The NHSTA is all eyes on Tesla as FSD Beta rolls outThe National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is showing no signs of letting up on Tesla, and the regulator is asking for further details on its Full Self-Driving Beta roll-out.
There’s been a lot of build up for Tesla’s Full Self-Driving (FSD) Beta, which this week officially began its wider rollout, but the NHTSA is eagle eyed about the details of this release after Tesla’s year of autopilot controversy. The start of the wider release means that those who have signed up for the software can now download it, but only once they’ve completed a safety test and signed a disclosure agreement (NDA). The NHTSA is pressuring the automaker to give further details on what exactly the NDA outlines, and how the company is conducting its safety tests. The regulator wrote in a letter to Tesla:
Recently, NHTSA has become aware of reports that participants in Tesla’s FSD early access beta release program have non-disclosure agreements that allegedly limit the participants from sharing information about FSD that portrays the feature negatively, or from speaking with certain people about FSD. Given that NHTSA relies on reports from consumers as an important source of information in evaluating potential safety defects, any agreement that may prevent or dissuade participants in the early access beta release program from reporting safety concerns to NHTSA is unacceptable.
Perhaps in the hopes of easing some of the regulators concerns regarding Tesla’s self-driving tech, the EV maker has just unveiled its latest crash safety technology. The company said about the new program:
By collecting data from the millions of vehicles in our fleet and replicating real-world crash scenarios, we’re able to engineer some of the safest vehicles on the road.
Self-driving drama isn’t the only pressure Tesla is feeling, and the company has recently delayed production of two of its highly-anticipated vehicles over supply constraints. Tesla co-founder and CTO, JB Straubel, recently warned the automakers out there that are planning to go electric in the next year or two, saying:
So many OEMs (automakers), countries, factories, and customers are leaping into EVs and making huge announcements about going full electric this decade or next, but I don’t think that they have done the math fully when it comes to what it entails in the supply chain and tracing it all the way back to the mines. They are all saying that they are switching to electric at the same time. I do think we are going to have a really painful time at it.
Despite the doom and gloom, Tesla closed the day up 0.67% at its highest price since early February at $811.08.
Tesla’s high brought to a halt by production delaysTesla closed above $800 for the first time since early February, boosted by its September rebound in its Chinese market – but celebrations were dampened by news that the Roadster and Cybertruck will be delayed until 2023.
Tesla has had a summer of love, with its prices increasing over 40% since its May 19 yearly low as of Tuesday’s closing price. The stock closed above $800 on Monday for the first time since February 12, now not far off its highest closing price ever of $883 – prices were given a boost by news that demand for its EVs is back after a bout of bad publicity saw shipments to China plummet to a 15-month low in July.
However, it’s not all good news – the automaker is still struggling with a severe supply chain shortage, and Elon Musk has just delayed production of both the Roadster and the Cybertruck to 2023. The Roadster was first unveiled in 2017 and was due to launch in 2020 before, and the Cybertruck has already been delayed three times since it was first revealed two years ago. Musk said:
Most likely what we’ll see is Cybertruck production in the next year and then reach volume production in 2023. Hopefully by then we can be producing the Semi and the new Roadster in 2023 as well. We should be through our severe supply chain shortages in 2023. I’m optimistic that will be the case.
Tesla ended Tuesday up 1.74% at $805.72.
Chinese demand for Tesla is on the reboundTesla’s shipments to the Chinese market have increased for the second month in a row for September, showing that demand in the region is recovering after a spate of bad publicity.
There’s been a cloud of bad publicity around Tesla in the Chinese market, including protests in April and a massive recall in May – and demand in the region has suffered. It looks like the market might be bouncing back though, because the automaker has reported that shipments of its China-made cars to the local market increased to 52,153 units in September after the company saw a jump of nearly 50% in August. Competition is especially tight as Chinese competitor Nio (NIO) has just reported that it has hit the 100,000 production milestone – in half the time that Tesla did.
In other good news, Tesla has also officially started the “wider release” of its highly anticipated Full Self-Driving Beta in the US, and investors are hoping the tech is good enough to get the company out of hot regulatory water with authorities.
