After the bell rings on Wall Street Wednesday, Elon Musk and company are set to deliver their much discussed Quarter One earnings call. From the Gigafactory to movement in China, Musk and especially Tesla have been making waves in the auto industry this year, but no one knows exactly what to expect from the call. Here are five things we’d like to learn more about:
1) Gigafactory: The much-discussed $5 billion Gigafactory is supposed to employ 6,500 people and mass market lithium-ion batteries. It’s also supposed to land in Utah, Nevada, Arizona or New Mexico (or possibly a combination of two of those states). So what else is there to know? For starters, Tesla has yet to announce a partner (or partners) for it, though Panasonic comes up most often. It would also be interesting to know if Musk can get the plant going by 2017, which he has said he has wont to do to get going on a cheaper Tesla. The Gigafactory is a huge coup for Tesla if they ever build it. As Morgan Stanley analyst Adam Jonas said: “Tesla’s near-term share price outlook will be dominated by developments (or lack thereof) surrounding its planned battery factory.
2) Model X: Musk has stated that demand for the Model X is high, but no one exactly knows how high. He said “fish are jumping in the boat” to get their hands on a Model X, but Musk is a charming and somewhat elusive billionaire and likes to keep an air of mystery around the Tesla brand. Model X was supposed to begin production late this year with deliveries in early 2015. Is that still the case, and if so, is demand for the X overpowering demand for the already beloved Model S?
3) Production: Tesla’s Fremont facility is banging out 600 cars a week with a goal toward almost doubling that total to 1,000. Is that where the new facility in Lathrop comes in?
4) China: Musk bragged to Bloomberg that Tesla will be building in China in three to four years. Where will the batteries come from? Perhaps a Chinese Gigafactory? Also, we know deliveries have started in China. Are they meeting demand? Are the Chinese excited about Tesla? China is interesting geographically because even cities with populations of more than one million are considered rural. But that’s still one million potential buyers. Will those cities like Hangzhou get their own showrooms and charging stations?
5) U.S. Sales: There are reports that sales in the U.S. are down. Tesla doesn’t break down sales by region, but sales in California, which was an early Tesla supporter, are down. If sales are already down in the super liberal, super green-friendly California, are the good people of Iowa gonna get on board with Tesla, or should Musk go back to his other project in space?