Tesla will build a vehicle based on its next-gen platform at a new Gigafactory facility built outside Monterrey, Mexico.
CEO Elon Musk officially announced both the new facility and its plan to build the next-gen car there at the company's annual investor day Wednesday, affirming the details unofficially revealed by Mexican president Andrés Manuel López Obrador ahead of the event.
The exact details of Gigafactory Mexico, including when it will come online and what other vehicles (if any) are planned to be built there, haven't been announced. However, Musk confirmed that by building the factory, Tesla is not planning to move its current domestic production operations outside of the U.S., but will instead use the facility to increase its global manufacturing footprint.
Gigafactory Mexico is Tesla's first non-domestic plant in North America. It will also be Tesla's third manufacturing plant outside of the U.S., joining a facility outside of Berlin and Shanghai. The plant is located within a seven-hour drive of Gigafactory Austin, and will even benefit from its own fast lane at the U.S.-Mexico border crossing that went live last summer.
Despite Tesla announcing that it is working on at least two new vehicles—one of which is the next-gen platform and the other likely Tesla's robotaxi—neither made its way to the event, physically or conceptually. In fact, Musk declined to answer vague questions regarding the platform during the Q&A portion of its investor day event.
Tesla fans expecting the announcement of the company's next Autopilot hardware suite, Hardware 4, expected to make its way into vehicles later this year were also left hanging dry. Likewise, those expecting to see the official reveal of Tesla's Model 3 "Highland" refresh were also disappointed, as no announcement was made pertaining to the refresh either.
The Cybertruck, however, did get a bit of love. Tesla showed off its latest variant of the Cybertruck, complete with a reworked yoke-style steering wheel, to attendees who visited Gigafactory Austin for the event but did not bring it out to investors formally. It was mentioned that the truck is still planned to enter production in 2023.
Tesla executives also said they are "in the middle" of a power electronics retool and is considering adding bidirectional charging to all of its vehicles—including the Cybertruck—over the next two years. Having been skeptical about the usefulness of this feature in the past, Musk said the implementation of this is a fairly low priority and called the feature "inconvenient" without the addition of one of the company's in-home Powerwalls, despite it being used in real-world scenarios previously.
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