But shareholders appeared Tuesday to affirm Musk's leadership by shooting down a proposal that could have stripped him of his role as chairman of the board.
In the wake of several high profile crashes and frustrating production schedules, this year's annual Tesla shareholders' meeting was slightly more tense than ones before it. A damaging split at this stage between board and management would risk everything and it's clear that Tesla has a hit on its hands with the Model 3 (about half a million orders with effectively free loans amounting to nearly half a billion dollars from the deposits paid), but an engineering problem associated with building enough of them fast enough. "I kind of say when I think it can occur, but then I'm typically optimistic about these things".
"At Tesla we build our cars with love", Musk said.
Since Tesla began taking reservations - more than two years ago - 23 percent of Model 3 depositors had their money refunded, the "Second Measure" report said.
According to Tesla, shareholders voted to re-elect the three board members and to permit Musk to continue wearing both hats by a supermajority vote. "Shareholders approved the re-election of the board of directors by a significant margin, which we believe provides a vote of confidence in management", Kallo wrote.
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The company said a "supermajority" of shareholders also rejected a proposal to force Musk to step down as Tesla's chairman, a position he has held since 2004 - four years before he also assumed the CEO job.
The company has pointed toward Model 3 production of 5,000 a week by the end of this month. The rate of stationary storage deployment is going to grow exponentially.
The aggressive energy storage deployment is possible because of the massive scale of the Gigafactory.
The two positions are often held by the same person in United States companies, unlike in UK firms.
Musk still thinks manufacturing will become a strength for the company in the long term, though he acknowledged this was a counter-intuitive prediction after Tesla's trying experiences over the a year ago.
The CEO noted that plans for the trial will be announced within the next few months.