Elon Musk: “Tesla Master Plan 3 Is Going To Fundamentally Be About Scaling”

Tesla held its annual shareholder meeting today. (You can watch it all on YouTube below.) Below are some highlights from the meeting. Overall, as Elon Musk likes to do with these, and as I predicted earlier today, it was very much a reflection of how far Tesla has come in the past decade since the launch of the Model S. He came into future growth plans as well, and he mentioned the AI ​​side of Tesla, but indicated that much more on that topic was saved for AI Day on September 30, 2022.

One of the first comments he made was that Tesla aimed to reach a production rate of 2 million cars per year by the end of the year. As CleanTechnica For recently predicted would happen, he also noted that Tesla produced its third car in recent weeks. He referred to the fact that 10 years ago, in August 2012, they had produced fewer than 3,000 vehicles, and in just that short time that number had increased to 3 million.

Elon joked, “It’s like one of those things where you present a business plan that doesn’t actually materialize, but you know, you see that in the venture capital business plan situation. But it’s actually right. That’s the amazing part.”

I think the biggest news, though, was that he said Tesla Master Plan 3 — which he recently hinted was coming — “is fundamentally going to be about scaling.” It’s not just about scaling car production, but about scaling the entire supply chain that also feeds that electric car production. “Just looking at the overall problem from a global macroeconomic point of view and saying, ‘What are all the things that are necessary to achieve a fully sustainable economy.’ […] What tonnage of lithium, cathode, anode, separator, electrolytes, electronics – what are all the things that need to be done to move to a fully sustainable global economy? Which, I think, the sooner we do it, the better for the planet.

“I think just articulating it and just making it clear that this is absolutely possible, and that is is being done and we just want it to be done as quickly as possible.”

Regarding Tesla’s financial trends over time, he noted that the above graph “roughly tracks to some kind of mental pain, actually (hahahahaha) — psychological damage. More seriously, he added: “I’m just very proud of the fact that we’ve actually been able to generate more cash than we’ve spent and have positive retained earnings and essentially been worth our salt.” Then he said in a quiet, haunting voice, expressing understatement, “And I think, um, it’s going to go up from here.”

In the Q&A session, someone asked if Tesla would ever consider a share buyback, and Elon said that it could be on the table down the road if Tesla spends all the money it can on growth and has developed a healthy cash cushion to help the company run out of a deep recession or something like that. (He also talked a little about the risk of recession, but emphasized that he thought at most we would dip into a mild recession, since there are no real economic mismatches at play that led to the last great recession.)

In terms of financials, Tesla now has the best operating margin in the industry (see graph at top). I’m sure we’ll return to that headline soon.

As a final note right now, on the topic of scaling up production, and when asked about the Tesla Cybertruck, Elon noted that Tesla is installing production equipment for the truck right now. They still plan to be in volume production in a year. Imagine how many units of that truck will be produced in the next decade!

You can now watch Tesla’s entire shareholder meeting here:


 

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