Tesla executives highlighted a range of efficiency and cost improvements that they said put the company on track to launch a much cheaper electric car, which could allow it to tap into a large new market as it faces greater competition from rival automakers.
Progress toward what he called a “next-generation platform” for a cheaper car dominated discussion at Tesla’s first investor day, which was held at its giant Texas factory on Wednesday.
The “large-scale” car will be produced at a number of the company’s plants, said Lars Moravi, chief of automotive engineering, including a new facility in Mexico that the country’s president unveiled earlier this week and confirmed by Tesla on Wednesday.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk said that “affordability” was the main barrier to its access to a much larger market. Before the recent price cuts for its electric cars, he said, “we weren’t sure about the price elasticity of demand for Tesla.”
“We found that even small changes in prices have a huge impact on demand — very big,” Musk added.
In the first clear confirmation that the round of price cuts has helped revive demand after a weak start to the year, Tom Chu, head of Tesla’s China operations, said lower prices there had an immediate impact, as the company increased its market share in the country.
“after [the price cuts] We’ve generated massive demand, more than we can really produce,” said Zhu, who was also in charge of Tesla’s production facilities around the world at the beginning of this year.
Read more about Tesla Investor Day here.
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