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After Tearful Interview, Musk Plans for Providing Tesla Car to The Masses at $25,000

Musk's tweet caused a financial firestorm with Tesla shares immediately skyrocketing by almost 11 per cent, although in the coming days they lost a good part of what they had gained and tanked further after Musk's interview with the NYT

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Musk may buy GM plant to boost Tesla production. (VOA)

After giving a “tearful” interview to The New York Times, Tesla Chairman and CEO Elon Musk sat with popular You Tuber Marques Brownlee for a chat, revealing his plans for a mass-market electric vehicle priced as low as $25,000.

“That’s something we could do. If we work really hard i think maybe we could do that in three years,” Musk replied to Brownlee (who goes by the handle @MKBHD on Google-owned YouTube) on Friday.

The interview took place on August 15 but a 17-minute video was uploaded by Brownlee on YouTube on Friday — a week after Musk tweeted about taking Tesla private with “funding secured” that created a storm at the Tesla board and amid market watchers.

According to The Verge, Musk said in the YouTube interview that he hoped to scale production at Tesla and lower their design and technology costs enough to be able to offer a truly mass-market electric vehicle.

Currently, the price for Tesla Model 3 starts from $35,000 and Model S from $75,000.

“Musk also expressed a desire to improve production to the point where Tesla can make two cars at once,” said the report. “We’ve really gotta figure out how to make two new vehicles at the same time,” Musk told Brownlee.

The YouTube interview came a day after Musk spoke to NYT about “excruciating” times at Tesla, noting that he “nearly missed his brother’s wedding this summer and spent his birthday holed up in Tesla’s offices as the company raced to meet elusive production targets on a crucial new model”.

Earlier this week, Musk confirmed that he is closely working with Goldman Sachs and private-equity firm Silver Lake to take the electric carmaker private — a deal that would need nearly $70 billion in funding.

Tesla CEO
According to Musk, “two thirds” of Tesla’s current stockholders would be interested in continuing to hold the firm’s shares once it goes private. (VOA)

“I’m excited to work with Silver Lake and Goldman Sachs as financial advisors, plus Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz and Munger, Tolles & Olson as legal advisors, on the proposal to take Tesla private,” Musk tweeted.

Musk said that in late July, he met Saudi Arabian sovereign fund representatives to discuss the electric carmaker’s possible exit from the stock market.

He said in a statement that the Saudi sovereign fund had first contacted him “at the beginning of 2017 to express (their) interest because of the important need to diversify away from oil”.

“I continue to have discussions with the Saudi fund, and I also am having discussions with a number of other investors, which is something that I always planned to do since I would like for Tesla to continue to have a broad investor base,” he added.

He said he had most recently met with the Saudis on July 31 and left that meeting “with no question that a deal with the… fund could be closed, and that it was just a matter of getting the process moving”.

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“This is why I referred to ‘funding secured’ in the August 7 announcement,” he said, referring to his surprise tweet on that date that he was thinking about taking Tesla private.

According to Musk, “two thirds” of Tesla’s current stockholders would be interested in continuing to hold the firm’s shares once it goes private.

On August 7, Musk surprised the investment world with a Twitter announcement that he was considering taking Tesla private and that the funds needed to do so – which some financial analysts estimate at more than $70 billion – were “secured”.

Musk’s tweet caused a financial firestorm with Tesla shares immediately skyrocketing by almost 11 per cent, although in the coming days they lost a good part of what they had gained and tanked further after Musk’s interview with the NYT. (IANS)

Next Story

Would Elon Musk Be Able to Drive Tesla Cars in India?

In 2015, Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited Tesla headquarters at Palo Alto, California and met Musk who gave Modi a tour of the company's electric car plant

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Tesla CEO Elon musk, board
Tesla CEO Elon Musk. (VOA)

Tesla CEO Elon Musk has once again vouched to make India his next big market but the question lingers: Will the electric car ever run on desi roads?

Breaking his silence over India after 10 months, Musk tweeted late Friday that he would love to be in India in 2019 or next year.

“Would love to be there this year. If not, definitely next! India,” Musk tweeted to a user.

His tweet came after Musk earlier blamed the Indian government’s restrictive policies for giving up on his India dreams.

Musk also blamed the FDI norms for the delay in the electric car maker’s entry into the Indian market.

Earlier this year, Tesla’s Indian-origin Chief Financial Officer Deepak Ahuja announced his retirement from the firm, thus bringing Musk’s India dream to a halt again.

Electric car problems
Jeff Solie plugs in his electric car Tesla sedan at his home, in New Berlin, Wis., July 13, 2017. Electric cars are seeing growing support around the world. But there’s a problem: There aren’t enough places to plug those cars in. VOA

Musk wanted to drive Tesla in India in 2017 and Ahuja, who worked out of Tesla’s San Carlos headquarters, quit the company in 2015 only to rejoin in 2017.

In May last year, Tesla CEO Elon Musk said he would still love to roll out Tesla electric cars in India but the tough government regulations have forced him to apply the brakes on his plans.

“Would love to be in India. Some challenging government regulations, unfortunately,” Musk tweeted in response to a Twitter user who wrote “No Tesla in India” on his Twitter handle.

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“Deepak Ahuja, our CFO, is from India.Tesla will be there as soon as he believes we should,” added Musk, also the SpaceX founder.

Tesla was expected to enter India with the Model 3 that sells for nearly $35,000.

In 2015, Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited Tesla headquarters at Palo Alto, California and met Musk who gave Modi a tour of the company’s electric car plant. (IANS)