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Tesla Inc. said on Wednesday that it would build a factory in Mexico to manufacture an electric vehicle that would be significantly more affordable than any of the cars it sells now. But the company disappointed investors who were expecting the company to make big announcements about new products and strategies.

Shareholders and analysts had expected Tesla to reveal information that would clarify how the company would retain its crown as the world’s dominant maker of electric vehicles in the face of energetic competition from established carmakers and relatively younger Chinese manufacturers.

Instead, company executives offered a seminar on its manufacturing processes, supply chain organization and software. The message was that Tesla is eons ahead of other automakers in technology and efficiency, on track to some day produce 20 million vehicles a year, twice as many as Toyota does now. Tesla provided few of the financial bullet points or strategic initiatives that are often found in investor presentations.

Elon Musk, Tesla’s chief executive officer, portrayed Tesla as a company on a mission to eliminate global dependence on fossil fuels, a theme he has often highlighted.

“I really want today to be not only about investors who own Tesla stock but anyone who is an investor in Earth,” Mr. Musk said early in the event at the company’s factory in Austin, Tex. “Earth can move to a sustainable economy and will do so in your lifetime,” he said before ceding the stage to other executives who offered wonky presentations on topics such as electrode manufacturing, Tesla’s energy storage business and how the company will build electric motors that do not require rare minerals.

“We didn’t hear as much about market conditions in electric vehicles as we did about ‘Here are some very grand goals we have for sustainable energy,’” said Tammy Madsen, a professor at the Leavey School of Business at Santa Clara University.

Mr. Musk waited until the end of the event, which lasted more than three hours, to confirm reports that Tesla would build a factory, its fifth car plant, in Monterrey, Mexico. He indicated that Tesla would build a more affordable model there, but he declined to offer any details about the vehicle’s design or performance.

President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador of Mexico said on Tuesday that the company had decided to build the plant.

Tesla’s presentation on Wednesday seemed more like a recruiting event for engineers than an investor presentation, said Vincent Pluvinage, the CEO of OneD Battery Sciences, a battery technology company.

“It was all about efficiency, getting more for less,” Mr. Pluvinage said. “I don’t think he cares about investors,” he added, referring to Mr. Musk.

There had been speculation that Mr. Musk would unveil plans for a Tesla vehicle that would be less expensive than the Model 3, which starts at US$43,000 in the United States.

Mr. Musk spoke of a US$25,000 car in 2020, but he later seemed to quash the idea. Whether the car would be so affordable when it goes on sale is another question. Mr. Musk and Tesla had said the Model 3 would cost US$35,000 before it went on sale in 2017, but few were sold at that price. Since then, the car’s price steadily climbed before Tesla lowered it a bit in January.

Analysts and investors have expressed concern that Tesla has been too slow to introduce new vehicles and respond to carmakers such as Hyundai, Volkswagen and Ford that have brought out a wide variety of new electric models, many much cheaper or very different from Tesla’s four models: the S, X, 3 and Y. General Motors Co. plans to begin selling three new electric vehicles this year, including an electric version of the Chevrolet Equinox crossover that will start at around US$30,000.

Investors had also expected Mr. Musk to make an announcement about battery technology. One of Tesla’s main selling points has been its batteries, which provide more range and faster charging than many of the models offered by other manufacturers. Executives talked about Tesla’s lead in battery technology, but no major announcements were made.

The event on Wednesday was seen as a response to investors who have complained that Mr. Musk’s acquisition of Twitter last year diverted his attention and left him less focused on his car company.

But the presentation did not appear to have impressed investors. Tesla’s share price, which is often volatile, was down about 5 per cent in extended trading on Wednesday evening.

In China, automaker BYD has surpassed Tesla in electric-vehicle sales, challenging the notion that Tesla is poised to dominate the auto industry as battery-powered cars increasingly supplant gasoline models. BYD is making a big push into Germany and other European countries, threatening to undermine Tesla’s dominance there.

When asked about China, Mr. Musk handed the question off to Tom Zhu, who oversaw construction of Tesla’s factory in Shanghai and now oversees all of the company’s factories. As long as Tesla offers good products at reasonable prices, “you won’t have to worry about demand,” Mr. Zhu said. “I’m not too concerned about China.”

China has the world’s largest car market, and Tesla’s factory in Shanghai produces more cars than any of its other plants.

After falling 65 per cent last year, Tesla’s share price has recovered some of its value but is still down almost 50 per cent from its high in November, 2021, when the company was worth more than US$1-trillion.

With the factory in Monterrey, Tesla is following a path taken by almost all other major carmakers, which have long made cars and components in Mexico, attracted by cheaper labour and duty-free access to the U.S. market. Ford makes the electric Mustang Mach-E in Cuautitlan, north of Mexico City. BMW in February announced that it would build electric vehicles in San Luis Potosi, where it already has a large manufacturing operation.

Monterrey, in Nuevo Leon state, has been less prominent in the auto industry than other Mexican states such as Guanajuato, where GM, Toyota, Honda, Volkswagen and Mazda have operations. But Monterrey is a seven-hour drive from Austin, where Tesla began manufacturing vehicles last year.

Tesla also has factories in Fremont, Calif., and Berlin. The factories in Austin and Berlin are still getting up to speed, suggesting it will be a challenge for Tesla to manage the ramp-up of another plant.

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