Tesla accelerates Berlin gigafactory goalsTesla held a rager over the weekend, turning its Berlin gigafactory site into a festival extravaganza, complete with a rock-star like entrance for CEO Elon Musk and a few updates on what people can expect from the Gigafactory. Musk said to the fans:
We’re aiming to start production in a few months, basically, November or December, and hopefully deliver our first cars in December. But starting production is kind of the easy part. The hard part is reaching volume production. It will take longer to reach volume production than it took to build the factory.
The gigafactory has still yet to actually get the green light from the German government and regulators to start production, but Brandenburg's economy minister says there is about a 95% chance the factory will get approved, so Tesla doesn’t seem worried. To add to its new schedule, Tesla also unveiled a new battery product – a structural battery pack with 4680 cells.
Tesla ended Friday down just over 1% after trading horizontally for most of the week.
Musk moves Tesla headquartersElon Musk has been hinting at relocation plans for a while now, but the CEO has just confirmed that EV maker Tesla will move its headquarters from Silicon Valley's Palo Alto to Texas, where the company is building a huge manufacturing plant. Musk assured everyone that Tesla won't be leaving the state entirely, and plans to increase its production by around 50% at both its California and Nevada plants.
The stock ended the day up 1.39%.
NVIDIA Corporation / Flickr
Tesla hikes its pricesTesla hikes the prices of its Model 3 and Model Y (again), and its cheapest car is now $42,000.
Tesla has been slowly and steadily increasing the prices of its Model 3 and Model Y electric vehicles through this year, with CEO Elon Musk blaming supply shortages for the price hikes. The automaker is at it again, and has just lifted the EVs prices so that its cheapest car (the Model 3) is now $42,000 – bearing in mind that at the start of the year, you could buy one for just $36,990.
Craventure Media / Unsplash
Tesla short interest at an all-time lowWith Tesla short interest at an all-time low, it looks like people have stopped betting against the industry leading electric vehicle maker.
Tesla’s bull run last year left short sellers down tens of billions of dollars, and clearly a lesson has been learnt – the stock has lifted nearly 40% from its 2021 low of $563.46 in May, and short-interest has just hit an all-time low as brokers have raced to cover their negative bets. Bloomberg reported:
The percentage of stock borrowed by traders, a standard measure of short interest, has slumped to 1.1% of Tesla’s shares available for trading, according to IHS Markit Ltd. as of last Thursday. That’s the lowest since 2010, when the carmaker went public.
Tesla has just released its latest delivery numbers, which Wedbush analyst Dan Ives called “a major feather in the cap for the bulls”. Prices closed Monday at $781.53.
Torbjorn Sandbakk / Unsplash
Tesla hits delivery recordTesla has released its third quarter delivery numbers, and after an “intense” push the automaker has managed to beat both its own record and analyst expectations and delivered 241,300 electric cars. Elon Musk has been pushing employees this month to make up for its lagging delivery numbers, which have been brought down by a supply chain crisis and a lack of parts, and it looks like it’s all been worth it. Analysts were expecting Tesla to deliver around 220,900 vehicles, and its numbers are up significantly from the 206,421 the automaker delivered last quarter. The company said:
Our delivery count should be viewed as slightly conservative, as we only count a car as delivered if it is transferred to the customer and all paperwork is correct. Final numbers could vary by up to 0.5% or more.
Tesla bull backs offA once big-time Tesla investor, Chamath Palihapitiya has pulled his position in the electric vehicle maker over the past year, cashing out his massive stake in the company to invest capital in other areas. The Social Capital founder said:
I don’t have an infinite pool of capital. So when I have these ideas, the money has to come from somewhere.
The billionaire is still bullish on Tesla stock, but has admitted that he underestimated how big the electric vehicle market could get.
Brian Ach / Wikimedia Commons
Tesla on track for a record delivery quarterTesla has been making a massive push on its deliveries for the quarter, despite being slowed down by the ongoing supply chain crisis, and analysts expect the automaker to report a record quarter.
Analysts see Tesla breaking its quarterly delivery record on the back of the automaker's massive push this month as it tries to recover from the supply chain crisis. Elon Musk has been pushing employees this month to make up for its lagging delivery numbers, which have been brought down by a supply chain crisis and a lack of parts. Analysts have seen the efforts and are estimating Tesla will report a record quarter of deliveries, and have raised their forecasts on the automakers numbers for Q3. Piper Sandler's Alexander Potter is one such analyst, and is expecting the “strongest” quarter yet and raised their annual forecast to 894,000 – which would be almost double last year's deliveries of just under 500,000.
