- In an earnings call last week, Tesla co-founder and CEO Elon Musk gave updates on construction of the company’s factories in Shanghai, Berlin and Austin, Texas.
- Construction in Shanghai is an expansion of the existing Shanghai Gigafactory to produce the new Tesla Model Y beginning in 2021. The $1.1 billion Austin factory, reportedly to be complete in May 2021, will become the future production center of the company’s Cybertrucks. The Berlin Gigafactory, which is due to open late next year, will also produce the Model Y as well as batteries for the vehicles.
- Last week, Tesla fired Evan Horetsky, known as “Mister Gigafactory,” the company’s head of engineering, procurement and construction, who was leading the construction of the Berlin Gigafactory.
Horetsky first joined Tesla in 2015 to work on Nevada Gigafactory, a facility located south of Reno, Nevada, where the company produces lithium-ion batteries and electric vehicles. No specific reason was given for Horetsky’s termination from the Berlin Gigafactory project, and it was not addressed during the earnings call.
Musk’s update on the under-progress factories was vague, but he did confirm a rough timeline on two of the projects.
“We do expect to start delivering cars from [the Austin and Berlin] factories next year,” Musk said during the call. “But because of the exponential nature of the spool up of manufacturing plants, especially one with new technology, it will start off very slow.”
Work on the Shanghai Gigafactory began in December 2018, and the site began producing Tesla Model 3s one year later, and the expansion continued shortly thereafter. Construction on the Gigafactory Berlin began in June of this year. When both are finished they will produce the Tesla Model Y, which the company describes as a “fully electric, mid-size SUV.
Meanwhile, Tesla is making progress at its 2,100-acre site in Austin, even starting construction a few days before the official announcement that Austin had beaten out Tulsa, Oklahoma, as the site for the new facility.
The earnings announcement last week showed Tesla outperformed high expectations. Wall Street analysts expected the California-based company to report about $8.2 billion in revenue for the third quarter and a $0.55 gain per share. In fact, Tesla reported $8.7 billion in revenue and a $0.76 gain per share.