June 6 (UPI) — Shareholders at Tesla’s annual meeting this week voted down three proposals, but gave founder and CEO Elon Musk a vote of confidence that keeps him on the company’s board.
After surviving the vote, which comes at a difficult time for the electric automaker, Musk became emotional as he laid out plans for the future.
“This is going to sound maybe a little cheesy, but at Tesla, we build our cars with love,” Musk said during the meeting. “We really care.”
Musk said the Tesla team has a much different mindset than average auto workers.
“A lot of other companies, they’re built by the marketing department and the finance department. There’s no soul, you know?” he said.
Investor Steve Diamond also urged shareholders to vote out three directors who are up for new three-year terms — Antonio Gracias, James Murdoch, and Kimbal Musk, the CEO’s brother — saying, “the board is not an independent, credible voice.”
Jing Zhao asked shareholders to install an independent chairman and James McRichie wanted greater shareholder proxy access.
None of the proposals were carried.
“This is the most excruciatingly hellish several months I’ve ever had,” Musk said. “And a lot of other people at Tesla. But I think we’re getting there.”
Tesla has come under fire lately over reported workplace injuries, company finances and concerns about safety of the autopilot system.
Also under scrutiny is slower-than-expected production of the Model 3.
Musk said it’s “extremely likely” Tesla will hit a weekly Model 3 production rate of 5,000 cars every week by the end of June. He also promised Tesla soon will produce more batteries at its Nevada Gigafactory than all other electric vehicle companies combined.