At a time when Tesla has just announced the elimination of 10% of its global workforce, i.e. 14,000 employees - cutting back heavily on its American and German teams - the group obviously felt that the time was right to bring up again Elon Musk 's disputed salary allocated in 2018. The $56 billion compensation package awarded to the billionaire, recently overturned by a Delaware court, should therefore be put to a new shareholder vote.

At the same time, the automaker is pursuing its automation efforts, both in its vehicle range and in its factories.

In 2018, the firm's initial push to robotize its California plant had been inconclusive. Musk himself had expressed disappointment at the low productivity of the operation, due to excessive automation, and decided to reintegrate humans into production.

Undaunted by the experience, in 2022 he pushed the automation of the Berlin Gigafactory to the limit. In the Model Y SUV manufacturing plant, huge presses produce the main body components in a matter of seconds, then automatic arms assemble the various parts. These robots are assisted by a miniature drone, responsible for monitoring the lines, and a few humans, who ensure that the machines run smoothly. Lower wages, fewer wage demands, no strikes, no emotion... a paradise for Musk, it seems.

Elon Musk continues to bet big on cars and autonomous driving. Tesla wants to be not just a carmaker, but an artificial intelligence company. The software challenges are considerable, however, and Tesla's achievements have yet to be convincing. However, the company will continue to invest. Its latest whim: a robotized cab, to the detriment of vehicle production for all.

One question remains: when factories are automated, cars are robots, quality control is computerized and strategy is defined by artificial intelligence, what will Elon Musk be able to do?

Drawing by Amandine Victor