Rarely content to simply confirm something most already know, Tesla CEO Elon Musk said Wednesday evening the company’s next-gen platform was in development — and that it will change the way manufacturing EVs is done.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk gave us what we were asking for and when we wanted it, but he went a step further, which is not a surprise.
During the company’s earnings call Wednesday evening, Musk confirmed what has been written about for much of the last week: Tesla’s building a new low-cost electric vehicle. The new model will be built at the company’s gigafactory in Texas and it’s likely further along than many expected.
“We’re very far along on our next-generation, low-cost vehicle,” Musk said on the call. “This is going to be profound, not just in the design of the vehicle itself, but in the design of the manufacturing system.”
The new manufacturing system was then ignored, at least beyond the scope of the new low-cost Tesla model.
He’s been promising to build a sub-$25,000 EV for a few years now. After all, the whole point of Tesla has been to convert the world to battery-electric vehicles. If that’s the case, an affordable one needs to be part of the product mix.
However, he said the Cybertruck, also built in Texas, needed to get done first. And now that it is, and he expects it to ramp up to full production speed throughout this year, it’s time to move onto the next project: the next-generation platform, from which will spring the low-cost model.
Timing is good
Musk mentioned that now was a good time to launch the new platform because the company is between growth waves. “There’s a lot to look forward to in 2024,” he said. “Tesla is currently between two major growth waves.
“We’re focused on making sure our next growth wave — driven by the next-gen vehicle, energy storage, full self-driving and other projects — is executive as well as possible.”
He was hesitant to be nailed down to a specific time when the new model would arrive, acknowledging his own “optimistic” timelines for past vehicles, which the company did not meet — most recently the previously mentioned Cybertruck.
However, it did say he thought late 2025 was a possibility. He noted it would be built in Texas to allow the engineers to be closer to it as it hit various milestones. Ultimately, production will also occur the company’s facility in Mexico, which is under construction, as well as another location outside of North America.
Tesla Inc. brought in big money for the final quarter of 2023 as well as the full year, according to its earnings report filed Wednesday.
For all of 2023, it reported net income of $15 billion on revenue of $96.8 billion. The company’s adjusted EBITDA, was $16.6 billion for an adjusted margin of 17.2% — a result its competitors only dream of reporting to shareholders.
That’s earnings per share of $4.30, more than 2022 earnings of $3.62 a share. Most of Tesla’s revenue — $82.4 billion — came from its automotive operations.
The fourth quarter was a good one with the company reporting $7.9 billion in net income on revenue of $25.1 billion. The company’s EPS for the quarter was $2.27, more than double what it was during the same period in 2022. Its adjusted earnings came in at $3.9 billion for a margin of 15.7%. Much of that automotive revenue came from its top seller: the Model Y.
“In 2023, we delivered over 1.2 million Model Ys, making it the best-selling vehicle of any kind, globally,” the company said in a presentation for shareholders.“For a long time, many doubted the viability of EVs. Today, the best-selling vehicle on the planet is an EV.”