It’s a good things that Tesla is upping its game, because competitor Lucid (LCID) has just started delivery of its electric car, which has the potential to disrupt the market considering it has the longest range of any EV.
Tesla's got more strings to its bow than just cars though, and its outlook has been boosted by a massive order for 2 GW/6 GWh of Megapack batteries from Averon. Tesla’s battery packs have quickly become one of its most popular products, and this order represents double the energy capacity that Tesla has deployed in the last year between its Megapacks, Powerpacks, and Powerwalls – so it’s a big deal. Tesla has also just added another 1,000 new Full Self-Driving Beta testers per day, and people are eager to see how the new software will hold up against regulatory scrutiny, which will impact how the rest of the year looks for the automaker.
Prices ended the day down 1.74% amid a broader market sell-off.
Tesla dives deep into China despite crackdownThe tech industry has been grappling with supply chain issues for months now, and things have just been made worse by a change in China’s energy consumption policies. Coal supplies are running low in China and emissions standards are changing – meaning that companies like Apple (AAPL) and Tesla are having to shut down production for a few days to comply with the new regulations. Multiple Apple (AAPL) and Tesla suppliers have had to close operations for around a week to update their energy consumption facilities, and though none of them are expecting a long-lasting impact from the shut downs, the closures put supply-chain continuity at risk during a peak season for electronics like iPhones and EVs.
Despite the crackdown, Tesla CEO has praised China and emphasized its plans to expand its investments in the region, saying:
My frank observation is that China spends a lot of resources and efforts applying the latest digital technologies in different industries, including the automobile industry, making China a global leader in digitalization. Tesla will continue to expand our investment and R&D efforts in China.
Supply chain issues or not, Tesla is planning on having its “most intense delivery week ever” and CEO Elon Musk has thanked employees for a “hardcore delivery push."
Steve Jurvetson / Wikimedia Commons
Full Self-Driving Beta is hereTesla’s highly anticipated Full Self-Driving Beta program has finally been released, but the controversial update is already under scrutiny. Fans have been waiting for the new software for months now, although Elon Musk surprised everyone by sticking to his timelines and released the software late on Friday as promised. The full self-driving program promises the ability of navigating on the highway, automatically changing lanes, moving into a parking spot, and driving short distances without anyone behind the wheel.
As excited as Tesla fans are, the San Francisco County Transportation Authority (SFCTA) has already voiced concern over the software, saying it's more of a driver assistant program than an autopilot vehicle system. The National Transportation Safety Board Chair Jennifer Homendy has also shared her worries over the program, urging the automaker to address safety concerns before releasing the update.
In other good news, Musk sees the chip shortage getting resolved over the short-term, which is great news considering the supply chain issues Tesla has been dealing with. Tesla ended Friday up 2.75%, closing at its highest price since February at $774.39.
Steve Jurvetson / Flickr
Tesla's Mega-expansionTesla breaks ground on a new “Megafactory” facility in California to expanding its Megapack production capacity.
Tesla is ramping up production of its Megapacks, the automakers biggest batteries for stationary energy storage. The company has just broken ground on a new Megafactory in California, almost exactly two years after first launching the Megapack. Up until now a Gigafactory in Nevada has been the only place making the battery packs.
Lenny Kuhne / Unsplash
Tesla goes bigTesla steps up its energy plan with an expansion of its Australian virtual power plant.
Elon Musk vowed to bring sustainable and affordable energy to low income houses in Australia, opening up the Virtual Power Plant in South Australia, and now Tesla is expanding the programme to Victoria.
Mark Mühlhaus / Environment America
NTSB slams Tesla’s new techThe National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) opens an investigation into a Tesla crash, calling its self-driving beta ‘misleading and irresponsible’ before its release later this month.
After a year of testing and a whole lot of controversy, Tesla is nearly ready to release its Full Self-Driving beta software to the wider public. Before it's even hit the market yet though, the NTSB slams the tech as “misleading and irresponsible” after opening an investigation into a recent crash. The news comes in the midst of an investigation by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration into a series of crashes this year involving Tesla’s autopilot software.
The automaker lost 3.86% on Monday, brought down further by a broader market sell-off.
