On the wake of its fourth quarter results that beat analyst estimates and with the shares rising to new record levels, California’s Tesla is swelling with confidence and wants its production to increase.
The electric automaker said it plans to raise this year’s Model S production output by 56% to meet a forecasted sales target of 35,000 units this year, confident of growing demand from China.
Musk, Tesla’s outspoken CEO announced as a goal the acceleration of Model S production from the current 600 cars a week to 1,000 units at its Fremont, California facility.
“We’ll be able to ramp up our production rate quite a bit, with a fairly small increase in hiring,” said Elon Musk.
The plant, a former joint venture between Toyota and GM, actually has an annual capacity of 500,000 cars, and Tesla’s CEO again said he intends to fully utilize it. The carmaker next plans to start selling the Model X crossover (which was actually slightly delayed to 2015) and a future smaller sedan. For all those purposes, Tesla needs its planned battery “gigafactory”.
“The gigafactory is more of a long-term development over the next three years,” Musk added. With respect to the X, I am somewhat of a perfectionist when it comes to product design,” he said. “It is hard to make an SUV that is beautiful and functional at the same time.”
For the battery plant plans to come to fruition, the CEO added that further gathering of funds is needed, but declined to elaborate on the matter.