Published: Thu, June 07, 2018
Money | By Michele Stevens

World's biggest investor in clash with Tesla over Elon Musk's dual role

World's biggest investor in clash with Tesla over Elon Musk's dual role

Elon Musk, co-founder and chief executive of Tesla, speaks at a Boring Company event on May 17 in Los Angeles.

Tesla Inc. shareholders sided with its besieged board by defeating a proposal to require that the chairman be an independent director and approving the re-election of three directors criticized by an activist investor group.

Tesla's CEO Elon Musk noted that the company was likely to hit its production target of 5,000 units per week for the Model 3, its new four-door mass-market all-electric sedan.

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Smaller cars took top billing in the announcement, with the Model Y confirmed for reveal in March 2019 and production in the first half of 2020. The Model 3 is supposed to start at around $35k, though Tesla has yet to begin delivering those base-spec versions.

In November 2017, it said it hoped to achieve a production rate of 5,000 per month by the end of the first quarter of 2018, pushing back what was originally a target for the end of 2017.

During a presentation, and more than an hour of questions, Musk seemed buoyant, at times overcome with emotions, as he ticked off the company's achievements: the Model 3's ranking as a top-selling premium sedan in the USA, installation of one gigawatt-hour of energy storage, the 2020 production plans for the Model Y and revamped Roadster. Tesla has focused on high-priced configurations, some exceeding $70,000, since the vehicle began rolling off assembly lines in 2017.

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While no more details were offered, Musk used the meeting to announce a number of updates for Tesla's current and future range. "But I think we're getting there".

"We are also concerned about whether these highly paid directors can help the CEO focus on solving the serious financial, production, and labor relations problems now facing Tesla", he added. The goal, said Musk, is to be able to go nearly anywhere on earth using the Tesla Supercharger system. "Next quarter, at the Gigafactory, we expect to make more battery capacity than all other EVs combined worldwide, including China".

One of the reasons for Musk's assurance that Tesla is turning the corner on manufacturing is the addition of a third general assembly line that completes the process of putting together the Model 3.

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