Senate Democrats / Wikimedia Commons
Analyst optimismTesla has struggled like the rest of the industry with supply chain shortages, but an analyst sees the automaker speeding ahead despite the challenges to reach 1.3 million deliveries in 2022.
There are some hopefuls out there that think this could be the year Tesla hits 1 million deliveries for the first time. Wedbush analyst Dan Ives doesn't think so, but they are bullish enough to see the company hitting the 1.3 million deliveries mark in 2022. Ives expects the automaker to hit 900,000 deliveries and hiked his price target on the stock to $1000, saying:
In a nutshell, competition is increasing from all angles in this EV arms race which has been an overhang over Tesla and the overall sector, however this is just the start of an EV transformation that will change the auto industry for the coming decades with Tesla leading the charge. With EVs representing 3% of overall autos globally and poised to hit 10% by 2025 there will be much more competition in a massively increasing share of the global auto market.
One of the reasons Ives is sceptical of Tesla hitting a million deliveries this year is that production at its Gigafactories is only expected to pick up later in the year. The production plants in Texas and Berlin are key to the automaker hitting its delivery targets, and Tesla has just announced a ‘Giga Fest’ to launch the Berlin factory.
Tesla tackles data security concernsAs it plans to build a new production center in Beijing, Elon Musk says Tesla will work closely with regulators to ensure data security.
Tesla is building a brand new delivery center in Beijing, China’s largest city, so it better get in good with the country’s regulators. Tesla has been in the spotlight this year for how it stores and handles customers data – its ever growing list of sensors and cameras are great for the function of the car, but have also raised security and privacy concerns. Musk said:
With the rapid growth of autonomous driving technologies, data security of vehicles is drawing more public concerns than ever before.
Musk went on to assure everyone that the company will make sure to work closely with global regulators and make sure all data handling is over the board.
Tony Webster / Flickr
Cathie Woods unloads more TeslaTesla continues to make inroads in updating its self-driving software, but Cathie Woods continues to unload the stock nonetheless.
Tesla’s self proclaimed “mind-blowing” Full Self-Driving Beta v10 was rolled out to its early access fleet last week, and is now undergoing testing on the roads of Canada before its wider release in the U.S.
The software was highly anticipated given the onslaught of autopilot accidents that have plagued Tesla, but Ark Invest’s Cathie Woods still isn’t convinced. Her firm has just shed another $62 million worth of Tesla stock – this month, the asset management company has now offloaded a total of $266 million in Tesla shares, though the automaker remains its biggest holding.
Competition continues to heat up, and rival Lucid Motors (LCID) just had its debut sedan named the fastest EV. Does Tesla need to look to its laurels?
Tesla gets pipped at the pick-up postTesla gets overtaken by EV start-up Rivian, which has just beat out the rest of the market to become the first automaker to produce an electric truck.
The electric truck market is expected to be one of the most competitive in coming years, and private EV start-up Rivian has just beat big dogs like Tesla and General Motors (GM) to the punch by officially producing the first electric pickup for a customer. Tesla recently issued yet another delay for its CyberTruck, which is now due to hit the market in late 2022 instead of this year, along with a bunch of other automakers like Ford (F) and GM (GM). The news comes not long after Rivian, which is backed by the likes of Amazon and Ford, filed for an IPO – so Tesla better up its game if it's going to continue to dominate the U.S. EV market.
It’s not just its truck production that needs attention either – last week, the automaker released its “mind-blowing” Full Self-Driving Beta v10 software, but so far market reception has been tepid. The software is becoming all the more important in the face of an investigation from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration on its accident-prone auto driving system.
Ready to have your mind blown?Elon sticks to his word, and Tesla rolls out “mind-blowing” Full Self-Driving Beta v10 software to its early access fleet.
Elon Musk isn't known for sticking to his timelines, but true to his word, Tesla is now one step closer to officially replacing its “not great” software with the “mind-blowing” Full Self-Driving Beta v10 software after it gets sent out to an early access fleet on Friday. That means that the software should be fully rolled out by the end of this month – investors are hoping that the new release is as impressive as they’ve been led to believe amid continued scrutiny of Tesla’s auto-drive function.
In another success story, a Plaid Model S officially set the electric lap record at Nürburgring Nordschleife racetrack in Germany, making it the fastest EV on the block. Zoom zoom.
