? Or are they consigned to the history books? Leave your thoughts in the comments.