Musk Says New Tesla Factories Are Burning Cash

CEO calls Austin and Berlin plants 'gigantic money furnaces' because of supply chain, battery issues
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 22, 2022 7:55 PM CDT
Musk Says New Tesla Factories Are Burning Cash
CEO Elon Musk attends the opening of the Tesla factory in Gruenheide, Germany, in March.   (Patrick Pleul/Pool Photo via AP, File)

(Newser) – At some point, the Tesla factories that opened in Texas and Germany earlier this year will pay off. But at the moment, CEO Elon Musk says, they're money pits. "Both Berlin and Austin factories are gigantic money furnaces right now," he said, per Forbes. "It's like a giant roaring sound, which is the sound of money on fire." The losses are in the billions, Musk said. He made the comments in an interview May 31 with the Tesla Owners Silicon Valley group, which posted other parts of the interview online earlier this month.

A shortage of electric car batteries—including the unexpectedly long time Austin plant's 4680 battery cells are taking to make—and lingering supply-chain problems are the villains, per Business Insider. "Our constraints are much more in raw materials and being able to scale up production," Musk said in an interview this week with Bloomberg. Demand for new Teslas remains high, he said, but factory output is low. "Overwhelmingly our concern is, how do we keep the factories operating so we can pay people and not go bankrupt?" Musk told the owners group. He said he anticipates the problems being solved soon, and Musk has said he plans to cut about 10% of Tesla's workforce. Company shares are off 35% this quarter. (Read more Elon Musk stories.)

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