Model S / Tesla.com
Is the delivery hot streak coming to an end?Supply chain issues have plagued Tesla’s third quarter deliveries, but CEO Elon Musk is aiming for a big push to make a “decent quarter”.
Tesla’s delivery numbers have dwindled in Q3 on the back of the global chip shortage, but after claiming this month would be the “craziest month of deliveries Tesla will ever have”, Elon pushes employees to end with a “decent quarter” despite the supply chain issues. Tesla is known to work in delivery waves, always delivering more vehicles at the end of the quarter, but this quarter has been more difficult than most. In an email to Tesla employees, the CEO wrote:
The end of the quarter delivery wave is unusually high this time as we suffered (like the rest of the industry) from extremely severe parts shortages earlier this quarter. Early Q3 production was so challenging that we need to go super hardcore to make up for it over the next ~22 days to ensure a decent Q3 delivery number. This is the biggest wave in Tesla history, be we got to get it done.
Will Tesla be able to continue its record-breaking delivery streak?
Shanghai plant ramps up export volumesTesla produced a record number of EVs in its Shanghai Gigafactory last month, which the company has turned into its new primary export hub.
In July, in the face of muted Chinese demand, Tesla transitioned its Shanghai plant into a primary export hub and ramped up production. August saw a record number of EVs come out of the Gigafactory, with most of them bound for the European market. Within two years of opening the factory, Tesla can boast an annualized production capacity of around 450,000 vehicles. In August, the EV maker produced over 44,000 cars from the plant, with over 31,000 delivered outside China – up 34% from the month before.
On the flip side, this means less deliveries in China, which is one of its most important regions. It comes at a time where competition is only getting more stiff – competing Chinese EV company XPeng (XPEV) is already developing flying cars, and on Tuesday released a robotic unicorn that could rival the Tesla Bot.
Nobody can say Tesla doesn’t keep things innovative though, having just obtained a patent on its latest idea to use lasers as windscreen wipers.
Image: Shanghai Skyline, Edward He / Unsplash
Tesla’s European mega-ventureTesla is taking things up a notch in Europe: getting started on a giant Megapack project in the U.K. and waiting on a $1 billion subsidy package from the German government for its Berlin Gigafactory.
It’s been almost two years exactly since Tesla launched its Megapack batteries, and they’re doing Mega-well – the EV maker has just started delivering a bunch of the batteries for a massive energy storage project that is underway in the U.K. The battery system has become massively popular among large-scale energy upgrades across the world, and the U.K. has chosen Tesla as a key tenant of its plan to upscale its energy storage capacity, so more projects could be on the way.
Elsewhere in Europe, Tesla’s Berlin Gigafactory is awaiting a subsidy package of up to $1 billion from the German government, which is in the final stages of authorization, and should give a bolt of energy to the large battery cell factory.
Ark Invest feeds the bullsCould Tesla stock hit $3k a pop? Cathie Wood’s Ark Invest thinks so, and Elon Musk apparently agrees, as long as “they execute really well.”
Wall Street is divided on the future of Tesla, but Ark Invest is still firmly on the side of the bulls after assigning a $3,000 price tag to the stock: which would put prices up nearly 310% from Friday’s closing price of $733.57, and over 230% up from its $900 all-time high in January. Ark believes that Tesla will manage to deliver between 5 million and 10 million electric vehicles by 2025, which would mean a serious push, considering the automaker is barely on track to deliver 1 million this year at the moment.
Elon Musk is on board with the analysis though, and wrote in an email to employees:
If we execute really well, I agree with Ark Invest.
Tesla is already the most valuable automaker in the world, with a market cap of over $726 billion.
Ark Invest / Brandfetch
An affordable EVTesla aims to release its elusive $25,000 car in 2023, which is due to be completely autonomous despite a lack of regulatory approval.
Elon Musk started talk of a $25,000 electric car as Tesla Battery Day last year, but until now the timing of the new car has been unclear. Rumors started swirling in early August, and now Musk has reportedly told employees that Tesla will release its cheaper vehicle in 2023. The car will supposedly be completely autonomous, without a steering wheel or pedals, but Tesla’s Full Self-Driving Beta software is yet to be approved so that may not be a possibility.
