Tesla’s 2023 annual shareholder meeting was a few hours ago. Many of the things presented there were already presented in the company’s Master Plan Part 3, Investor Day presentation, and previous quarterly shareholder conference calls. However, let’s look at a few of the highlights.
First of all, as many have been hoping, or at least arguing was needed, Tesla is working hard on new models to diversify its product lineup. Tesla CEO Elon Musk indicated that the company is toiling away at bringing two new products to market. “I just want to emphasize that we are actually building a new product,” Musk said at first. However, he also used the word “designing” right after that: “We are actually designing a new product. We’re not sitting on our hands here.” So, note that by “building,” he didn’t mean “producing.” He later said “There are two new products that I think you will be very excited about” — not just one.
With the coming models still in design stages, I wouldn’t expect one to arrive in 2023, and probably not even 2024. We’ll see about 2025. That said, Tesla is focused on the manufacturing side of these vehicles already, as Musk added: “both the design of the products and the manufacturing techniques are head and shoulders above anything else that is present in industry.” (Not the auto industry, but industry in general.) Tesla has been focused on “design for manufacturing” since the Model 3, so it’s not new that manufacturing methods would be taken into account during the design phase, but his statement here about Tesla innovation seems noteworthy. Of course, this broad claim of being far ahead of the rest of the industry is nothing new either — it’s been a common refrain for years. There are differences of opinion on how valid these broad claims are. But it is worth noting that the Model 3 and Model Y have achieved the massive scale, low manufacturing costs, and great margins Tesla predicted. Without more info about these new products, however, it’s hard to have much of an opinion on the claim, but this is where we are for now.
Musk’s guess is that Tesla will produce 5 million units a year of each of these coming products.
Looking at its current Tesla fleet leader, Tesla Chairperson Robyn Denholm noted earlier in the presentation that the Tesla Model Y was the best selling vehicle of any kind in Europe in the first quarter of 2023 (as we reported as well) and that it was also the top selling non-pickup vehicle in the whole USA.
That’s 5 key highlights by my count. Here are 10 more highlights from the 2023 Tesla annual shareholder meeting (links are to exact moments in Elon Musk’s presentation where he mentioned these things):
- JB Straubel has rejoined Tesla by getting appointed to a position on the board of directors.
- Tesla has continued to improve factory worker safety.
- Tesla had nearly 130,000 employees worldwide at the end of 2022.
- Tesla received 3.6 million job applications last year, and the top two companies in the world where engineers wanted to work in 2022 were SpaceX an Tesla.
- Tesla’s new drive unit uses zero rare earth elements.
- Tesla is shifting to 48V architecture in its cars — this will cut copper needs by about 75%.
- Most of the people in the audience indicated they had used FSD, but then when asked what they thought of the latest build, the response was rather muted (to my ear). Musk then noted “It’s really getting to the point where, at least for me when I drive around, it’s several days between interventions.” Personally, this bolsters my assumption that the FSD development team focuses quite a lot on how to make Musk’s experience better, because I can’t go 5 minutes on FSD without an intervention, let alone two days.
- Notably, he then pointed out that the planning & control function of FSD Beta hasn’t been using neural nets to this point, and that’s “the last piece of the puzzle.”
- Tesla is has the highest margins of any high-volume automaker in the world.
- Tesla is confident the Model Y will be the best selling car in the world in 2023. It was already best selling in the world in Q1 2023.
- Average uptime of a Tesla Supercharger is 99.95% — leading the industry. (But it’s basically been at this level for several years.)
- The 5-year total cost of ownership of a Model 3, according to Tesla, is equivalent to that of a Toyota Corolla.
Any other highlights I missed?
Well, one more note from the Q&A was that Tesla will try a little bit of paid advertising and see how it goes. The audience cheered loudly for this, pushing Musk to genuinely more forward with that idea.
Also, for any other Floridians like me, Tesla Insurance will reportedly roll out to Florida later this year.
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