By on February 5, 2020

Tesla CEO Elon Musk is no stranger to sparking conversation — along with lawsuits, SEC probes, and stock fluctuations — with his social media missives. Tuesday night was no different.

In a two-word Twitter message backed up with a two-item poll, Musk suggested Tesla’s next domestic assembly plant will take up residence in the Lone Star State.

“Giga Texas?” Musk tweeted, compelling readers to answer either “Hell yeah” or “Nope.”

You can guess where the majority of respondents fell.

As it moves to expand its global reach, Tesla is on the hunt for whatever capacity it can afford. Its Shanghai assembly plant, now idled due to the coronavirus outbreak, began deliveries shortly before New Year’s. A plant in Brandenburg, Germany is in the planning stage.

While the automaker’s lone American assembly plant seems capable of handling rising Model 3 volume and dwindling volume of Models S and X, as well as the upcoming Model Y crossover, there’s still product waiting in the wings for which Tesla needs a home.

Those vehicles include the ridiculously styled Cybertruck, the returning Roadster, and the company’s planned electric semi truck. Texas’ strong association with big, bad pickups makes a prospective Texan plant seem like a natural locale for Tesla’s triangle-with-a-bed. Production of the Cybertruck is tentatively slated for late 2021.

Tesla’s stock price greeted 2019 by reenacting the first half of the F-104 Starfighter scene in The Right Stuff, doubling the company’s valuation in just a month. Between the opening bell on Monday and 3:30 p.m. on Tuesday, the company’s share price rose from $674.07 to $961.86. Wild, but not a sustainable climb. The stock cooled before the closing bell, opening significantly lower on Wednesday at $821.75 and trending downward from there.

At last check, the company’s stock was hovering around $760. Bullish investors enthused by an expedited Model Y, a new Chinese factory, and a second consecutive quarterly profit have conspired to inflate Tesla’s valuation, though short sellers — people Musk would prefer to see exiled to a frozen gulag — deserve some of the credit.

Despite leaving its worst money woes in the past, expect the company’s stock to remain as volatile as its CEO.

[Image: Tesla]

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19 Comments on “What’s In a Tweet? Tesla Teases Texas As Potential Factory Site...”


  • avatar
    highdesertcat

    Tesla is now valued at more than Ford and GM, it was announced on CNBC this morning.

    So there is mass appeal.

    Opening a factory in Texas, like Toyota did with the Tundra and Tacoma, bodes well for acceptance of Tesla products.

    And it would boost the economy of my home state to new and higher levels!

    • 0 avatar
      Sigivald

      A short squeeze is not evidence of mass appeal, and that valuation won’t last – any more than Volkswagen’s squeeze in 2008 meant it was “really” worth E1000/share for one day, proving it was “really” the most valuable company in the world.

      Stable, settled stock prices show real market beliefs about value of a company.

      This does not, any more than a *dip* caused by the same sort of fluctuations would.

    • 0 avatar
      Peter Gazis

      HighDesertcat

      Just checked the market

      GM up 2%
      Ford down 10%
      Tesla down 18%

      Could be there was mass appeal this morning, but by afternoon people reconsidered. Maybe there will mass appeal sometime tomorrow.
      Toyota announced a few weeks ago they will no longer be building the Tacoma in Texas. Moving all Tacoma production to Mexico.

      Texas will be ok though. You still have the Tahoe, Suburban, Yukon, and Escalade built in Austin.

    • 0 avatar
      JimZ

      *Uber* is valued at more than GM right now, for reasons not explainable by any reasonable person.

  • avatar
    PandaBear

    What kind of stock has a “sustainable climb” and what doesn’t in 2020? Please advise.

  • avatar
    Fred

    Texas did bring back a tax incentive for green vehicles. Except it does not cover Teslas, because it’s administered thru dealers and Tesla does not have dealers. Also Texas doesn’t acknowledge climate change if that matters to Elon.

  • avatar
    dividebytube

    Smart move – given the number of Texans who drive pickups (or is this a stereotype?). And a chance to break into the Big-3 truck market.

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      I agree it is a smart move.

      Since making El Paso, TX my domicile at the beginning of last year I too have noticed the stunning number of pickups here, although many of them have Chihuahua or other Mexican plates on them, and a number of commuters with New Mexico plates.

      So, “Giga Texas?”, I say “Hell yeah!”

      But I’d buy a Rivian RT1 if it is reasonably priced.

    • 0 avatar
      Jean-Pierre Sarti

      as a life long Texan your stereotype cannot be over stated. even I am boggled at times how many trucks are here and the prices they are sold for…even used ones.

      • 0 avatar
        Fred

        As an ex Texan, in a rural county, I’d sit at a stop sign and figure 70% of us are in pickups, the rest were SUVs. Maybe a sedan now and then. Except on weekends then we would get lots of classics, sport cars and motor cycles.

  • avatar
    dont.fit.in.cars

    It’s ugly

  • avatar
    cprescott

    Tesla is way over valued. It is a hot air machine that delivers cars that have to go through fix lots to make them so they can be sold. If Tesla thinks that building their DeLoramino in Texas will make it more of a pickup truck, then they have another thing coming. The only thing good about tesla is their batteries and their building powerwall. Their vehicles still remain half baked and fake luxury.

  • avatar
    ToolGuy

    Doesn’t matter what Tesla does now, they are surely doomed – for Mary Barra’s GM has awakened and is *uniquely* positioned to take the industry forward.

    (So long, Ford. Buh-bye Toyota.)

  • avatar
    jaffa68

    Just Musk’s attempt to push the stock over $1000 bucks before reality sets in and it falls back to a less ridiculous level – though not a sensible level – there’s too much emotional money involved for that.

    But seriously, there’s always got to be a “next factory” (the giga prefix is a bit silly to me since I’m an adult who has worked in manufacturing for long enough to not be impressed by big factories), just like there’s always a “next car” and a “next roof” and a “next autopilot version”, because it’s always those “next” things that are going to finally make the company profitable.

    It was Shanghai but now it’s Berlin, then when that’s still losing money it’ll be Texas.

    It was the Model X, then the Model 3, now the Model Y but maybe the truck, always the next thing.

    Oh yeah, nearly forgot, the next version of autopilot will see 1 million robotaxis on the road in 2020 and all those Tesla’s will be appreciating in value as they earn money for their owners while they’re at work or asleep.

    Yeah, right.

  • avatar
    lstanley

    Tesla needs cheap land to build their sprawling factories and cheap land for their factory employees to afford housing.

    Both are possible in Texas.

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