“Factories in Berlin and Austin are gigantic money ovens right now. Okay? It’s really like a giant roar, which is the sound of money on fire,” Musk said during a interview with Tesla Owners Silicon Valley, an official club recognized by Tesla, Austin, Texas, May 31.
The club split its interview with Musk into three parts, the last of which was published on Wednesday.
Musk said Tesla’s Texas factory is producing a “miniscule” number of cars because of difficulties boosting production of its new “4680” batteries and because the tools to make its conventional 2170 batteries are “stranded in a port in China”.
The Shanghai COVID production shutdowns in China “have been very, very difficult,” he said. The shutdown affected car production not only at Tesla’s Shanghai plant, but also at its California plant, which uses some vehicle parts made in China.
“The last two years have been an absolute nightmare of supply chain disruptions, one thing after another, and we’re not out of it yet,” Musk said.
Tesla’s main concern, he said, is “how to keep the factories running so we can pay people and not go bankrupt.”
Musk said earlier this week that a 10% reduction in Tesla’s salaried workforce would take place over three months. The world’s richest man also said a recession in the United States was more likely than not.
Earlier this year, Tesla started production at factories in Berlin and Texas, both of which are key to the growth ambitions of the leading electric carmaker.
Musk said he expects Tesla to start production of its delayed Cybertruck electric pickups in mid-2023.