Tesla’s Goal | Largest Auto-Manufacturer


A row of Tesla vehicles parked outside | Image by Nadezda Murmakova/Shutterstock

Tesla held its annual investor day at its Giga Texas factory in Austin on Wednesday.

Already the world’s most valuable car company, Tesla has set its sights on its latest ambitious goal, to become the world’s largest car manufacturer by volume, according to The Wall Street Journal (WSJ).

At the meeting, Tesla CFO Zach Kirkhorn said the company must spend roughly $150 billion to sell 20 million cars annually. The world’s largest automaker sells around half that figure, according to the WSJ.

With 69.9 million global vehicle sales in 2023, according to Statista, Tesla’s goal would make up nearly 29% of the entire car market.

By comparison, Tesla delivered 1.3 million vehicles to customers worldwide in 2022, according to the WSJ.

At Tesla’s investor day, Kirkhorn said Tesla’s investment to become the world’s largest automaker is up to $175 billion, including the $28 billion the company has already spent.

“We may choose to vertically integrate more into things. We may find efficiencies elsewhere,” said the CFO, per the WSJ.

A day before the meeting, Tesla announced its plan to build a new factory in Nuevo Leon, Mexico, and said it would expand the company’s existing plants in the U.S., China, and Germany, according to the WSJ.

CEO Elon Musk said Tesla would need 12 factories to achieve its long-term sales projections, per the WSJ.

With a massive increase in electric vehicle (EV) production on the horizon, Tesla will also need to ramp up its production of lithium-ion batteries.

The company announced it broke ground on a lithium refinery near Corpus Christi and is building a battery materials plant near Austin, according to Drew Baglino, a senior vice president of powertrain and energy engineering at Tesla, per the WSJ.

“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,” Baglino said, reported the WSJ.

Tesla will likely add to its vehicle lineup to reach its sales goals, although it did not announce any specific details.

The Austin-based car company sells four-passenger vehicles and is adding its first truck to its lineup, the Cybertruck pickup, expected to go on sale in 2023.

Musk said a new vehicle launch would have a separate product event but highlighted the need for a more affordable Tesla model.

While it was not officially announced, reports are spreading around a possible “Model 2” from Tesla that would cost around $25,000, according to Teslarati. Currently, the least expensive Tesla is the Model 3, with the 2023 version starting at $43,990, according to Kelley Blue Book.

Elon Musk said, “Even small changes in the price have a big effect on demand,” reported the WSJ.

Another key announcement was Tesla Electric, the company’s energy retailing business that will launch its pilot program in Texas.

“By this summer, we are going to offer retail electricity plans to people who have our cars where they can have unlimited overnight home charging for $30 per month. This is part of reducing the total cost of ownership of our vehicles, and the reason why we can do this is because Texas has a ton of wind. And in Texas, the wind blows at night,” Baglino said, according to Electrek.

Tesla shares fell nearly 6% on Thursday.

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