What's In a Tweet? Tesla Teases Texas As Potential Factory Site

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
whats in a tweet tesla teases texas as potential factory site

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.

Giga Texas?

— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) February 5, 2020

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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4 of 19 comments
  • Jaffa68 Jaffa68 on Feb 06, 2020

    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.

    • PandaBear PandaBear on Feb 06, 2020

      Indeed, I think he is trying to punish the shorters while they are down. This is why speculation and leverage are always risky.

  • Lstanley Lstanley on Feb 06, 2020

    Tesla needs cheap land to build their sprawling factories and cheap land for their factory employees to afford housing. Both are possible in Texas.

    • PandaBear PandaBear on Feb 06, 2020

      Texas is cheaper than California, but I'd not say they are exactly "cheap".

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