Tesla stock drops nearly 10% over continued price cuts
Tesla stock (TSLA) drops nearly 10%, nearly $50 billion in market capitalisation, after Musk says the electric vehicle manufacturer will keep cutting prices in a bid to drive up demand in a weak economy. Focusing on sales growth rather than immediate profit, Musk said:
We’ve taken a view that pushing for higher volumes and a larger fleet is the right choice here versus a lower volume and a higher margin.
With this drop, Tesla’s market capitalization ending below Meta Platforms’ for the first time since 2021.
Tesla cuts Model Y, Model 3 prices
Tesla cuts US prices for Model Y Long Range and Performance models by $3,000 each and the price of the Model 3 Rear-wheel Drive by $2,000 to $39,990, the sixth time it has lowered US prices this year. Tesla has cut prices of its base Model 3 by 11% so far this year and its base Model Y by 20% — moves that come as the United States, its largest market, prepares to introduce tougher standards that will limit EV tax credits.
Angry Tesla Shanghai workers take to social media over bonus cuts
Workers at Tesla’s Shanghai factory take to social media in an attempt to appeal to Musk after their supervisors informed them of upcoming cuts to their performance bonuses. The posts are appearing on Twitter as well as forums like Baidu Tieba, with some even containing appeals to Musk’s mother, Maye Musk. Two workers at the plant, where Tesla employs around 20,000, said they were informed by their supervisors over the weekend about a cut to their quarterly bonus payout, which is linked to the factory’s performance. The workers said Tesla supervisors mentioned a “safety incident” when they were asked about reasons for the cut.
Was alerted this weekend. Looking into it.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 17, 2023
Soros sells all Tesla holdings
Soros Fund Management, the family office of George Soros, sells its entire stake in Tesla. This includes stock as well as $35 million of convertible bonds. Soros bought the bonds in 2018 and the stock in 2022. When he purchased the latter, Tesla shares averaged $274, but at the time of sale they average just $173.
Marked down Tesla vehicles spark China price war
Tesla marks down its prices, causing a price war in China, by selling vehicles there for as much as 50% less than what they cost in Europe and the United States. The Tesla Model 3 sedan and the Model Y crossover are both manufactured at a plant just outside Shanghai. The massive markdown is forcing rival vehicle manufacturers to slash prices also, in an effort to maintain sales.
ARK sells $27m Tesla stock, buys Coinbase
ARK Investment Management’s Cathy Wood sells off $26.84 million of Tesla (TSLA) stock, at a closing price of $192.22, buying shares of Coinbase (COIN) instead. For a total of 139,642 TSLA shares, Wood’s firm sold 119,630 from its ARK Innovation ETF (ARKK) and 20,012 from the ARK Next Generation Internet ETF (ARKW).
ARK buys more Tesla stock
ARK buys 69,356 Tesla shares, adding to the 1.3 million shares the firm purchased in December and January. This latest purchase adds about $12.6 million to ARK’s holdings in the electric vehicle company, based on the stock’s (TSLA) current market value.
Musk announces Master Plan 3, says ‘the future is bright’
Musk announces the the third version of Tesla’s “master plan” on March 1. At the upcoming investor day to be held at its gigafactory in Texas, Tesla said it will share details about its next-generation vehicle platforms, which Musk has said would produce a vehicle about half the cost of Tesla’s current vehicle underpinings. Tesla also said it will discuss long-term expansion plans, capital allocation and other subjects. Master Plan, Part Deux was released in 2016 and Part 1 in 2006.
Master Plan 3, the path to a fully sustainable energy future for Earth will be presented on March 1. The future is bright!
Master Plan 3, the path to a fully sustainable energy future for Earth will be presented on March 1.
The future is bright! pic.twitter.com/11ug0LRlbD
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) February 8, 2023
Musk found not guilty of Tesla tweet fraud
In less than two hours, nine jurors unanimously clear Musk of wrongdoing in a Tesla shareholder class action suit, taken over a tweet in which he said he had “funding secured” to take the electric carmaker private in August 2018. The proposed $72bn (£60bn) buyout never materialised. Sharholders claimed Musk had lied when he tweeted later in the day that “investor support is confirmed”. According to an economist hired by the shareholders, investor losses were calculated as high as $12bn. During the three-week trial, Musk, who took the stand for nearly nine hours, argued he thought he had a verbal commitment from Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund for the deal.
Musk tweets his thansk to the jurors:
Thank goodness, the wisdom of the people has prevailed!
