Few yet-to-be-launched cars have stirred as much controversy as the Tesla Cybertruck. However, amidst the debate, there's one undeniable positive aspect: Tesla's vision to employ a staggering 60,000 individuals at its Texas Gigafactory once Cybertruck production hits full stride.
This bold assertion comes from Jason Shawhan, Tesla's director of manufacturing at Giga Texas. The current workforce at the Austin Gigafactory stands at 20,000, already ranking Tesla as the second-largest corporate employer in the region. But if the expansion plan proposed by Shawhan, which envisions tripling the workforce, becomes a reality, Tesla would emerge as the largest employer in the area.
Beyond producing the highly anticipated Cybertruck, Tesla's Texas factory is also home to the production of the popular Model Y SUV. However, it's not just about vehicles. The company is leveraging its manufacturing capacity for the production of battery packs, drive units, castings, stamping press lines, and more, as part of its shift toward greater vertical integration.
Expanding the job opportunities even further, Tesla intends to construct a battery cathode factory adjacent to the Gigafactory and is actively working on a lithium refining plant.
The update on Tesla's Texas factory marks a rare instance of the typically reticent company engaging with the public. Shawhan shared insights during the keynote address at the State of Manufacturing conference and expo organized by the Austin Regional Manufacturers Association.
As an ex-Ford executive, Shawhan provided candid insights into the challenges Tesla has faced during its Texas facility expansion, particularly the monumental task of hiring a vast number of employees. He discussed how Tesla had to construct a new parking garage near the factory to accommodate its growing workforce, emphasizing the importance of preserving company culture and safety in the face of rapid growth.
Regarding the Cybertruck, Shawhan indicated that production would commence “soon” and mentioned ongoing line upgrades to enhance Model Y output. Tesla's ambitious expansion plans in Texas promise not only groundbreaking electric vehicles but also a significant boost to local employment opportunities.