Tesla opens electric car factories in Berlin and Austin, Texas and expands its factories in China and California. Its goal: millions of vehicles a year and the continued dominance of electric vehicles worldwide.
Earlier this week, at the opening ceremony of the new Tesla plant in Berlin, CEO Elon Musk delivered the first German-made Model Y models to eager customers and lightly predicted that Tesla would reach an annual production of up to 20 million vehicles by the early 2030s.
“I think it’s aggressive, but not impossible, that we could make 20 million cars in 10 years,” Musk said in response to questions from Tesla factory employees. “And that would be a good number, because there are 2 billion cars and trucks in the world that are in active use, so 20 million would then be 1% of the global fleet per year.”
Tesla is likely to expand global production from about 1 million vehicles last year to more than 2 million by 2024, analysts say. And that’s just with the company’s current announcements.
“Because we are able to increase production and meet demand in our existing markets, then we will be able to expand into other markets and add additional products,” Musk said in Berlin.
The German plant is expected to produce 500,000 vehicles a year at full capacity. JP Morgan estimates that the plant will make 54,000 this year, 280,000 next year and half a million in 2025.
The opening of new factories in the heart of Europe and the USA is a big bet both for Tesla as a brand and in the electric vehicle market. It also comes amid a global shortage of semiconductors.
But Tesla’s recent growth is remarkable in the automotive industry. Tesla went from sales of about 367,500 in 2019 to nearly half a million in 2020 and 936,172 last year. It is the leader in the US luxury market in terms of new registrations this year, taking the BMW crown in January, according to data from Experian.
Production at the Berlin plant will reduce pressure on the Chinese plant, which supplied Europe with the Model 3 compact sedan and the Model Y compact crossover.
Whether Tesla will ever reach Musk’s $ 20 million production target depends largely on circumstances beyond the company’s control. Even Musk suggested in Berlin that the number could be closer to 10 million, which would still be among the largest car manufacturers in the world in today’s ranking.