During inaugural ceremonies at Tesla's new Berlin factory earlier this week, CEO Elon Musk delivered the first German-made Model Y crossovers to eager customers, did a little dance near the assembly line for cheering fans and casually predicted that Tesla will reach annual production of up to 20 million vehicles by the early 2030s.
"I think it's aggressive, but not impossible, that we could do 20 million cars in 10 years," Musk said in response to questions from Tesla factory workers. "And that would be a good number because there's 2 billion cars and trucks in the world that are in active use, so 20 million would be then 1 percent of the global fleet per year."
While Wall Street skeptics scoff at the 20 million number, Musk's goal to replace the world's combustion-engine cars and trucks with battery-powered Teslas is just getting underway, with its big push in Berlin and a new plant that will open next month in Austin, Texas. Tesla also is expanding its Shanghai facility and pushing more vehicles out of its tightly packed plant in Fremont, Calif.