I am deeply appreciative of the jury’s unanimous finding of innocence in the Tesla 420 take-private case.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) February 3, 2023
Tesla lost $140m on Bitcoin in 2022
According to SEC filings, Tesla lost $140m on its Bitcoin investments in 2022, losing $204m overall, although it gained back $64m through trading. The company holds $184m in Bitcoin, having offloaded most of its initial £1.5 billion purchase a few weeks after it was purchased in early 2021.
SEC probes Musk Tesla self-driving claims
US regulators are investigating Elon Musk’s role as part of an ongoing Securities and Exchange Commission probe of the company’s statements about its Autopilot driver-assistance system. SEC officials are weighing whether Musk may have inappropriately made forward-looking statements, although which statements have not been revealed.
An investigation by the agency’s enforcement unit doesn’t always lead to consequences, but can result in lawsuits, fines or other civil penalties for companies and executives.
Musk denies Twitter use hurts Tesla, expects share price recovery
On an Earnings Call with investors [transcript], Musk rejects that his political influencing on Twitter is hurting Tesla’s brand.
Since Elon started political influencing, polls from Morning Consult & YouGov show Tesla brand favorability declining in 2022 and division along partisan lines. Such brand damage can impact demand. Does Tesla track favorability and how will any brand damage be mitigated?
Musk replies by citing his own popularity on Twitter:
Well, let me check my Twitter account (pause as he appears to actually pull out his phone). So I got 127 million followers and it continues to grow rapidly. That suggests that I’m reasonably popular. Now I might not be popular with some people, but for the vast majority of people, my follower count speaks for itself. I have the most interacted social account maybe in the world – certainly on Twitter.
And then talking about his impact on the brand:
I think Twitter is actually an incredibly powerful tool for driving demand for Tesla…I would really encourage companies out there of all kinds, automotive or otherwise, to make more use of Twitter and to use their Twitter accounts in ways that are interesting and informative, entertaining, and it will help them drive sales just as it has with Tesla.
Musk says he expects Tesla’s share price to recover over the long-term, though warned that he anticipated a “pretty difficult recession” in 2023 which could lead to setbacks.
We think demand will be good despite, probably, a contraction in the automotive market as a whole…There’s going to be bumps along the way and we’ll probably have a pretty difficult recession this year, probably. I hope not, but probably.
Musk: I had enough funds to take Tesla private
On his second day of testimony in a court case where he is accused of artificially boosting Tesla’s stock price with a tweet, Musk says that he had sufficient financial backing to take Tesla private. Musk says he believed it was “a done deal” that the Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund would support a possible attempt to take Tesla private at $420 a share, a 20 per cent premium at the time, though he acknowledged there was no contract and that many details had not been worked out.
Musk said the PIF had “many multiples” of what was required to take Tesla private, especially because it was not expected to purchase the entire company, and added that his own shares in SpaceX, his rocket company, would make up for any shortfall.
It’s important for the jury to know that
Musk, said it was “difficult to say” if Tesla shares would rise or fall based on his tweet, because markets can act in “counter-intuitive” ways, but admitted it was more likely it would rise.
I expected that there (would) probably be some increase in the stock price — seems likely. If you say that you’re considering taking a company private or acquiring a company . . . there is going to be some premium . . . In this case, I’m clear about what the premium would be.
Mussk disagreed with the shareholders’ lawyers, who suggested the $420 price was based on a reference to cannabis that his girlfriend at the time found funny, saying he was applying a 20 per cent premium to the stock, then rounding up slightly.
There is some karma around 420, although I’d question (whether it) is good or bad karma, at this point
Musk delivers first Tesla Semi truck to Pepsi
At an event at Tesla’s Nevada plant, Musk delivers the first Tesla Semi to Pepsi. Musk says the battery-powered, long-haul truck will reduce highway emissions, outperform existing diesel models on power and safety and spin-off a fast-charging technology Tesla will use in its upcoming Cybertruck pickup. Musk did not announce pricing for the Semi, provide details on variants of the truck it had initially projected or supply a forecast for deliveries to PepsiCo or other customers.
Musk said the Semi has been doing test runs between Tesla’s Sparks, Nevada factory and its plant in Fremont, California. Tesla said it had completed a 500-mile drive on a single charge, with the Semi and cargo weighing in at 81,000 pounds in total.
Tesla said it would use the Semi to ship parts to its plant in Fremont, California. Musk has said Tesla would aim to produce 50,000 of the trucks in 2024. PepsiCo ordered 100 trucks in 2017.
If you’re a trucker and you want the most badass rig on the road, this is it…This thing has crazy power relative to a diesel truck. Basically it’s like an elephant moving like a cheetah.
