Tesla Inc Chief Executive Elon Musk on Wednesday afternoon is expected to lay out a plan to make a smaller, more affordable electric vehicle in a move aimed at broadening his brand’s appeal and fending off competition.
Capturing the mass market is critical to Tesla’s goal of increasing deliveries 15-fold – to 20 million vehicles – by 2030. To do that, Tesla will have to improve its battery technology, which Musk has called the “fundamental limiting factor” for the transition to sustainable energy, making it a likely topic for Wednesday’s address.
Musk could also describe plans to update the company’s best-selling vehicles, after Reuters revealed its “Project Jupiter” plan to revamp its Model Y SUV. The Investor Day event will be webcast from Tesla’s Texas factory and is scheduled to start at 4 p.m. EST (2100 GMT).
Musk also is set to announce the company’s “Master Plan 3” for a “sustainable energy future.” His previous two master plans – most recently in 2016 – laid out expansion of new models and battery storage.
Tesla has become the world’s most valuable car company by far, and the billionaire CEO has aspirations of cracking the mass market and turning the EV maker into a company that can create a more climate-friendly world.
Tesla outperformed the industry in recent years, increasing deliveries rapidly despite the pandemic and supply-chain disruptions.
But Tesla cut prices in recent months to boost sales, which were pressured by a weak economy and growing threats from rivals in the United States and China.
The automaker has only four models, all priced toward the higher end of the market.
Tesla has promised to talk about expansion and capital expenditure plans, with a wide variety of projects from batteries to self-driving technology to new factories likely to be discussed.
On Tuesday, Mexican officials announced that Tesla would build a factory in the northern state of Nuevo Leon. It would be the company’s first factory outside of the United States, Germany and China, and Musk is expected to provide more details on Wednesday.
The plans for a more affordable car could draw the broadest interest. In 2020, Musk unveiled a plan to develop batteries in-house, which he said would make self-driving electric cars priced at $25,000 feasible by 2023, but Tesla has been struggling to scale up the production of the so-called 4680 batteries.
Some investors, including those concerned Musk is spending too much time at his latest major acquisition, Twitter, are also hoping the CEO will address calls to buy back shares, which are at about half of their November 2021 peaks even after a rebound of more than 60% this year.