Tesla Investors Are Unimpressed With Elon Musk’s Plan to Change the World

The three-hour Investor Day presentation was filled with big-picture talks and short on details. Tesla shares fell sharply.

Tesla Investor Day
Elon Musk laid out part three of his master plan to achieve a sustainable energy future for Earth at Tesla’s Investor Day event on March 1. CARINA JOHANSEN/NTB/AFP via Getty Images

Tesla (TSLA)’s stock price fell sharply today (March 2) following the electric carmaker’s Investor Day event in Austin, Texas, last night where CEO Elon Musk mapped out his grand plan to achieve a global economy primarily powered by sustainable energy.

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The event was themed around Musk’s “Master Plan 3,” the third part of a long-term plan toward sustainability that involves electric cars and other clean energy products. The three-hour presentation included a recap of Tesla’s manufacturing achievements and many of Musk’s big-picture visions but was short on details about Tesla’s progress on new products such as Cybertruck—a topic investors wanted to hear about the most. Tesla shares fell nearly 8 percent late yesterday (March 1) after the event and are down more than 5 percent today.

After losing 70 percent of its value in 2022, Tesla stock has rebounded 76 percent this year. A lack of specifics from the Investor Day presentation doesn’t change the fact that Tesla’s business is strong, bullish analysts say.

“The reality is the [Wall] Street will always and has always walked away from Tesla Investor Days ‘wanting more,'” Dan Ives, an analyst at Wedbush Securities, tweeted today. “For investors it’s crystal clear just how far ahead Tesla is ahead of the rest of the auto industry when it comes to producing/scaling EVs.”

Key takeaways from Tesla 2023 Investor Day

The most significant announcement from yesterday’s event is Tesla’s plan to build a new Gigafactory in northern Mexico for producing its next-generation, cheaper electric vehicles—a key objective under Musk’s master plan.

It will be Tesla’s fifth car manufacturing facility in the world. The company has two plants in the U.S., one in China and one in Germany.

Musk also for the first time introduced his leadership team to the public. At past Tesla events, presentations were mostly delivered by Musk himself and sometimes Tesla CFO Zach Kirkhorn and Andrew Baglino, head of powertrain and energy engineering. New faces taking the stage yesterday included Autopilot lead Ashok Elluswamy, powertrain vice-president Colin Campbell, EV charging director Rebecca Tinucci, design lead Franz von Holzhausen, vehicle engineering vice-president Lars Moravy, and Tom Zhu, Tesla’s newly promoted global production chief.

Tom Zhu, who oversaw production ramp-up at Tesla’s Shanghai and Austin factories, said Tesla will able to make 20 million cars a year by 2030, more than 10 times last year’s production. Future Tesla cars will also be cheaper, Zhu said, gradually trending toward Musk’s goal to offer a $25,000 electric car to the market.

In other announcements, Musk said Tesla plans to launch an EV charging subscription service and a lithium refining business to make battery production more vertically integrated.

Towards the end of the event, Tesla’s prototype robot, Optimus, made a brief appearance. Musk said Tesla’s robot business could be bigger than its car business one day when robots are capable of replacing human labor.

Elon Musk’s Master Plans since 2006

In 2006, when Tesla was just three years old, Musk published a blog post titled “The Secret Tesla Motors Master Plan” that laid out four long-term objectives for the company:

  • Build a sports car;
  • Use that money to build an affordable car;
  • Use that money to build an even more affordable car;
  • While doing above, also provide zero emission electric power generation options.

So far, Tesla has completed the first two goals: Its first product was an electric sports car called Roadster and it now sells two mass-market cars, Model 3 and Model Y.

In 2016, Musk published “Master Plan, Part Deux,” laying out four updated objectives:

  • Create solar roofs with seamlessly integrated battery storage;
  • Expand the electric vehicle product line to address all major segments;
  • Develop a self-driving capability that is 10 times safer than manual via massive fleet learning;
  • Enable your car to make money for you when you aren’t using it.

Tesla has yet to deliver on any of those goals.

The Investor Day is the latest in a series of annual events held to update Tesla shareholders on the progress of Musk’s master plan. In 2022 and 2021, the events were called A.I. Day I and A.I. Day II. In 2020, it was Battery Day. And in 2019, it was called Tesla’s Autonomy Day.

Tesla Investors Are Unimpressed With Elon Musk’s Plan to Change the World