CEO Elon Musk started his presentation by saying it’s been a great year.
By now, 344 million miles have been driven in Tesla cars, with an extraordinary safety record — not a single serious permanent injury.
There are 126 retail stores around the world, from China to Norway, 77 service centers, and plans to double the number of supercharger stations by the end of the year.
Musk said he wanted Tesla cars to give people joy.
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He said new software would be coming soon that would personalize and customize the driving and navigation experience.
He expects to steadily ramp up production and also to enter new markets.
Gross margin per car sold has been improving.
Musk said that Tesla’s goal of having the gigafactories produce a 30 percent reduction in battery cost is “probably conservative.”
Tesla is having daily meetings with its gigafactory partner, Panasonic (OTC: PCRFY).
The design of the Model X is taking longer than expected, due, in part, to difficulties with the falcon-wing doors.
The Model X is expected to reach volume production in the second quarter of next year.
In answering questions, Musk said that the decision to name the third-generation car the “Model E” originally started as a joke.
They had the “S” car and the “X” car, so adding on an “E” car would spell S-E-X. The idea unexpectedly stuck.
However, Ford threatened to sue for trademark infringement. (“Ford is killing sex,” Musk joked.) So plans to use the “Model E” name were abandoned.
They have several other ideas in progress.
On a more serious note, Musk said that he is committed to remaining CEO of Tesla through the volume production of the third-generation car — which will be in about four or five years.
After that, he will “see how things are going at that point” and decide whether to stay on or not.
Musk made a cryptic statement that hinted at a significant future announcement, saying that ultimately all cars need to be electric and that he is planning on “doing something fairly significant on that front, which will be kind of controversial with respect to Tesla’s patents.”
Musk also spoke about the timeframe for the gigafactory.
He said they would choose two or three states to go as far as building foundations and does not expect to select the final state before the end of the year.
In other Tesla news this week:
Tesla started delivering right-hand drive Model S cars in the U.K.
California is making a big play to be the site for Tesla’s gigafactory.
A bill was introduced in the state legislature that would make changes to the state’s stringent environmental regulations to make it easier for the gigafactory to be built quickly.
Good news from New Jersey, which had previously given in to dealership pressure and banned Tesla’s form of direct-to-consumer car sales.
A bill was introduced in New Jersey’s state legislature which, if passed, would reverse that ban and actually allow Tesla to operate two more stores than it did before the ban.
By Michelle Cook, ETF Daily News