New York The shareholders of the car manufacturer Tesla have cleared the way for the second stock split in about two years. This is the result of the preliminary vote count on Thursday evening local time.
The Annual General Meeting took place on the grounds of the Gigafactory Texas, which was opened in the spring. Most of the shareholders voted digitally, only a small number, selected by lot, had come to Austin in person.
Tesla is planning a share split in a ratio of 1:3. This is intended to make it easier for employees and small shareholders to invest. The share price has roughly tripled in the last two years to $925.
Wall Street barely reacted to the decision in after-hours trading, the stock was slightly up. The decision has no impact on the market value of the Group. In addition to Tesla, Google parent Alphabet and online retailer Amazon have already announced stock splits in 2022. At Tesla, the last split took place last August.
A total of 13 draft decisions were put to the vote. Among other things, investors called on Tesla to take stronger action against discrimination and racism in the Group or to critically examine the water consumption of the plants. The Management Board recommended rejection of all initiatives submitted by shareholders – and largely prevailed in the vote with its recommendations for resolutions.
Most recently, the group has come under fire from California and federal regulators for, among other things, possible discrimination and harassment at its main plant in Fremont. The co-founder of Oracle, Larry Ellison, did not stand for re-election, which will reduce the Board of Directors from eight to seven members.
New factory announced
The meeting took place, Tesla-typical, in a relaxed atmosphere. Most of the shareholders who arrived identified themselves as proven fans of the company and its BOSS, Elon Musk. Critical voices were only occasionally heard. Musk received regular applause during his presentation.
The recent price increase at Tesla may also have contributed to the good mood: on a monthly basis, the stock is up 32 percent after strong quarterly figures – even though a minus of 22 percent has still been recorded since the beginning of the year.
Musk also caused a stir at the annual General Meeting with new plans. For example, Musk announced the construction of another factory, the location of which is expected to be revealed by the end of the year. The main plant in Fremont, California, is bursting at the seams.
He also envisioned further expansion. In a few years, Tesla could operate twelve factories, Musk explained, which makes further new locations necessary. They also want to further increase production. Today, we are proud to have produced three million Teslas. “Could you have imagined that ten years ago, when we had produced 3,000 cars?”Musk asked. This will continue exponentially. In ten years, it is possible that 100 million vehicles will have rolled off the production line at Tesla.
The model for the new factories is the plant in Shanghai: “The team there is doing a great job,” Musk praised. But the employees also worked hard in Texas and in Berlin. Especially in Austin, the ramp-up of production was recently significantly delayed.
Musk also announced news about the group’s supercharger charging network, without going into detail. There has been speculation on Wall Street for some time that Tesla could open its network of fast charging stations to other manufacturers. Further announcements will be made at the upcoming AI day at the end of September, according to Musk.
The billionaire allowed himself a few swipes at the competition: “Every time the others advertise electric cars, our orders increase,” he joked.
The coming recession will be short, Musk predicted in the question-and-answer part of the Annual General Meeting, and will last “maybe for 18 months”. Inflation makes price adjustments necessary for the upcoming cybertruck, but will decrease significantly, according to his assumption.
Little criticism on the topics of autopilot and Twitter
There was little new in the important topic of autopilot. Musk himself didn’t seem like he was serious when he announced full autonomous driving again “by the end of the year”. The billionaire has repeatedly promised this, but Tesla has regularly missed the target. Most recently, an important manager left the corporate division. Musk said on Thursday evening that there will be further updates to the system soon, including new features.
Unlike the competition, Tesla’s concept for autonomous driving does not use radar and laser sensors, but only cameras. Their images are evaluated by AI. While this saves Tesla expensive Lidar sensors, Musk believes in the approach. But so far, AI has not been able to reliably replace the many sensors and systems of the competition. The procedure is also a thorn in the side of supervision.
Surprisingly, one of the most important topics of the past months, which had a strong impact on the Tesla share price, hardly played a role: the $ 44 billion takeover of Twitter, first announced by Musk and then frozen.
The dispute with the text message service continues to expand: while Musk wants to cancel the purchase, the Twitter board insists on the deal. Now a Delaware court must rule. As it became known on Thursday evening through a report by the magazine “Insider”, a 164-page counterclaim filed by Musk against Twitter contains numerous accusations against the company, including false information about the number of fake accounts.
Despite the further escalation of the dispute, the Twitter complex was hardly discussed on Thursday evening. Musk said Twitter was the only publicly traded company besides Tesla in which he was involved. “I use the product a lot and I would have known what to change.“
The audience responded – as is so often the case – with applause, rather than with a critical follow-up. One shareholder declared himself a “big fan” and criticized the media for their handling of Musk. A young soldier offered himself as a “space marine” for Musk’s future Mars base. And another shareholder sent greetings from his six-year-old daughter, also a Musk fan: “Thank you for making the world a better place.“
“Thank you for your support. I think Tesla will be the most valuable company in the world, “ the billionaire beamed before disappearing from the stage. No matter how strong the headwinds on Wall Street may be, Musk can still count on the support of many small shareholders.