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Tesla still not giving many details about HQ move to Austin

Kara Carlson, Austin American-Statesman on

Published in Automotive News

Tesla held its third-quarter earnings call with shareholders on Wednesday — but anyone hoping the automaker would provide more details about moving its headquarters to Austin was likely disappointed.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced on Oct. 7 that Tesla will relocate its corporate headquarters to Austin, but gave few hints as to what that would entail.

After Wednesday's earnings report, most of the details still remain a mystery.

Company executives did say they still expect production to start at Tesla's $1.1 billion Central Texas manufacturing facility before the end of the year, but said little else about the Austin relocation. The company still has not given a timetable for the move or provided information on where the corporate headquarters will be built, how many employees might be coming to Central Texas or how many jobs might be created.

Musk didn't take part in Tesla's latest earnings call, but company executives confirmed that production at Tesla's Austin facility is still expected to start by the end of the year, on track with previously announced plans. Delivery of any of those vehicles is likely to start next year.

"We are also nearing assembly of our first production cars in Austin and Berlin. It's important to stress, while the first production car is an important milestone. The hardest work lies ahead in the ramp-up," Tesla chief financial officer Zach Kirkhorn said Wednesday.

Kirkhorn said that the pace could change, and the company is "pushing the boundaries" on "new products, and manufacturing technologies" at both Austin and Berlin, the company's newest facilities, which makes it difficult to predict exact timing.

 

In a slide presentation for shareholders, the company said the Travis County factory is progressing as planned and in the process of commissioning equipment and fabricating its first pre-production vehicles. The facility is also producing front and rear body castings, which are needed for structural battery pack architecture.

This week in a tweet, Musk also said that major construction would likely be done on the Texas facility in the next few months.

Progress has been swift on Tesla's Austin-area operations since Musk announced in July 2020 that he had picked a site in southeast Travis County for a $1.1 million manufacturing facility where the company would produce its Cybertruck, Semi, Model 3 company sedan, Model Y and batteries. The facility remains under construction on a 2,100-acre site at Texas 130 and Harold Green Road.

In 2020, Musk also announced that he had moved his residence to Texas to be closer to the Texas site and and SpaceX's facility in South Texas. The billionaire has also quietly moved or expanded his other companies to the region.

On Wednesday, Tesla reported strong quarterly earnings, topping Wall Street expectations for revenue. Tesla had $13.76 billion in sales in its fiscal third quarter, beating an expected $13.63 billion. Tesla said in a report to shareholders that it reported best-ever net income, operating profit and gross profit.

The company also announced Wednesday that Tesla Insurance is now available in Texas. The insurance, which is currently only offered in Texas and California, offers costs based on real-time driving behavior and is available for all Model S, Model 3, Model X and Model Y owners in Texas.

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