Musk bullish despite China's chip hitTesla’s August Chinese vehicle output took a hit from the chip shortage, but Musk says September will be “the craziest month of deliveries Tesla will ever have.”
The global chip shortage shows no signs of slowing, and seems determined to take the automarket with it. Tesla was reportedly forced to shut down operations this week in one of its Chinese factories, a key region for the EV maker. Its August delivery numbers took a hit after the four-day shut down, but never fear, because Elon is here to reassure investors and employees. On a company-wide call this week, the CEO said:
This month will be the craziest month for deliveries Tesla will ever have.
Production delays aren’t the only problem Tesla is grappling with right now though, and in a move to take control of its recent autopilot disasters, the EV maker has expanded its driver monitoring system – a cabin camera will be trained on the driver and will ding if their attention wanders, even if on autopilot mode.
Get ready for Full Driving Beta 10For once it looks like Tesla may be sticking to its timelines, and the official roll-out of its Full Self-Driving Beta public release can be expected as early as next Friday.
After admitting the current software was “not great”, Tesla’s autopilot/AI team has been hard at work to improve things. On August 25 Musk said the new Beta would be available in around 4 weeks, and for once it looks like the EV leader might beat its own timelines – in a series of tweets, Musk says the Beta 10 could roll out as early as next week, with another version out by the end of September.
It’s not all good news though, and in the face of a continuing supply chain shortage Tesla has officially delayed its new Roadster deliveries to 2023 at the earliest.
Tesla ramps up robotics labFor anyone who doubted Elon’s humanoid robot timeline, Tesla has added a bunch of new jobs to boost its production of the new device.
In August, Elon Musk revealed Tesla’s plans to make a ‘Tesla Bot’ humanoid robot. The bot will be able to take over "dangerous, boring, and repetitive" human tasks, which feels eerily similar to the beginning of every robot revolution movie ever, but Musk has gone out of his way to assure everyone that the robot won’t be dangerous.
Musk said that a full prototype for the 5ft8in, 125lb Tesla bot can be expected next year, but we all know how flexible Musk can be with his deadlines (still no sign of the Cybertruck, by the way, which was due this year but hasn’t yet started production), so the market met the promise with some understandable skepticism.
However, Tesla is already demonstrating its commitment to the deadline with the addition of a huge list of new job postings for production on the Tesla Bot – one of which is based in Austin, hinting that the company might set up production for the bot in Texas.
Tesla crash adds fuel to NHTSA fireIn the midst of an official probe from The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), a Tesla on autopilot crashes into yet another stationary emergency vehicle. Awkward.
Tesla’s autopilot software has been in the headlines for all the wrong reasons recently, and a series of collisions between Tesla vehicles and parked first responder vehicles prompted the NHTSA to launch an official probe earlier this month. Tesla vehicles using autopilot mode or traffic-aware cruise control have slammed into parked emergency vehicles that had been using lights and flares as warning signals – not particularly “traffic-aware”.
To add fuel to the fire, this week a Tesla using the autopilot function crashed into a stationary police car on the side of the highway, narrowly missing the driver, who was helping someone else.
The probe will see the NHTSA taking in around 765,000 Tesla vehicles built since 2014 with built-in autopilot. The top U.S. transportation regulator has actually flagged Autopilot before, closing an investigation into the software in 2017 without taking any action – it’s unlikely they will be as lenient this time around considering the continued crashes.
Tesla to the rescueAfter a cold front left millions without power in February, Tesla has filed to become an electricity provider in Texas.
Tesla has filed an application with the Texas Public Utility Commission to sell electricity directly to residents of the state. The EV maker already has plans in motion to build two massive 250-megawatt batteries in two of the state’s major cities, and wants to sell the energy on the retail market. Texas residents with solar panels on their houses will also be able to sell their left-over power to Tesla’s grid. A cold snap in February left millions in the Southern state without water or electricity for days – the Texas power grid is isolated from the rest of the country, so no other states could come to the rescue, highlighting the need to bolster the grids’ power.
Tesla has boosted its margins through the years with sales of green credits – which companies buy to offset their huge greenhouse gas emissions – and in the second quarter of 2020, income from green credits represented four times the company’s $104 million net profit. Tesla will sell electricity to the market through a new subsidiary called Tesla Energy Ventures.
