Economy

Elon Musk staves off challenge to stay as Tesla's Chairman

Elon Musk staves off challenge to stay as Tesla's Chairman

Chief Executive Elon Musk revealed plans to build the electric vehicle maker's first foreign factory in China and reaffirmed a goal to build 5,000 Model 3 sedans per week by the end of this month at the company's annual meeting Tuesday.

While Musk also holds the titles of founder and chief executive at Tesla, losing the chairmanship would significantly reduce his influence over the company, in which he has a 20% stake.

Tesla and its high-profile, tweeting CEO have been under the microscope in recent months after a spate of negative press over vehicle crashes, the company's cash position and the leadership style of Musk, who has snubbed financial analysts and publicly castigated the media. "No one has succeeded in doing this in a very long time in United States". "We just did a big set of upgrades, and it's quite likely that we will achieve a 5,000 auto a week (production rate) by the end of this month", Musk said. Missed targets for the Model 3 contributed to the company burning through more than US$1bn in three of the last four quarters.

The move would have removed Musk as chairman of the Tesla board. The company started building the third line about two weeks ago, and the initial cars are moving through "crazy fast", he said.

Like Steve Jobs before him, Blank said, Musk excels as a visionary and innovator but struggles to implement that vision. Answering a Twitter question about whether European customers will get a cab-over-engine model, Musk said that an upcoming revision to the design that was revealed in late 2017 will make the truck fit in with legislations across the world.

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Tesla has been burning through so much cash - more than $1 billion during the first three months of this year alone - that investors have been worrying it will have to sell more stock or add to its already hefty debt load to raise enough money to survive.

A battery factory in China, in addition to expanding production, could allow Tesla to avoid import tariffs there.

Three other votes are also on the ballot, the retention of 3 other board members, ratify the appointment of Pricewaterhousecooper's as Tesla's independent accounting firm and the issue of whether log-time shareholders should have the ability to place director nominees on the proxy ballot.

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.

Tesla has plenty of new products in the works, but one thing it will never build is a motorcycle, despite Elon Musk's penchant for biker jackets. "But I think we're getting there".


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