Musk said during the call that supply chain issues have been a major constraint. He said a compact $25,000 car is not in the works right now as the company has “enough on our plate right now, too much on our plate frankly.”
“It’s sort of the wrong question, really,” Musk said. “Really the thing that overwhelmingly matters is when is the car autonomous? At the point in which it is autonomous, the cost of transport drops by, I don’t know, a factor of four or five.”
Musk said it was apparent from the questions presented that people were not appreciating the gravity of self-driving.
Musk said the GigaTexas factory in eastern Travis County is producing Model Y vehicles and that they should be available for sale "fairly soon." He also said he hopes supply constraints will have less effects on business in 2022, but there may be lingering challenges.
“It’s a ton of very simple control chips. Run of the mill,” Musk said. “Like the chip that allows you to move your seat back and forth.”
He compared the issue with chips to the frenzy for toilet paper during the pandemic, when there was no extra need for more toilet paper, but the panic still led to shortages.
“I actually took my kids to the H-E-B and Walmart in Texas just to confirm that this was real,” Musk said. “Indeed it was.”
He said similarly to the toilet paper shortage, many companies overordered chips, leaving Tesla in a bind.
Musk said despite the challenges, Tesla had the highest operating margin in the industry in 2021, is looking at more locations for factories and will likely announce new locations this year.