(May 20, 2023 Austin, Texas)
“The goal is to give people hope, realistic hope, and simply to say that there is a path to a fully sustainable global economy, that we are on that path, that we are accelerating that path, and so long as we don’t get complacent about it, it will happen.” – Elon Musk at Shareholder Meeting on Master Plan 3
At the heart of Tesla’s success lies Elon Musk, the incredible Tesla team, and a dedicated community of individuals who are passionate about the company and its mission.
For this article, you’ll get to come along with me to the shareholders meeting and we’ll start in the line of cars and then meet some awesome people! Let’s set the time machine back to May 16, 2023, and hop in my Tesla.
IMAGINING YOU ARE WITH ME AT THE SHAREHOLDER’S MEETING
Joining a long line of cars, we are very close to Gigafactory Texas and we see production at scale in action in front of us. Numerous deliveries on large, semi flatbeds are pouring in as we wait, car carriers leave the factory loaded with new Model Y. The battery cathode plant and die shop are huge. The employee parking lot is overflowing.
You get the window seat once we’re on the bus ride to the entrance. The bus lumbers off around the Gigafactory. I say I could do this ride over again 50 times and you tell me I’m a little extreme (I disagree, haha).
We see a holding lot filled with Model Y as far as the eye can see. Model Y are charging at a George Jetson style charging bay shaded by solar panels. Next up, a loading lot where inspections are being done, then cars line up to wait for their turn onto a car carrier. There are long lines of car carriers.
You pass several employee parking lots, they are bigger than you expected.
The tour bus drives closer to the Gigafactory, and a cool shadow is cast over the bus as you gaze up. We both gasp. The bus feels tiny as we crane our necks to look up to the rooftop. The roof is covered with solar panels that spell out “TESLA,” but you already know that from when you flew into Austin.
While we wait to tour the Tesla Semi, a graffiti artist is creating Cybertruck art on the side of a shipping container. The day is perfect, 80 degree weather, a few puffy clouds, we’re lucky to be here!
You think you almost lost me after the Semi tour but then find me ogling the Cybertruck and the German-made Model Ys on the other side of the street. The size of the truck is bigger than you expect. The Berlin Model Y paint is glamorous under the sun to say the least!
As we enter the Gigafactory Tour, it’s apparent it’s in full production and did not shut down at all for this event, rather it looks like it’s under an even higher pace than imagined. Employees are actively working on model Y, and the production line is visible and moving along fast. We hear occasional happy beeps from Model Y under production and it sounds like they’re saying, “hey, I’m glad you came to see us.”
We’re able to see the ground floor and then climb up stairs to the second floor and look down, which is incredible. The factory is so big and everything looks so clean and everybody working looks like they have purpose and order in what they do.
As a tour guide instructs us on the manufacturing processes in a video, you and I are more interested in listening to the sounds in the factory and watching the production line below, it’s an all inspiring vision, seeing these vehicles being brought to production at scale, and being there in person, is an experience that feels like the future. It inspires us to think about how incredible it is to be a part of Tesla’s success just by being a supporter and investor.
Reality kicks us in the face while the security guard says “hey ma’am, your tour is leaving.”
༛༛ ༛ ༛༺༻༛ ༛ ༛༛
I hope this gave you a feel for if you had been at the Tesla shareholder Meeting. For the remainder of this article, I’ll introduce you to three inspiring people I had conversations with.
FROM TESLA OWNER TO INVESTOR
Winston was wearing a Longhorn shirt and the “Don’t Mess with Tesla” belt buckle which caught my eye. He and his daughter Anne were waiting in line at the Tesla store.
Winston told me he bought a Model 3 in 2020. He said the minute he stepped into his Tesla, the experience was so incredible that right away, knew he needed to invest.
He now uses FSDbeta all over Houston, and he would not travel around any other way.
I told him I had also used FSD beta in Houston and it was flawless. (My Podcast #14 is all in Baytown & Houston)
WITNESSING THE NEW EVOLUTION OF NORMALCY
I always respect the confidentiality and privacy of Tesla employees, so I’ll just briefly share with you what one employee said while keeping him private. Without mentioning his position at Tesla, I can say he looked at Tesla with a blend of optimism and amazement. He told me he loves working at Tesla and compared it to what he knew about car manufacturing before he was hired. As a kid, he grew up in Detroit and his father worked in automotive manufacturing. He would visit the factory and remembers it for the awful smell of toxic fumes.
At Tesla, “you can actually walk through it and breathe clean air. It doesn’t even seem like a car factory at times. I am experiencing the new evolution of normalcy.”
SUPPORT FOR ELON MUSK FROM NORTH CAROLINA
Just outside the Tesla Gigafactory, near some oak trees, there was a handful of food and beverage trucks. I ordered a grilled cheese sandwich and a slushie and looked for a shady place to eat. This is how I met the Whitley family. Dan Whitley’s love for Elon and Tesla was evident in his commitment to being a part of the Tesla mission.
Dan explained to me that he supports Elon Musk because, “I think he’s a believable person and I think he’s got a kind heart and I believe in his mission and believe in him and just try to support him the best I can.” Laughing, Dan said, “And I’ve got 8 Tesla’s so I’m supporting him!” I asked if this was normal for N. Carolina, and he said. “The company spoke to me, they have a good mission and I want to support them.”
The conversations I had with people at the shareholder meeting offer a glimpse into the passion and devotion people have for Tesla and in the vision of Elon Musk. for some, it even made them rethink their future. William Cross from Connecticut was at the Shareholder Meeting. I caught up with him later, and he told me how the experience left an impact on him. “It really made me rethink what I’m doing here. I fell in love with the South. I want to learn more and one day work for Tesla or SpaceX.”
The company Tesla as a whole inspires many people, and Elon is highly respected and supported by many. When you hear negative talk about Elon Musk, please realize that is a small minority. A small, very vocal minority. They, in no way, represent what most people truly think.
༛༛ ༛ ༛༺༻༛ ༛ ༛༛
Article by Gail Alfar. please credit accordingly. Thanks to Tesla for being amazing. Thanks to Elon Musk and all my subscribers and readers on Twitter who support my writing in many different ways, I appreciate you very much. Video Courtesy @Tesla Inc., Pic credits Sarah Alfar and Greggortruck.