Elon Musk, Tesla CEO and co-founder said it anticipates high volume sales from a mass-market battery car and to satisfy demand they plan to build plants in Europe and Asia.
The company this year plans to make at least 21, 000 of its $70,000 Model S premium sedans at its Fremont, California, plant, and double that in 2014. While the factory has capacity to produce as many as 500,000 vehicles a year, the addition of a smaller electric car priced about half that of Model S will require additional plants, Musk said.
“We’ll try to locate those close to where people are, close to where the customers are, to minimize the logistics costs of getting the car to them,” the Tesla co-founder said in an interview. “I think long term you can see Tesla establishing factories in Europe, in other parts of the U.S. and in Asia.”
Musk provided no details on how much or when Tesla would invest in more factories. At the moment, the company has opened a small facility in Tilburg, Netherlands, where it’s assembling Model S components shipped from California to Europe, for cars it has begun selling there.
Tesla, named for inventor Nikola Tesla, has seen its shares surge more than fourfold and its market value exceed some established carmakers such as Fiat SpA. The Palo Alto, California-based company reported its first profitable quarters this year, excluding some items, and has seen demand for the Model S outstrip its ability to build the car.