Thousands of Tesla fans poured into the automaker's new Austin, Texas, plant for its official opening, heralding a $1.1 billion facility that will vastly expand electric vehicle production and serve as a launching pad for future products such as the highly anticipated Cybertruck pickup.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk, who spoke late Thursday before 15,000 invitees at the Cyber Rodeo event, committed to several product launches in 2023, including the Cybertruck and a robotaxi.
Musk said on Twitter last month that "scaling to extreme size" is part of the company's updated "master plan."
The Tesla leader inaugurated a new factory in Berlin last month and said there could be future plant announcements by the end of the year.
At the Austin event, prototypes for the Cybertruck and Semi cargo truck were on display.
He said in January that he expected the Texas plant to make the Cybertruck sometime in 2023, about two years behind his original schedule.
On social media, Tesla fans streamed video from the Giga Texas plant, touring significant parts of the interior. Outside, a group of Tesla Model Y vehicles in red, white and blue were arranged to look like the state flag. Some visitors sported cowboy-themed attire, and there was a mechanical bull on display.
Even with the new plant focusing on Tesla's bestselling Model Y crossover, the company's global annual production is expected to rise from about 1 million vehicles last year to about 2 million in 2023, according to analysts. Tesla now has four vehicle assembly plants with the addition of Austin and Berlin to Fremont, Calif., and Shanghai.