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Tesla Ramps Up Hiring at New Texas Factory

By Daniel Sparks - Mar 30, 2021 at 7:35AM

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The move comes ahead of what is likely to be huge sales growth for the electric-car maker.

Electric-car and green-energy company Tesla (TSLA 7.43%) recently posted 50 job openings for its new Gigafactory in Austin, Texas. The new job listings give some insight into just how aggressively Tesla is expanding its production capacity for both electric-vehicle production and even battery cell production.

It's not too surprising to see the growing number of job postings for Tesla's new factory in Texas. The electric-car maker has big expectations for sales growth this year, with management guiding for total vehicle deliveries to grow more than 50% year over year -- an acceleration from growth seen in 2020. The company is going to need some incredible execution when it comes to its manufacturing plans to make this happen.

Vehicle production at a Tesla factory in Fremont, California.

Tesla factory in California. Image source: The Motley Fool.

Expanding quickly

Tesla has been growing its production capacity at impressive rates recently. It ended 2020 with enough tooling installed for annualized production capacity of more than 1 million vehicles annually, up from capacity for 640,000 vehicles at the end of 2019. 

Of course, this capacity didn't even include any manufacturing capacity from Tesla's two newest under-construction factories in Berlin and Texas. But Tesla said in the update that it expected to start both vehicle and battery production at the two factories during 2021.

It's particularly important that Tesla makes progress on battery manufacturing because the company said in its fourth-quarter earnings call that it is currently supply constrained on battery cells. This constraint, Tesla said, is delaying the release of the Tesla Semi.

Expect massive growth over the next five years

Recently achieving significant positive free cash flow, Tesla is in a position to invest aggressively in the growth opportunities ahead of it. Indeed, in its fourth-quarter shareholder letter, Tesla said it would grow its manufacturing capacity "as quickly as possible."

Of course, it's not just 2020 that Tesla has big growth plans for. Management has said it believes it can achieve 50% average annualized growth in vehicle deliveries "over a multiyear horizon."

"In some years we may grow faster, which we expect to be the case in 2021," Tesla said in its fourth-quarter update. "The rate of growth will depend on our equipment capacity, operational efficiency and capacity and stability of the supply chain."

When Tesla reports its first-quarter results, probably sometime in April, investors should look for an update on the company's installed manufacturing capacity and any forward-looking commentary on its manufacturing plans. Have its factory expansion efforts been aggressive enough to continue supporting guidance for growth in vehicle deliveries of more than 50% this year?

Based on Tesla's dozens of job postings on its website for manufacturing, design, construction, engineering, and supply chain positions in Austin alone, the company does appear to be executing on its expansion plans rapidly.

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