TIMES.KY

Cayman Islands, Caribbeanand International News
Sunday, Apr 14, 2024

Tesla’s growth ambition comes with a $175 billion price tag

Tesla’s growth ambition comes with a $175 billion price tag

CEO Elon Musk sees infinite demand for Teslas, provides little insight into next-generation vehicle

Elon Musk’s Tesla Inc. spent around $28 billion to cement itself as the world’s most valuable car company. It is now preparing to invest roughly five times that as it strives to meet the next objective: Becoming the world’s largest car maker by volume.

Chief Financial Officer Zach Kirkhorn said publicly for the first time on Wednesday that Tesla could need to spend nearly $150 billion more to achieve its long-term goals, which includes selling 20 million vehicles a year. Today’s largest auto maker sells roughly half that annually, while Tesla delivered around 1.3 million vehicles to customers globally last year.

Tesla leadership, in their presentation to investors gathered at the company’s Austin-area factory, spoke to both the scale of the company’s ambitions and how they had overcome hurdles, including reducing manufacturing costs. What stood out, as much as anything, was what they didn’t talk about in detail: a new vehicle.

A man wearing a face mask following the coronavirus disease (1COVID1-19) outbreak walks by Tesla Model 3 sedans and Tesla Model X sport utility vehicle at a new Tesla showroom in Shanghai, China May 8, 2020. 


Tesla hinted at coming models, displaying a slide with two vehicles cloaked in sheets, without sharing specifics. Wall Street had been clamoring for details on when Tesla might introduce a new, less expensive car that would expand its reach.

Wells Fargo analysts called it disappointing that "there was no reveal, timeline, or even basic product description of the next gen model."

The company currently offers four-passenger vehicles, with a fifth—the Cybertruck pickup—slated to hit the market later this year. The least expensive of those offerings is priced at more than $40,000 in the U.S.

Tesla co-founder and CEO Elon Musk stands in front of the newly unveiled all-electric battery-powered Tesla's Cybertruck at Tesla Design Center in Hawthorne, California on November 21, 2019.


It would be jumping the gun, Mr. Musk said, to discuss a coming vehicle, saying the company would have a separate product event. However, he and others underscored the importance of affordability.

Any new, more affordable model is unlikely to contribute meaningfully to Tesla’s sales until 2025 at the earliest, Bernstein Research analyst Toni Sacconaghi Jr. said in a note to investors. In the meantime, he said, Tesla will need to lower prices to hit its growth targets.

Tesla shares slumped more than 6% in Thursday trading.

Tesla Gigafactory Texas on Jan. 17


Mr. Musk, the chief executive, confirmed plans to build a new factory in Mexico while expanding the company’s existing plants. Tesla currently makes vehicles in the U.S., China and Germany. Mr. Musk has said the company is likely to need roughly a dozen factories to meet its long-term sales goal.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom and Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced the location of the company’s new global engineering headquarters. The facility will be in the former computer-maker Hewlett Packard building in Palo Alto. Photo: Tesla

Tesla will build its next-generation vehicle in Mexico and elsewhere, the company indicated.

Mr. Kirkhorn, the CFO, said his investment forecast of up to $175 billion, including around $28 billion already spent, was intended to illustrate the feasibility of Tesla’s goals.

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, left, talks to Elon Musk, Tesla CEO, at the opening of the Tesla factory Berlin Brandenburg in Gruenheide, Germany, Tuesday, March 22, 2022. The first European factory in Gruenheide, designed for 500,000 vehicles per ye



"We may choose to vertically integrate more into things. We may find efficiencies elsewhere," he said.

Meanwhile, Tesla is getting into the business of making the materials needed to produce the battery cells that power its electric vehicles. It broke ground on a lithium refinery near Corpus Christi, Texas, and is building a battery materials facility in the Austin area, said Drew Baglino, the company’s senior vice president of powertrain and energy engineering.

"We are also trying to accelerate the pace of the industry by trying some new things that are a little bit more scalable and de-risking certain innovations that improve productivity," Mr. Baglino said.


Tesla is expanding from a position of relative financial strength. The company has weathered periods of extreme financial strain, narrowly avoiding bankruptcy in 2008 and again roughly a decade later as it struggled to ramp up production of the Model 3 sedan, Mr. Musk has said. Now, Tesla is sitting on a war chest of around $22 billion in cash and short-term investments.

The company, which has reported 14 profitable quarters in a row, slashed vehicle prices earlier this year—some by nearly 20% in the U.S.—amid concerns about sagging demand. It has since nudged some prices back up. Tesla found that "even small changes in the price have a big effect on demand, very big," Mr. Musk said.

He again dismissed the notion that Tesla could struggle to find buyers. "Demand for our vehicles, in terms of desire to own them, may as well be infinite," he said.

Unleashing that demand will require cost reductions, though, Tesla powertrain engineering leader Colin Campbell said. "If we want to make EVs more accessible to people, they have to be cheaper," he said. "We can make lower cost products that are still efficient and compelling and we can make them at scale."

Shanghai, China - August 1, 2020: Exterior view of automobile plant Tesla Gigafactory 3 located in Pudong District, Shanghai, China.


