Tesla electric cars – illustrative photo.
Austin (USA) – American electric car manufacturer Tesla plans to cut assembly costs in half for the next generation of its cars. This was announced by company representatives at a meeting with investors. However, the company's CEO Elon Musk did not reveal when he will introduce the much-anticipated affordable electric car. Therefore, the company's shares fell after the meeting with investors.
The three-and-a-half-hour meeting featured more than a dozen of the automaker's executives, including new global manufacturing chief Tom Zhu, and talked about everything from a sustainable energy plan to innovations in managing operations from production to service. However, they did not provide any details about the launch of the new generation cars. Musk was expected to unveil a plan to produce a more affordable electric car that would broaden the brand's appeal and boost competitiveness.
CFO Zach Kirkhorn estimated that Tesla needs to invest six times more than it has so far to reach its long-term goal of increasing production to 20 million cars a year by 2030. This is a tenfold growth against the current capacity. The total cost of this goal could amount to USD 175 billion (CZK 3.8 trillion).
The next investment step will be a new factory in northern Mexico. In addition to the USA, Tesla also has factories in Germany and China.
But Musk did not comment on plans to upgrade the Model Y sedan next year, called Project Juniper, or on an upgraded version of the Model 3 sedan, codenamed Highland. Head of design Franz von Holzhausen said that the Cybertruck pickup will be coming this year.
Getting the mass market is important for Tesla to achieve the annual production goal. Tesla's planned sales target is higher than the combined output of the two current largest car manufacturers, Germany's Volkswagen and Japan's Toyota.
According to Musk, it is important to increase the sales of Tesla cars by reducing the final prices. He added that discounts offered by Tesla this year have fueled demand. Musk further stated that Tesla could need ten models, which would mean that at the planned target production, it would sell two million units of each model annually. By comparison, Toyota sells a little over one million Corolla models worldwide each year.
Tesla is the most valuable car manufacturer. However, the company's stock fluctuates wildly. They have fallen by roughly half from their peak in November 2021, but this year they have already risen by more than 60 percent.
The chief engineer of the automaker, Lars Moravy, said that the new generation cars should be produced at half the cost of the current Model 3 or Model Y. One of Tesla's high-ranking investors, Ross Gerber, estimated that the new electric car could cost 25,000 to 30,000 USD (549,000 to 659,000 CZK).
But Tesla will also have to improve its battery production technology , which Musk identified as a major limiting factor in the transition to more affordable cars. Tesla is facing problems in scaling up production of the advanced battery, the so-called 4680. Management said it is likely to start mass production this year, Reuters wrote.