Business Maverick

Business Maverick

Elon Musk’s Cyber Rodeo Celebrates Tesla’s New Austin Plant

GRUENHEIDE, GERMANY - AUGUST 13: Tesla CEO Elon Musk talks during a tour of the plant of the future foundry of the Tesla Gigafactory on August 13, 2021 in Grünheide near Berlin, Germany. The US company plans to build around 500,000 of the compact Model 3 and Model Y series here every year. (Photo by Patrick Pleul - Pool/Getty Images)

Elon Musk threw an elaborate party for more than 15,000 people on Thursday night in the US to celebrate Giga Texas, Tesla Inc.’s newest factory in Austin, Texas, and the company’s rapid expansion. 

The “Cyber Rodeo” featured art installations including a Tesla coil, multiple stages and a sea of Texas-made Model Y sport utility vehicles, arranged to look like the Texas state flag. Tesla’s chief designer, Franz von Holzhausen, appeared on stage with Musk and the forthcoming Cybertruck, which will go into production next year.

The event kicked off with hundreds of drones flying in formation against the night sky, aligning to form shapes including the Cybertruck and a Shiba Inu dog.

“Welcome to Cyber Rodeo,” said Musk, who wore dark sunglasses and a black cowboy hat on stage. “We’re going to talk about past, present and future.”

Musk said that 2022 is all about growing in scale, while 2023 will bring new products to market, including the Cybertruck, Semi and next generation Roadster.

The $1 billion factory, which is larger than the U.S. Pentagon, is critical to Tesla’s expansion. The company has been operating near capacity at its Fremont, California, plant since the heady days of 2018, when it erected a giant tent in the parking lot to boost output of the Model 3 sedan and ran out of room.

The carmaker’s furious growth over the last two years is largely thanks to a factory outside Shanghai in China. Giga Texas will make the Model Y crossover vehicle and the Cybertruck.

“It will be the highest volume car factory in the U.S.,” said Musk. It also has the potential of becoming the world’s biggest battery cell factory, he added.

“We need a place where we can be really big, and there’s no place like Texas,” he said, to raucous cheers from the crowd.

After Musk’s remarks, fireworks lit up the night sky to the strains of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5.

The party drew scores of fans. Actor Harrison Ford was spotted in the VIP lounge, along with Musk’s mother Maye and brother Kimbal Musk, who also serves on Tesla’s board of directors.

Several fans showed up at the strobe-lit factory in the hopes of getting in at the last minute but were turned away by Tesla security.

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