Scaling up manufacturing hasn’t always been easy for Tesla. The company faced "production hell" in the early days of making the Model 3. At one point last year, Mr. Musk called the company’s new factories in Germany and Texas "gigantic money furnaces." It has taken Tesla two decades to produce four million vehicles.

On Wednesday, Mr. Musk reflected on the challenge ahead.

"The hard part is building the cars and the entire supply chain that goes with the cars. This is a logistics challenge of extraordinary difficulty," he said.

Newsletter

Related Articles

TIMES.KY
0:00
0:00
Close
Paper straws found to contain long-lasting and potentially toxic chemicals - study
FTX's Bankman-Fried headed for jail after judge revokes bail
Blackrock gets half a trillion dollar deal to rebuild Ukraine
Israel: Unprecedented Civil Disobedience Looms as IDF Reservists Protest Judiciary Reform
America's First New Nuclear Reactor in Nearly Seven Years Begins Operations
Southeast Asia moves closer to economic unity with new regional payments system
Today Hunter Biden’s best friend and business associate, Devon Archer, testified that Joe Biden met in Georgetown with Russian Moscow Mayor's Wife Yelena Baturina who later paid Hunter Biden $3.5 million in so called “consulting fees”
Singapore Carries Out First Execution of a Woman in Two Decades Amid Capital Punishment Debate
Google testing journalism AI. We are doing it already 2 years, and without Google biased propoganda and manipulated censorship
Unlike illegal imigrants coming by boats - US Citizens Will Need Visa To Travel To Europe in 2024
Musk announces Twitter name and logo change to X.com
The politician and the journalist lost control and started fighting on live broadcast.
The future of sports
Unveiling the Black Hole: The Mysterious Fate of EU's Aid to Ukraine
Farewell to a Music Titan: Tony Bennett, Renowned Jazz and Pop Vocalist, Passes Away at 96
Alarming Behavior Among Florida's Sharks Raises Concerns Over Possible Cocaine Exposure
Transgender Exclusion in Miss Italy Stirs Controversy Amidst Changing Global Beauty Pageant Landscape
Joe Biden admitted, in his own words, that he delivered what he promised in exchange for the $10 million bribe he received from the Ukraine Oil Company.
TikTok Takes On Spotify And Apple, Launches Own Music Service
Global Trend: Using Anti-Fake News Laws as Censorship Tools - A Deep Dive into Tunisia's Scenario
Arresting Putin During South African Visit Would Equate to War Declaration, Asserts President Ramaphosa
Hacktivist Collective Anonymous Launches 'Project Disclosure' to Unearth Information on UFOs and ETIs
Typo sends millions of US military emails to Russian ally Mali
Server Arrested For Theft After Refusing To Pay A Table's $100 Restaurant Bill When They Dined & Dashed
The Changing Face of Europe: How Mass Migration is Reshaping the Political Landscape
China Urges EU to Clarify Strategic Partnership Amid Trade Tensions
Europe is boiling: Extreme Weather Conditions Prevail Across the Continent
The Last Pour: Anchor Brewing, America's Pioneer Craft Brewer, Closes After 127 Years
Democracy not: EU's Digital Commissioner Considers Shutting Down Social Media Platforms Amid Social Unrest
Sarah Silverman and Renowned Authors Lodge Copyright Infringement Case Against OpenAI and Meta
Italian Court's Controversial Ruling on Sexual Harassment Ignites Uproar
Why Do Tech Executives Support Kennedy Jr.?
The New York Times Announces Closure of its Sports Section in Favor of The Athletic
BBC Anchor Huw Edwards Hospitalized Amid Child Sex Abuse Allegations, Family Confirms
Florida Attorney General requests Meta CEO's testimony on company's platforms' alleged facilitation of illicit activities
The Distorted Mirror of actual approval ratings: Examining the True Threat to Democracy Beyond the Persona of Putin
40,000 child slaves in Congo are forced to work in cobalt mines so we can drive electric cars.
BBC Personalities Rebuke Accusations Amidst Scandal Involving Teen Exploitation
A Swift Disappointment: Why Is Taylor Swift Bypassing Canada on Her Global Tour?
Historic Moment: Edgars Rinkevics, EU's First Openly Gay Head of State, Takes Office as Latvia's President
Bye bye democracy, human rights, freedom: French Cops Can Now Secretly Activate Phone Cameras, Microphones And GPS To Spy On Citizens
The Poor Man With Money, Mark Zuckerberg, Unveils Twitter Replica with Heavy-Handed Censorship: A New Low in Innovation?
Unilever Plummets in a $2.5 Billion Free Fall, to begin with: A Reckoning for Misuse of Corporate Power Against National Interest
Beyond the Blame Game: The Need for Nuanced Perspectives on America's Complex Reality
Twitter Targets Meta: A Tangle of Trade Secrets and Copycat Culture
The Double-Edged Sword of AI: AI is linked to layoffs in industry that created it
US Sanctions on China's Chip Industry Backfire, Prompting Self-Inflicted Blowback
Meta Copy Twitter with New App, Threads
The New French Revolution
BlackRock Bitcoin ETF Application Refiled, Naming Coinbase as ‘Surveillance-Sharing’ Partner
×