David Clarke / Flickr
Full Self Driving in 4 weeks (ish)After admitting the current software is “not great”, Elon Musk says Tesla now aims to release the new and improved version to the wider public in around four weeks.
Elon Musk has been (unsurprisingly) taking to Twitter once again to talk about Tesla’s latest Full Self Driving software – the beta of which is currently available to a select few, and according to Musk is “actually not great”. However, he also says that Tesla’s autopilot/AI team is on the case, working as fast as possible to improve the system, and now the CEO says that a wider release of the new and improved software will potentially be available as soon as next month. Beta 10, which is due to go out to testers next Friday, is going to be “next-level” according to the CEO, so hopes are high for the public release. Perhaps in preparation, Tesla also released version 4 of its mobile app with a bunch of new features and a shiny new interface.
However, the 4 week timeline is Elon’s “best guess”, and we all know how flexible Tesla can be with its deadlines. Prices ended the day up 0.38%.
The U.K steps up its Tesla salesElectric cars are all the rage, and the U.K. is doing its bit for the environment with over £1 billion in Tesla sales in 2020.
People, nations, and organizations from around the world are investing in the electric vehicle market as a way to combat the climate crisis, and Tesla is one of the U.K.’s favorite ways to do so, with sales topping £1 billion in 2020 – almost double the number sold in 2019. Although there were no specific numbers released, it’s estimated that that equates to over 20,000 cars sold in the year.
Tesla’s Model 3 was named Britain's top selling car in June as people made the move over to electric ahead of upcoming bans on petrol and diesel sales. Many in the U.S. are making the move too – electric vehicle sales were up 117% this year, and Tesla still dominates about 66% of the market.
Musk adds fuel to the NHTSA’s tankAfter a probe was launched into Tesla’s autopilot technology, Elon Musk tweets that the company’s latest experimental driver assistance software is “actually not great”.
Earlier this month, a series of collisions between Tesla vehicles and parked first responder vehicles prompted the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to launch an official probe into the technology. Now, Elon Musk himself says he doesn't really back the software. The electric-car maker sells a Full Driving package for $10,000, and this specific beta version is only available to those who have already purchased the software and a few select employees. Musk called the FSD Beta 9.2 “actually not great” on Twitter, adding fuel to the NHTSA fire. At least he’s honest about it.
However, he also says that Tesla’s autopilot/AI team is on the case, working as fast as possible to improve the system. Critics have accused Tesla of misleading people with the term “self-driving”, because the software doesn't offer complete autonomy whereby no human intervention or presence is needed. Maybe the new Tesla bot can iron out the bumps in the system.
The beginning of the robot revolution?Elon Musk reveals Tesla’s plans to make a ‘Tesla Bot’ humanoid robot, which is designed to take over boring and repetitive human tasks.
Elon Musk takes to the stage on Thursday to reveal Tesla’s upcoming foray into the world of robots, giving the world a peek at the Tesla bot – a humanoid robot that will be able to take over dangerous, boring, and repetitive tasks. The new product feels eerily similar to the beginning of every robot revolution movie ever, but Musk has gone out of his way to assure everyone that the robot won’t be dangerous as it’ll be small enough to easily overpower:
It’s intended to be friendly, of course, and navigate through a world of humans, and eliminate dangerous, repetitive and boring tasks. We’re setting it such that it is at a mechanical level, a physical level, that you can run away from it. And most likely overpower it.
Some people couldn’t help feel like they were being pranked by the playful CEO, who has more than once spoken about the dangers of AI, especially as he came on stage in a skintight white suit and black helmet, accompanying the announcement with a robot dance across the stage. A full prototype for the 5ft8in, 125lb Tesla bot can be expected next year, though we all know how flexible Musk can be with his deadlines – there’s still no sign of the Cybertruck, which was due this year but hasn’t yet started production.
Prices ended the day down 2.25%.
Tesla faces crash consequencesTesla’s autopilot software is under fire yet again, facing an official probe from the The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
Tesla’s autopilot software has been in the headlines for all the wrong reasons recently, and a series of collisions between Tesla vehicles and parked first responder vehicles has prompted the NHTSA to launch an official probe. There have been 11 separate crashes identified, whereby Tesla vehicles using autopilot mode or traffic-aware cruise control have slammed into parked emergency vehicles that had been using lights and flares as warning signals – not particularly “traffic-aware”.
