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Elon Musk attends the opening ceremony of the new Tesla Gigafactory for electric cars in Gruenheide, Germany, March 22, 2022. Image Credit: Reuters

Tesla Inc. will start production next year of three products that have fallen well behind Elon Musk's original schedule, the chief executive officer said at the opening of the carmaker's newest factory.

"We'll be in production with Cybertruck next year, we'll be in production with the Roadster, and with Semi," the billionaire said on stage at the company's "Cyber Rodeo" late Thursday in Austin, Texas. "This year is all about scaling up, and then next year, there's gonna be a massive wave of new products."

When Musk, 50, first unveiled Tesla's angular pickup in November 2019, he said production would start in late 2021. The electric-vehicle maker announced in January it was delaying introductions of new models to next year, citing challenges scaling up existing products in the midst of supply-chain issues.

Musk showed prototypes of the Semi and next-generation Roadster in November 2017, and they're much tardier than the Cybertruck. At the time of their unveiling, initial production was planned for 2019 and 2020, respectively.

For all the timelines Tesla hasn't met, the carmaker has been on a roll since it introduced the Model Y, the first Texas-made units of which were delivered during the event.

With additional capacity coming online at factories in Austin and near Berlin, BloombergNEF analysts expect Model Y to be the world's best-selling EV this year, and to potentially crack the top five among all vehicles - electric or otherwise.

Drones and Doge

Tesla obtained a permit to host 15,000 people at its grand opening in Austin, which was replete with art installations and a bevy of Model Ys arranged to look like the Texas state flag. The event kicked off with hundreds of drones flying in the night sky to form the state of Texas, a Cybertruck and a Shiba Inu dog.

Musk drove on stage in a first-generation Roadster and cracked jokes with Franz von Holzhausen, Tesla's chief designer, about smashing the windows of an updated version of the Cybertruck.

"I can't wait to have this baby in production," Musk said. "It's gonna be epic."

Musk delivered his usual series of superlatives, calling the Austin facility "the most advanced car factory that Earth has ever seen." Tesla shared footage of larger 4680 battery cells the CEO said were being manufactured on site.

"We think, over time, this will probably be the biggest cell factory in the world," he said. Musk made a similar prediction in November 2020 that Tesla's then-under-construction plant near Berlin would be the biggest globally.

Cranking Out Cars

Of course, Tesla has followed through on some of its CEO's pronouncements with respect to scale. The company made more cars at its Fremont, California, factory last year than any other assembly plant in North America. Musk said Austin will become America's highest-volume auto factory, without giving a timeline.

After Musk's remarks, fireworks lit up the night sky to the tune of Beethoven's Symphony No. 5.

The party drew scores of fans, including actor Harrison Ford. He was spotted in the VIP lounge along with Musk's mother, Maye, and brother, Kimbal, a director on Tesla's board.

Some fans who showed up at the strobe-lit factory in hopes of getting in without tickets were turned away by Tesla security.