Tesla Seeks an Expansion as Musk Cranks Up the Speculation Machine

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
tesla seeks an expansion as musk cranks up the speculation machine

To help make its promise of producing 500,000 vehicles per year a reality, Tesla Motors wants the city of Fremont’s approval to nearly double the size of its assembly plant.

The expansion plan comes as the electric automaker’s CEO promises something unexpected next week.

Tesla hopes to add 11 new buildings totaling 4.5 million square feet to its already existing 5.3 million square foot Fremont facility, CBS reports. Expanding the plant’s footprint would create 3,100 new jobs, the automaker claims, earning it the enthusiastic support of mayor Bill Harris (who has already mapped out where to spend the new tax revenue).

The plant currently employs about 6,200 people.

There’s no timeline attached to the project, but the growth is needed to increase production. Tesla starts production of the lower-priced Model 3 late next year and aims to reach a 500,000 vehicle-per-year target in 2018. Annual production could eventually hit one million vehicles, or so the automaker hopes.

Are those figures feasible with just the Fremont plant? According to the Los Angeles Times, CEO Elon Musk thinks it could be, telling analysts earlier this year, “I think it is actually feasible, maybe not advisable, but feasible to do it with just Fremont and the Gigafactory.”

A plant expansion of that size would carry a steep price tag. Meanwhile, Musk is pouring money into the Gigafactory and existing Freemont plant to get the Model 3 out on time. Until this week, it was assumed Musk would launch another round of fundraising before the end of the year, but the CEO has now kiboshed those plans.

“Would also like to correct expectations that Tesla/SolarCity will need to raise equity or corp (sic) debt in Q4,” Musk tweeted on Sunday. “Won’t be necessary for either.”

How solid is Tesla’s financial ground? We’ll wait until the company releases Q3 figures later this month.

Cash isn’t the only thing Musk is tweeting about. As he’s known to do, Musk took to Twitter to tease an October 17 product unveiling, leaving his fans overjoyed and tingling with feverish anticipation. Meanwhile, his detractors roll their eyes at the hype-generating tactic.

Musk claims the product to be unveiled is “unexpected by most,” but we’ll leave the speculation up to you.

Tesla product unveiling on the 17th (unexpected by most), followed by Tesla/SolarCity on the 28th

— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) October 9, 2016

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7 of 14 comments
  • LS1Fan LS1Fan on Oct 11, 2016

    Teslas next big product unveiling will be one of two things; SEC and FBI indictments for money laundering. OR Chapter 11 Reorganization / Chapter 7 liquidation. My advice to the citizens of Frement employed by the House of Musk(by way of their Quarterly Statements) : don't plan on retiring there.

  • Redmondjp Redmondjp on Oct 12, 2016

    My guess is that he is going to announce that he is selling a majority share in the company to Chinese investors. Because that is the only way that he is going to come up with the cash needed to do everything he says he is going to do.

  • ToolGuy Here is an interesting graphic, if you're into that sort of thing.
  • ToolGuy Nice website you got there (even the glitches have glitches)
  • Namesakeone Actually, per the IIHS ratings, "Acceptable" is second best, not second worst. The ratings are "Good," "Acceptable," "Marginal" and "Poor."
  • Inside Looking Out "And safety was enhanced generally via new reversing lamps and turn signals fitted as standard equipment."Did not get it, turn signals were optional in 1954?
  • Lorenzo As long as Grenadier is just a name, and it doesn't actually grenade like Chrysler UltraDrive transmissions. Still, how big is the market for grossly overpriced vehicles? A name like INEOS doesn't have the snobbobile cachet yet. The bulk of the auto market is people who need a reliable, economical car to get to work, and they're not going to pay these prices.