Elon Musk was supposed to promote Tesla. Instead he replicated the hits. Elon Musk unveiled pieces of his “master plan” for a more sustainable planet and showed a video of a humanoid robot at a Tesla event on Wednesday — but didn’t announce a major product update for the company, disappointing investors.
The company announced it would build a new factory in Mexico and hinted at a new vehicle, although executives said they were not yet ready to unveil it. Tesla leaders also revealed some changes to its manufacturing processes, but the presentations failed to break much new ground.
The lack of fresh product updates prompted the company’s stock to fall nearly 6 percent in after-hours trading. Commenters on the YouTube live stream criticized the roughly three-hour presentation.
Many were expecting the company to unveil a new vehicle or at least provide major product updates, such as the long-awaited Cybertruck. Much of what was presented was already public. Elon Musk played a key role in the presentation, helping to outline his vision for a “totally sustainable Earth”.
A plan that did nothing directly with Tesla other than stressing the importance of electric vehicles. Elon Musk said, “Riding a non-autonomous gasoline car would be the same as riding a horse and using a flip phone.” He added that the company will soon publish a white paper with its plan.
Elon Musk has taken over Twitter in an hour-long, highly technical presentation that is likely to draw criticism as he struggles to generate renewed enthusiasm for Tesla. Investors clamored for him to pay more attention to Tesla, the crown jewel of his portfolio and the company that made him the richest man on Earth.
Electric-car company Tesla, which is key to Musk’s fortune, lost more than half its value after it began chasing ownership of Twitter, which it bought in October for $44 billion. As Elon Musk has attracted more attention on social media platforms, he has faced pressure from investors to demonstrate his commitment to the carmaker.
Meanwhile, the company has faced demand and supply chain concerns, an aging lineup of vehicles and wider concerns about production. Tesla has established itself as the market leader in electric vehicles, breaking production and delivery records and putting millions of EVs in the hands of consumers. But it has also faced challenges in recent years.
Its latest plans come as mainstream automakers pivot to electric cars, creating more competition in the space.
Tesla has long promised a pickup truck it calls the Cybertruck, but has yet to produce the model — which has an unconventional, angular design — since unveiling it in 2019. Tesla has also promised a new version of its Roadster sports car, but hasn’t provided details on an eventual release.
The company delivered its first long-haul truck, called the Tesla Semi, late last year. Tesla announced last week that its “engineering headquarters” would be in Palo Alto — less than two years after publicly moving its main California headquarters to Texas. Hosted by Tesla’s key engineering staff.
During Thursday’s event, design executive Franz von Holzhausen didn’t reveal details on the new car, despite images of a cloaked vehicle. “I would really love to show you what I mean and unveil the next-gen car,” he said. “But you’ll have to count on me until a later date.”
Elon Musk also briefly talked about the humanoid robot being developed by the company. Like a scene from the sci-fi show “Westworld,” Musk showed a video of two Optimus robots adding a third — an arm to attach. The company introduced the robot last year, though there is still no update on when the company might be able to sell the technology.