$ 550 billion market value
With the trend towards electromobility, Tesla has become by far the most valuable car manufacturer in the world with a market value of around 550 billion dollars. That gives Musk plenty of leeway to use Tesla stock as an acquisition currency. The other automakers play in a different league when it comes to market value. VW is currently worth around 78 billion euros, Daimler a good 60 billion euros and BMW around 44.5 billion euros.
With the completion of the Tesla factory in Grünheide near Berlin, he will spend more time in Germany, said Musk. The US company plans to build up to 500,000 electric cars per year in the plant from next summer. Musk also recently announced that over time, part of the factory would also become the world’s largest battery manufacturer.
12,000 employees in Berlin
Among other things, relatively affordable living space contributed to the decision to relocate the European Tesla plant near Berlin, said Musk. The plant is said to have around 12,000 employees.
When Springer boss Mathias Döpfner asked where he would spend the night on Wednesday, Musk said he would sleep in a conference room in the still unfinished factory in Grünheide. “It gives me a very good sense of what’s going on,” he explained.
Musk also said that in ten years’ time the majority of new vehicles will have autonomous driving capabilities, he believes. At the same time, for the time being, there will be situations in which people like to drive themselves. “But it will be increasingly unusual to drive your own car.”
Tesla’s software, which can relieve the driver of controlling the car in most situations, should be ready for the market in the coming year – even if approval by regulators could take longer. Unlike most other developers, Musk wants to do without the more expensive laser radars in autonomous driving and get along with cameras and radar sensors.
Burial on Mars
Musk, who is also head of the space company SpaceX, confirmed that he could imagine being buried on Mars. “Just not on impact,” he joked. “We all have to die at some point – and if you already have the choice of being buried on Mars …” The 49-year-old star company also repeated his warning that artificial intelligence, with its development, is “more dangerous than an atom bomb” could be.
The undoped prize from the Springer Group (“Bild”, “Welt”) is being awarded for the fifth time. This annually honors people who, according to Springer, are particularly innovative, create and change markets, shape culture and at the same time face their social responsibility. Previous winners were Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, web pioneer Tim Berners-Lee, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos and the economist and critic of online platforms, Shoshana Zuboff.