During Tesla’s annual shareholder meeting, CEO Elon Musk acknowledged that the company is not immune to the current global economic environment, which he predicts will remain difficult for the next year. Musk also discussed car demand, the importance of making more money than competitors during a slow economy, and announced plans to conduct a third-party audit of cobalt mines that supply Tesla with a key ingredient for its batteries. In a sign of tough times for Tesla, Musk stated that the company would begin advertising its vehicles, which it has never done before. Shareholders voted to appoint co-founder JB Straubel to the board, despite concerns about his independence from proxy advisory firm Glass Lewis. They also rejected a proposal to publish a report on succession plans for Musk. Tesla shares closed flat at $166.52 on Tuesday and rose by 0.6 percent in after-hours trading.