Elon Musk Teases Two New Teslas During the 2023 Shareholder Meeting

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2023 Annual Shareholder Meeting

Tesla Motors Inc hosted its 2023 Annual Shareholder Meeting on Tuesday, which took place around a month after the Q1 financial results that had shown a slump in profitability due to a series of price cuts, amidst fears over demand. [1]

The prolific CEO Elon Musk, covered a wide range of topics during his speech and Q&A session, including the impact of the current tough economic environment, next generation vehicles, details around the upcoming Cybertruck and the Roadster. [2]

Two Next-Gen Models

While showing an image of a hatchback-like car, Mr Musk spoke of two new products and that combined output for both will probably be "in excess" of five million units. He went a step further though, emphasizing on curently "actually building" a new vehicle. He did not offer much detail, but it is more likely that he was referring to a prototype, rather than a volume production model.

He could be talking about the highly anticipated affordable model, which Tesla execs hinted towards during the March Investor Day, when they had then outlined a next-gen platform that will lead to a 50% reduction in costs and 40% less manufacturing footprint and had also shown an image of tow veiled cars 9one of which looked like a van). [3]

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Cybertruck & Roasdster

We still don't have many information around those aforementioned vehicles, but two cars are already in the pipeline and eagerly anticipated, with the futuristic Cybertruck being the most important. It has seen multiple delays since it was first unveiled all the way back in late-2019 and the electric pick-up truck segment is much different now. Rivian Automotive offers the R1T and around a year ago, the Ford Motor Company started selling the electric variant of America's beloved truck – the F-150 Lighting.

Both those vehicles have impressive features and have also gained critical acclaim, wining MotorTrend's 2022 and 2023 Truck of the Year awards respectively [4], [5]. It remains to be seen how Tesla's contender will fare - not only against its rivals, but also against consumer expectations.

Mr Musk confirmed yesterday that deliveries will begin "later this year" and hyped the Cybertruck up, saying that it's "better than expectations" and is the car he will be driving "on day to day basis". Of course production will slow at first, but spoke of 250,000-500,000 units after the ramp up, although this will be "very much dependent on what the demand is like".

The other announced model we are expecting from Tesla is the Roadster. Around a year ago, Mr Musk had suggested the production of this vehicle in 2023 as well [6], but it has been suspiciously absent from his recent remarks. In any case, this is likely going to be a niche product and not so important for the company's top and bottom lines.

The CEO alluded to this yesterday, saying "it's definitely not gonna be a huge contributor" to revenue and will be a "modest" contributor to profitability. He also pushed back the manufacturing start day, to "hopefully" next year.

Tough Environment

The current macroeconomic environment is not friendly for automakers, given high interest rates and credit tightening, which hurts corporate margins and appetite for buying new cars, as it diminishes disposable income and makes financing harder and more expensive.

Tesla Motors Inc already saw its profits slump in the first quarter, after series of prices cuts, partly due to lower demand. Adjusted EBIT Margin dropped to 18.3% in Q1, but that still better than most of rivals. Ford for example had just 8.1% in the same period and its EV segment actually lost money [7]. EV start-ups are even more vulnerable to the adverse external environment, as the latest results of Rivian and Lucid showed, as they are often unprofitable and need to make investments.

On Tuesday Mr Musk warned that Tesla is "not immune" to the global economic environment and that the next twelve month will "challenging", but the firm will emerge from that in an "extremely good position".

Twitter Distraction

Mr Elon Muck spend many months of 2022 talking about and trying to buy Twitter and the acquisition did not reflect good on Tesla's stock, since it sparked concern around his priorities and his ability to run multiple corporations.

In Tuesday's shareholder meeting, he spoke of a "short-term distraction", pointing out that the social networking platform is now at a "stable place" and that he does not need to devote incremental time to it any longer. Last week he announced a successor to take over as CEO of Twitter soon [8], saying yesterday that his role will be to provide "guidance" on technology development.

He also dismissed rumors of him stepping down as CEO of Tesla, saying "it ain't so". He went on to add that Tesla will play an important role in Artificial Intelligence (AI) and he needs to "oversee" in order to "make sure it's good".

Nikos Tzabouras

Senior Financial Editorial Writer

Nikos Tzabouras is a graduate of the Department of International & European Economic Studies at the Athens University of Economics and Business. He has a long time presence at FXCM, as he joined the company in 2011. He has served from multiple positions, but specializes in financial market analysis and commentary.

With his educational background in international relations, he emphasizes not only on Technical Analysis but also in Fundamental Analysis and Geopolitics – which have been having increasing impact on financial markets. He has longtime experience in market analysis and as a host of educational trading courses via online and in-person sessions and conferences.

References

1

Retrieved 17 May 2023 https://tesla-cdn.thron.com/static/ZXSBN8_TSLA_Q1_2023_Update_ABMJPG.pdf

2

Retrieved 17 May 2023 https://www.youtube.com/watch

3

Retrieved 17 May 2023 https://www.youtube.com/watch

4

Retrieved 17 May 2023 https://www.motortrend.com/news/rivian-r1t-2022-truck-of-the-year/

5

Retrieved 17 May 2023 https://www.motortrend.com/news/ford-f-150-lightning-2023-truck-of-the-year/

6

Retrieved 17 May 2023 https://www.youtube.com/watch

7

Retrieved 17 May 2023 https://s201.q4cdn.com/693218008/files/doc_financials/2023/q1/Fords-First-Quarter-Volumes-Sales-Profits-Cash-Flow-All-Up-Distinct-Segments-Sharpen-Focus-Speed-Accountability.pdf

8

Retrieved 14 Apr 2024 https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/1656748197308674048

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