Elon Musk says he won’t sell any more Tesla shares for two years

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Elon Musk, chief executive of Tesla, said Thursday that it will not sell any more shares of the electric carmaker for two years.

In an audio chat on Twitter, Musk said he expects the economy to suffer a “severe recession” in 2023 and consumer demand will be lower.

Tesla shares rose 3 percent to $129.23 in after-hours trading Thursday, following an 11 percent drop in the regular session.

Musk has previously promised not to sell Tesla shares, then continue to transfer them. Last week, Musk revealed a $3.6 billion share sale, bringing total transactions to nearly $40 billion since late last year and frustrating investors as the company’s stock hits more than two-year lows.

“I needed to sell some shares to make sure there is dry powder … to foresee the worst-case scenario,” the billionaire said.

He added that Tesla’s board is open to share buybacks, but that it will depend on the magnitude of a recession.

Musk claimed that Tesla is close to choosing the location of its new “Gigafactory.” Tesla could announce the construction of a “Gigafactory” in the northern Mexican state of Nuevo Leon as early as Friday, with an initial investment of between $800 million and $1 billion, local newspaper Reforma reported Monday.

When asked if he would hire someone like venture capitalist David Sacks to run Twitter so he could focus on Tesla, Musk dodged the question and said Twitter was a relatively straightforward business.

“(Twitter) is maybe 10% of Tesla’s complexity,” Musk said.

Musk has increasingly used Twitter’s live audio platform to weigh in on his products and strategic decisions at the social media company he turned private in October in a $44 billion deal.

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Some of his appearances have been controversial, such as an exchange with a former Twitter engineer who questioned his apparent plan to rewrite much of the company’s source code.

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