For Elon Musk, it’s not “new year, new me.” Rather, it’s “new year, new Tesla gigafactory”—well, sort of.
The EV maker is planning a $775 million expansion of its manufacturing hub and global headquarters in Austin, Texas, The Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday. Regulatory filings seen by the newspaper cover facilities to make and test batteries and other aspects of Tesla cars. (Tesla didn’t immediately respond to the WSJ’s request for comment.)
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Right now, the Austin outpost, which covers 2,500 acres along the Colorado River, produces the Tesla Model Y crossover. The marque has also said it plans to build its long-delayed Cybertruck at the plant starting this year.
At its current size and levels of production, the 10 million-square-foot factory can make more than 250,000 vehicles. The expansion would help Musk reach his goal of selling 20 million vehicles by the end of the decade, the WSJ noted. The mercurial CEO has said in the past that Tesla might open 10 to 12 new factories to aid in that dream, and just last month he said the company was getting close to choosing a location for at least one new facility. “We are applying capital at pretty close to the fastest rate we can spend capital and not be wasteful,” Musk told the WSJ.
The news comes at a time when Tesla is facing a bit of a crisis. The automaker’s stock had its worst year ever in 2022, dropping a massive 65 percent thanks to demand concerns and worries that Musk was turning too much of his attention to his recent acquisition of Twitter. Also last year, reported vehicle deliveries didn’t meet Wall Street’s expectations, and the company offered end-of-year deals to get drivers to buy its battery-powered rides.
Despite those bleak signals—which are compounded by increased competition as more and more companies enter the EV market—Tesla did increase deliveries by 40 percent in 2022, to 1.31 million vehicles. And it’s expected to post a record annual profit when it announces its fourth-quarter results later this month.
Musk is likely hoping that the Texas expansion will help keep that sort of good news coming. With work on the plant possibly starting as early as this month, he’s also probably hoping that good news comes sooner rather than later.
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