Musk defends $55 billion compensation plan in court
Musk defends his $55 billion pay award in a Delaware court, in a suit brought by Gregory Vallo, a Tesla shareholder. The plaintiff alleges that the compensation package, which called for Musk to reap billions if Tesla hit certain market capitalization and operational milestones, was approved by Tesla board members who had conflicts interest due to personal and professional ties to Musk.
Musk would receive the full benefit of the pay plan, $55.8 billion, only if Tesla hit a market capitalization of $650 billion and unprecedented revenue and earnings within a decade. To date, Tesla, under Musk’s management, has achieved all 12 of the market capitalization milestones and 11 operational milestones, providing Musk over $52.4 billion in stock option gains
Musk says he did not dicate the terms of the package, or attend any meetings at which the plan was discussed by the board, its compensation committee, or a working group that helped develop it.
I was entirely focused on the execution of the company,
Varallo also questioned Musk about how he splits his time among Tesla and his other companies. Musk said he never intended to be CEO of Tesla, and that he didn’t want to be chief executive of any other companies either, preferring to see himself as an engineer instead.
The suit also alleges the shareholder vote approving the compensation plan was based on a misleading proxy statement.
Musk sells $3.95 billion of Tesla stock
Regulatory filings show Musk sold nearly $4 billion worth of Tesla shares, bringing his total sold since April to $19 billion. He sold $7 billion in August. These three most recent blocks of Tesla stock sales represent only 4% of the shares that Musk owns outright through a trust, and less than 3% of his holdings if options that he has to buy additional shares are included.
Musk’s filings did not disclose the reason for those earlier stock sales. But after someone on Twitter asked him if he was done selling Tesla shares, he responded “Yes” and then pointed to the possibility of being forced to buy Twitter as the reason for those sales. Shares of Tesla are down almost 50% this year.
Musk announces Quicksilver & Midnight Cherry Red Tesla colors
Musk introduces two new colours for the Model Y, available from Giga Berlin – Quicksilver & Midnight Cherry Red. Tesla:
Quicksilver & Midnight Cherry Red — made at Giga Berlin. Both are made from highly-pigmented metallic paint, designed to change depending on viewing angle & light. Our most advanced paint system yet, allowing up to 13 layers for depth, dimension & a hand-painted look. Available in Europe & the Middle East
Only Giga Berlin can make these colors, as paint shop was specially built to apply many fine layers of paint, giving it complexity not otherwise possible
Only Giga Berlin can make these colors, as paint shop was specially built to apply many fine layers of paint, giving it complexity not otherwise possible https://t.co/Htis0LfRzV
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) October 21, 2022
Musk: Tesla could be worth ‘more than Apple and Saudi Aramco combined’
Pointing to past performance as an indicator, Musk tells analysts during an earnings call, that he sees a path for the auto manufacturer to become the most valuable company in the world.
I see a potential path for Tesla to be worth more than Apple and Saudi Aramco combined. I see a way for Tesla to be roughly twice the value of Saudi Aramco. This is the first time I’ve seen that potential.
Apple and Saudi Aramco are valued at about $2.3 trillion and $2.1 trillion. That growth would imply an over $4T market cap for Tesla. Musk has previously made good on bullish promises. For example, he proclaimed in 2015 that the automaker would exceed a $700B valuation. At the time, the company was worth only about $25B.
Tesla Semi deliveries to Pepsi start Dec 1
Musk says the Tesla Semi truck will start production with deliveries to Pepsi on December 1. He says the Semi has a 500-mile range and is super fun to drive. Pepsi ordered 100 of the all-electric Class 8 trucks in December 2017, a month after it was announced.
500 mile range & super fun to drive
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) October 6, 2022
Musk reveals Optimus Robot
Musk unveils the humanoid Telsa Optimus Robot at Tesla AI Day. He shows a walking production prototype, plus one that uses Tesla actuators. Musk says the robot will be produced at scale and will cost less than a family car.
We’ve designed it using the same discipline that we use when designing the car, which is to design it for manufacturing, so it’s possible to make the robot at high volume at low cost, with high reliability. That’s incredibly important. We’ve all seen very impressive humanoid robot demonstrations. But what are they missing? They’re missing a brain. They don’t have the intelligence to navigate the world by themselves. They’re also very expensive and made in low volume, whereas Optimus is an extremely capable robot, but it’s made in very high volume, ultimately millions of units. It’s expected to cost much less than a car, probably less than $20,000.
— Tesla (@Tesla) October 1, 2022