Tesla raises 2023 spending forecast as it races to ramp up output

(Reuters) – Tesla Inc raised its capital expenditure forecast for 2023 on Monday as the automaker ramps up output at its factories to take advantage of the rising interest in electric vehicles.

The company, led by Elon Musk, said in a filing that it expects to spend between $7 billion and $9 billion this year, higher than its previous outlook of $6 billion to $8 billion.

It maintained the spending outlook for the next two years at $7 billion to $9 billion. Tesla’s shares fell 3.3% in morning trade.

The world’s most valuable automaker has been raising its production aggressively as it prioritises sales growth ahead of profit in a weak economy and works towards CEO Musk’s bold goal of selling 20 million electric vehicles in 2030.

Achieving that goal will make Tesla twice the size of any automaker in history, accounting for roughly 20% of the global vehicle market.

The company in January earmarked $3.6 billion to expand its Nevada gigafactory complex, where Tesla will mass produce its long-delayed Semi truck and build a plant for the 4680 cell that will be able to make enough batteries for 2 million light-duty vehicles annually.

The company is also ramping up output at its factories in Berlin and Austin, and plans to open a gigafactory in Mexico as the EV behemoth pushes to expand its global output.

Reuters reported earlier in the day that Tesla has begun producing in Shanghai a version of the Model Y to be sold in Canada this year, the first time it will ship cars to North America from China.

(Reporting by Aditya Soni; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta)