Elon Musk and Tesla (TSLA) are determined to take center stage in electric vehicles (EVs). If the competitors were able to steal a few headlines from them in this first quarter of the year that is ending, they want to convince them that it was perhaps only an accident.
Ford (F) managed to get people talking by announcing a radical reorganization. The Dearborn, based-Michigan company has created two separate divisions, one dealing with gasoline cars, Ford Blue, and another with battery-powered vehicles, Ford e.
GM (GM) has just started production of the long-awaited Lyriq SUV, the first electric vehicle from its premium Cadillac brand. Rivian (RIVN) has appointed a chief operating officer, Frank Klein, whose mission is to restore order in the supply chain and manage the production ramp-ups of the young manufacturer of electric vehicles. Lucid (LCID) will build its second production facility in Saudi Arabia.
Volkswagen (VLKAF) has decided to invest more than $7 billion additional in the United States.
'Gigafest' in Austin
And where is Tesla in all of this?
The first part of the answer came first from Germany where Musk officially inaugurated the opening of the gigafactory in Berlin with a few dance steps, renewing a tradition started in Shanghai in 2020.
This production site, which will be serving the European market as a priority, has a production capacity of 500,000 vehicles per year. A battery development factory will also be on site.
The second element of response has just fallen. Musk and Tesla have just started to send out invitation cards to Austin's Gigafest. This event is scheduled for April 7 to celebrate the official opening of the Austin Gigafactory, the group's fourth car manufacturing plant and its second production site in the United States.
The invitation card is quite kitsch, with multicolored and fluorescent inscriptions, based on the images posted on social media by Elon Musk, and the lucky ones.
The event has been dubbed "Cyber Rodeo, Giga Texas."
The event on April 7 is being promoted as a one-day event on April 7, 2022, between 4 p.m. to 11:29 p.m. local time, according to Travis County, which encompasses Austin.
It will encompass interactive tours accompanied by food and various live entertainment to celebrate the newly built and operational Giga factory.
Tesla plans to host only 15,000 people. It is therefore no surprise that the reactions to the invitation cards exhibited by some on social media has created many envious people.
"Weird mine must have gotten lost in the junk filter or something can you send it again @elonmusk," commented one user on Twitter.
"Santa Elon is coming tonight!" replied another user accompanying his message with a Santa Claus emoji.
"Wonder how to get on list? I thought locals were getting priority pretty sure San Antonio is closer than LA," one user added.
Free Marketing for Tesla
Faced with a rain of envious messages, a user wanted to reassure everyone as best they could.
"Everyone relax, he’s got to send like 20M invites out - it’ll take some time to type that many e-mail addresses, he already doesn’t get enough sleep as it is," they said referring to Elon Musk.
The "gigafest" concept, inaugurated in Berlin last October by Musk and Tesla, is one of Tesla's communication plans. The firm does not spend a penny on advertising unlike its rivals, as TheStreet Rob Lenihan wrote. The events participate in creating a myth around the Tesla brand.
One of Musk's great skills is giving the impression that when you drive in a Tesla, you are living a unique experience. You only have to look at Tesla's market capitalization to measure its enormous success.
The manufacturer of electric vehicles created in 2003 has a valuation that is over $1 trillion as of time of writing. No other automotive company comes close to this number.
Gigafactory Austin is a $1.1 billion, 4.3-million square foot facility. It will house a vehicle development plant, and more particularly the Model Y SUV, and a battery development plant, the heart of the electric car.
The gigafest, which has received a conditional authorization from the local authorities, as we have already written previously, meets the opposition of certain inhabitants who fear the noise and fireworks that this giant party may cause in the neighborhood. But the fireworks may be canceled if the weather is not ideal.