by Fred Fuld III
The Tesla (TSLA) annual meeting was packed with shareholders yesterday. at the Computer History Museum on North Shoreline Blvd. in Santa Clara, California. I arrived an hour and a quarter early and the long line to get in through security was already lined up all across the very wide building.
Outside the entrance were the latest Tesla vehicles, including the Tesla Semi truck. But the one that attracted the most interest was the new Tesla Roadster.
By the time the meeting started, it was standing room only. The official part of the meeting went quickly, and the corporate voting results were in line with what the directors recommended.
Once that was done, Elon Musk came out and gave a presentation, which included a question and answer session at the end.
Musk began by saying that of all American car companies, only two haven’t gone bankrupt, Ford and Tesla. He initially pointed out that he expects Tesla to be producing 5,000 cars a week by the end of this month.
He discussed the market share of the Model 3 and said that it is the best selling midsize of any kind, not just electric or hybrids. He also expects to be producing lower cost cards by the end of the year.
He mentioned that employee safety is an important issue for him and that the company’s injury rates are 6% below the industry average year to date. It has a 50% decrease in the injury rate from the final years of NUMMI (the Toyota GM partnership). Most of the injuries are due to repetitive stress, such as back strain, and the company is working on that issue by rotating employees through different roles.
Tesla currently has 9,969 superchargers worldwide. The company has 1 gigawatt of cumulative energy storage deployment year-to-date, and expects another gigawatt in less than a year, with each year being the combined sum of future years.
Tesla ships more battery capacity than all the other EVs combined.
SolarCity is now installing its first solar roofs, where the entire roof is made up of roofing materials that are solar panels. They are still under evaluation because the company wants to be sure that they will last 30 years.
The company is expecting positive GAAP net income and positive cash flow in the third and fourth quarter. In addition, Musk has no plans for incremental debt or equity funding.
The Model Y production will begin next year.
The Tesla Semi is being developed. The company is working on obtaining acceptance in countries around the world.
The Tesla Roadster can outperform any gas car in every way. Musk said that they are even offering a “SpaceX Option Package”.
The gigafactory is one third completed and will be completed in four to five years. At that time, it will be the biggest building in the world. Everyone will be produced in it: the vehicle, battery pack, and powertrain.
Tesla is also working on setting up its first gigafactory outside the US, which will be built in China. The next one will be built in Europe, with an ultimate goal of 10 to 12 worldwide.
Everything is recycled and the company is spending more on R&D to improve recycling, especially in the gigafactories.
In regards to insurance, Tesla is getting the cost of insurance lower than the BMW 3 Series.
The waiting time for the Model 3 in the US is three to four months, however, the right side driver models have a waiting period over a year. Test driving the Model 3 should be available by the end of the month.
Musk expects to have ten Tesla body shop repair locations by the end of the month, with same day repair service for many of them, which will have restocked parts.
Tesla expects to have a compact car in less than five years.
Tesla is enhancing the Tesla app. It can already change the temperature of your car before you get in it, but Musk wants the app to anticipate your needs as if it was a chauffeur.
Musk has no plans to make motorcycles, due to an accident he was in when he was young.
One amusing incident was a question that was asked by a member of an animal rights group. She asked if leather could be removed from the gear stick shift and the steering wheel. So Musk said, “Stick shift? What’s that?”
Disclosure: Author is a shareholder of TSLA.