Tesla CEO Elon Musk.
Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images
A Thursday tweet from
CEO Elon Musk seems to be helping the stock. All it says is “working on Master Plan Part 3,” but people who follow the electric-vehicle company know exactly what Musk is talking about.
Part 3 of the master plan would follow Part Deux, published in 2016, and Part 1, written by Musk in 2006. Plan 1 called for a low-volume car that would be expensive, but would help the company to build a medium-volume vehicle. Those cars are, essentially, the Model S and the Model 3, respectively, although the Model 3 arguably is better than a medium-volume seller.
Part Deux—Tesla’s (ticker: TSLA) website uses the French name in an apparent reference to a 1993 parody film, Hot Shots, staring Charlie Sheen—laid out plans to integrate energy generation and storage into the business, as well as to scale up the volume of production. Tesla has, essentially, done both.
The company sells utility-grade and residential-grade battery backup energy-storage products. And it has four manufacturing plants that are expected to put out more than 1.5 million vehicles in 2022, compared with one factory when Part Deux was released.
Part Deux also laid out Musk’s vision for autonomous driving and ride sharing. Building self-driving cars has been tougher than Musk, and the industry, envisioned.
Part 3 could include more about autonomy. It should also cover Tesla’s plans to have more vehicles in more segments of the market. That is critical because Tesla, eventually, will need to build smaller, lower-priced EVs to maintain its growth.
A longer-term outlook for manufacturing could also be part of Plan 3. Tesla’s long-run goal is to produce as many as 20 million vehicles annually. That will take many more assembly and battery facilities.
The company didn’t respond to a request for comment on Friday.
Morgan Stanley analyst Adam Jonas wrote Thursday evening that Plan 3 could include a new focus on battery supply and innovation. He even suggested in his report that Plan 3 could include more collaboration between Musk’s other companies: SpaceX and the Boring Company, which builds tunnels under cities.
And plans for Tesla’s robot, named Optimus, might also make into Plan 3.
Master Plan 3 might be closer to what investors hoped for when Musk said he would update investors about Tesla’s product plan during the fourth-quarter earnings conference call in January. Back then, he said Tesla wasn’t working on a $25,000 EV and that the No. 1 priority for the year was scaling up production.
The update disappointed investors. Shares fell 11.6% following the talk, but the prospect of more news seems to be lifting the stock.
Tesla shares were up 2.6% in Friday trading, while the
was flat and the
Dow Jones Industrial Average
was down 0.3%. Friday’s move adds to a 3.9% gain on Thursday, taking the stock to the brink of $900, up about 13% for the week.
Write to Al Root at firstname.lastname@example.org