Tesla CEO Elon Musk Reveals Long-term Plans: No Immediate Expansion of Gigafactories

While global leaders court Tesla, Musk's concerns about overcapacity delay expansion.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk has met with several world leaders over the years, with most of them courting the automaker to build an electric vehicle (EV) factory in their country. Despite these meetings, one minister noted earlier this month that Tesla isn’t likely to expand again for at least another year or two.

In a speech earlier this month during the Bloomberg CEO Forum, Indonesia’s coordinating minister for maritime affairs Luhut Pandjaitan referred to a recent meeting he had had with Musk, saying that the automaker wouldn’t be expanding its Gigafactories for at least “the next one or two years.” “He gives a very clear message about what happened to the global economy, and concern also about the overcapacity today,” Pandjaitan said during the September 6 conference. “So they’re not going to do any expansion for the next one or two years.”

Pandjaitan also said Musk was “very frank” in statements regarding new factories, adding that the automaker wanted to avoid going bankrupt like General Motors (GM) and Chrysler did back in 2009.

Although Tesla said it hoped to build two million EVs in January this year, Musk noted during the automaker’s Q2 earnings call that the company is now targeting around 1.8 million sales for the year. Bloomberg points out that production has generally outpaced deliveries in the last year for Tesla, emphasizing that the automaker may need to wait before expanding production further. The report follows a busy week for Musk, during which the Tesla CEO met with Thailand Prime Minister (PM) Srettha Thavisin, Israel PM Benjamin Netanyahu, and Turkey President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. Additionally, reports said that Tesla was in talks with Saudi Arabia about building a Gigafactory, though Musk later denied the claims.

A report from this week also showed that Tesla may be considering a battery plant in India after years of negotiation with the country for a car plant. Another report suggested that Tesla may purchase as much as $2 billion from India this year in car components. The news also comes ahead of Tesla’s plans to build its next Gigafactory in Mexico, for which the automaker gained Environmental Impact Permits this week. Tesla shared plans to build the Gigafactory in the Mexican state of Nuevo León earlier this year at its Investor Day event.

During the 2022 annual shareholder’s meeting, Musk estimated that Tesla would eventually need to build between 10 and 12 Gigafactories throughout the world, each of which would be expected to produce 1.5 to 2 million vehicles per year. Tesla also hopes to sell as many as 20 million EVs per year by 2030, which would require at least a few more plants.

Tesla currently produces EVs at Gigafactories in Fremont, California and Austin, Texas, and outside the U.S. in Grünheide, Germany and Shanghai, China.

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