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Austin-made Teslas to be delivered soon as production ramps up

General assembly of a Model Y takes place at Giga Texas. (Tesla)

Tesla's fourth-quarter earnings report revealed that Model Y production started late last year at Giga Texas, meeting the company’s timeline goal.

Deliveries will start, Tesla says, after final certification. Following that, Tesla will start on its Cybertruck, which CEO Elon Musk has been test-driving around Giga Texas this week.

“We aim to increase our production as quickly as we can, not only through ramping production at new factories in Austin and Berlin, but also by maximizing output from our established factories in Fremont and Shanghai,” the company wrote in its quarterly report.

The latest quarter report comes as Giga Texas, the factory in southeast Travis County also serving as Tesla’s headquarters, is poised to be a critical piece in Tesla’s growth.

Tesla also flexed a 65% year-over-year revenue hike in the quarter. The stronger than expected results also show the company reporting a net income of 2.32 billion.

And, automotive revenue totaled $15.97 million, a 71% year-over-year rise.

But the year ahead could be an uphill battle for the automaker. The report mentions that Tesla factories have been running below capacity for several quarters, and warned supply chain issues could carry through 2022.

Musk said the fundamental focus for this year is scaling outward and described constraints in the past year as “chip drama central.” A new Department of Commerce report notes a few types of chips are particularly affected by the shortage, including legacy logic chips used in automobiles, medical devices and other products.

The chip limitations have shifted the company’s ambitions, with Musk saying Tesla won’t be introducing new vehicle models this year. For now, focus will turn to work on engineering and tooling to create future vehicles.

Still, deliveries are seeing increased performance. Tesla reported a delivery record of 308,600 electric vehicles that surpassed analyst predictions.

Tesla is also reporting a 27.4% gross margin, up less than a percent since the previous quarter.

Tesla mentioned plans to grow manufacturing capacity as quickly as possible, setting a goal of 50% average annual growth in vehicle deliveries.

Other updates from Tesla's quarter report include the unveiling of a fleet of new Tesla Semi electric trucks and an expansion of its experimental driver assistance systems testing program known as FSD Beta.

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With deposition and trial looming, Elon Musk has offered $44B for Twitter, again

Elon Musk has proposed once again to buy Twitter for $54.20 a share.

The news that Musk is offering to carry on with the $44 billion buyout was first reported by Bloomberg. Now, a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission shows Musk made the proposal in a letter to the tech giant on Monday.

The New York Stock Exchange temporarily halted trading in Twitter stock twice Tuesday, first because of a big price move and the second time for a news event, presumably the announcement of Musk's renewed offer.

While the per share offer price on this latest proposal remains the same as the original offer, it’s unclear if Musk has made other term changes or if Twitter would reject it. According to other reports, a deal could be reached this week.

The stock closed at $52.00/share Tuesday, indicating market uncertainty around the $54.20 offer.

After Musk informed Twitter of plans to terminate the original agreement in July, Twitter sued. A trial has been expected in Delaware Chancery Court on Oct. 17.

With the proposition of a buyout on the table again, it revives the question of whether Musk might move Twitter from San Francisco to Central Texas.

He’s done so with some of his other companies. Tesla’s headquarters in southeast Travis County had its grand opening earlier this year and tunneling business The Boring Company moved to Pflugerville. At least two other Musk companies, SpaceX and Neuralink, have a Central Texas presence without being headquartered here.

Technology journalist Nilay Patel this afternoon voiced concerns that owning Twitter and Tesla together could be problematic for Musk, as his Tesla manufacturing facilities in Germany and China are both in countries that have disputes with Twitter over content moderation and censorship.

Telsa shares fell after the Twitter news became public, before rallying to close up, at $249.44.

Austin rents nearly double in a year and are now in the top 5 nationwide

While searching for a place to live, Austin renters will face monthly rates of nearly $3,000, a recent guide from rental marketplace Dwellsy shows.

The median rent in August this year was $2,930, a more than 86% increase since August 2021. That’s $820 more than the nationwide median asking rent in August and puts Austin just below the Bay Area, Boston and New York for large cities with the most expensive asking rent.

“Within this group, Austin, TX stands out for the highest increases in asking rent, which has nearly doubled since this time last year,” the study notes.

Outside of those large cities, however, others are seeing even higher rent spikes. Metro areas that ranked above Austin in one-year increases include those like Kansas City, MO with a 112% change in rent since last August and Tucson, AZ with a 124% change.

The data reflects large apartment communities, single-family homes and 2-6 unit buildings.