The 5 biggest takeaways from Tesla’s Cyber Roundup – TechCrunch Leave a comment

Tesla held its annual shareholder meeting, which the company now refers to as its Cyber Roundup, Thursday at the Tesla Gigafactory Texas.

The Cyber Roundup comes just a couple of weeks after Tesla reported its Q2 earnings, which showed quarterly revenue declines caused by production challenges, even as the company grew year-over-year.

The agenda had 13 shareholder proposals, including one for a three-for-one stock split that appears to have helped push Tesla’s shares up 0.40%.

There were also several proposals geared toward getting Tesla to be more ethically responsible, particularly after a series of lawsuits that have accused the company of sexual, racial and gender harassment in the workplace.

Here are the five key takeaways from the event.

Share split approved

Tesla shareholders approved the three-for-one stock split, which will bring the company’s shares down to the $300 range. It’s not clear when that will take effect, though.

Tesla, ever savvy in how it uses Twitter to affect its stock price, initially tweeted out the news of the shareholder proposal on March 28. Between then and now, Tesla’s stock saw a 20% rally from June lows when the drama of Musk’s proposed Twitter buy was at its peak. Shares rose Thursday in after-hours trading, to $928.55.

Ethical improvements unlikely to pass

Shareholders have called for better reporting and transparency on reporting sexual, racial and gender harassment, as well as on Tesla’s lobbying activities and usage of child labor to mine for battery materials. They have also asked for more diversity on the board to reflect Tesla’s workforce.

While the votes are not yet in, preliminary results suggest Tesla shareholders have voted against all such proposals.

IRL trolling

The 2022 shareholder meeting, the first one in a couple of years at which hundreds of people were able to gather in person, took on a boisterous tone from the outset.

Investors in attendance shouted out encouragement and questions to Musk. They also took their roles as Tesla boosters to a new level. At one point, the crowd laughed at Laura Campos, director of corporate and political accountability at the Nathan Cummings Foundation, as she spoke about her proposal to improve Tesla’s lobbying disclosures, and applauded Tesla’s investor relations head Martin Viecha when he cut her off as her time expired. Sister Dorothy of Sisters of the Good Shepherd was treated with similar derision — the audience laughed and applauded when she ran out of time as she asked the company to improve its reporting on child labor in its cobalt supply chain.

Musk welcomed the cheers, applause and standing ovation, playing up to his biggest supporters — retail investors. He worked the crowd as he usually does, telling the audience that he loved them and they were the “best crowd,” exclaiming statements of grandeur and cracking jokes about his failed Twitter buy.

More gigafactories

Musk teased the idea for another gigafactory location to be chosen later this year. He also noted that Tesla will probably build “at least 10 or 12 gigafactories.” Back in 2017, Musk said that in the long term, the company would build between 10 and 20 gigafactories.

Demand continues to be high for Teslas, so it’s no wonder Musk wants to expand the automaker’s factory footprint. In the last few weeks, Tesla made its 3 millionth car, said Musk, reaffirming the company’s goal to hit a 2 million car run rate by the end of 2022.

Other takeaways

Musk reiterated his intention to rapidly grow Tesla’s advanced driver assistance system, full self-driving (FSD) beta.

“We’re now at over 40 million miles and I suspect by this year we’re gonna have well over 100 million miles,” said Musk. “And we’re still tracking very much to have widespread deployment of FSD beta this year in North America.”

Musk also promised some “cool stuff” on the Supercharger front, as Tesla prepares to begin allowing non-Tesla EVs to use its charging network.

In addition, Musk hinted that the Cybertruck specs and price will be different from what was first announced back in 2019 due to inflation, but didn’t provide any further specifics.