The probe will see the NHTSA taking in around 765,000 Tesla vehicles built since 2014 with built-in autopilot. The top U.S. transportation regulator has actually flagged Autopilot before, closing an investigation into the software in 2017 without taking any action – it’s unlikely they will be as lenient this time around considering the continued crashes.
Tesla closed down 4.32% on the news on Monday.
Berlin factory to arrive in OctoberAfter some political networking, Elon Musk plans to open its Berlin Gigafactory in October or soon after.
Tesla’s Grunheide Gigafactory, which is not far from Berlin, has been a long-anticipated affair, and now it looks like its arrival is imminent. After a visit with the leading candidate for the next German chancellor on Friday, Elon Musk says that the EV company hopes to make its first car in the new location as soon as October, or very soon thereafter. Must have been a good meeting.
The Robyn Denholm fanclubAs Musk’s suspension from the board comes to an end, Tesla has asked to keep the current chair of directors, Robyn Denholm.
CEO Elon Musk, who has led Tesla since 2008, lost his position as Chair of Tesla’s board after his attempt to take Tesla private in 2018 caused a run in with the SEC. The technoking was suspended for three years, and his time in exile is coming to an end – but someone is sitting in his spot. In an SEC proxy filing, Tesla has asked for Robyn Denholm, who took over in 2018, to remain as the chair of its board of directors.
We believe that Ms. Denholm possesses specific attributes that qualify her to serve as a member of the board and as its chair,
said the company.
Robyn Denholm. Photo: CeBIT Australia / Wikimedia Commons
Musk makes nice in GermanyElon Musk takes another step towards world domination, meeting with the leading Chancellor candidate in Germany, who thinks Tesla’s upcoming Berlin gigafactory is a model investment.
You know what they say, it’s not what you know it’s who you know, and Elon Musk is taking note: meeting with the potential successor to German Chancellor Angela Merkel to discuss Tesla’s new Berlin gigafactory. The techno-king will meet with Armin Laschet, the leading conservative candidate and frontrunner to take over from Merkel, after the German factory had to delay its opening because of bureaucratic hurdles.
I’m glad that Elon Musk has just texted me and that we have agreed to see each other tomorrow. This, of course, also underlines the common will to make such an investment possible in other fields in the future. You have to talk to each other for that. Tesla is setting a point in Europe, and I am sure that many companies will settle around Grünheide, which in turn will bring new jobs,
Tesla is still waiting for final approval from the country’s environmental agency, meaning a further delay is still on the cards – though having a chancellor in its corner would probably help its case.
Tesla shifts down a gear in ChinaWhile the rest of the EV market heats up, Tesla deliveries seem to be cooling down, with its shipments of locally made cars in China slipping in July after the EV leader was forced to recall most of its cars in the region.
Deliveries of Tesla’s China-made vehicles in the local market took a hit in July, suffering the consequences of a mass recall at the end of last month. Chinese regulators said on July 26 that Tesla would be recalling 285,000 Model 3 and Model Y cars because they needed an online software update related to the auto drive function, a system that has caused Tesla a lot of grief recently. The Chinese State Administration for Market Regulation said that the move was because the assisted driving in the EVs is being activated by drivers accidentally, causing the cars to accelerate suddenly.
Tesla’s July shipment numbers were released on Tuesday, citing production of nearly 33,000 vehicles out of its Shanghai plant – but only 8.600 were delivered to China. In June, the end of the second quarter, Tesla shipped around 33,000 cars, 28,000 of which were for the domestic Chinese market.
Investors don’t seem bothered though, and prices slipped 0.5% on the day to close at $709.99.
Photo: Model 3, Tesla Gallery
Strong game for Tesla in Q2Tesla looks to be successfully swerving the effects of the global chip shortage so far, reporting a record quarterly profit that has seen a nearly tenfold increase.
Tesla wowed with second quarter earnings that beat on both the top and bottom lines and posting a net income that is up nearly tenfold from last year. The EV pioneer reported earnings per share of $1.45 on revenue of $11.96 billion, compared to the $0.98 cents in earnings per share and $11.30 in revenue that analysts were expecting. Tesla brought in a record net income for the second quarter at $1.14 billion, which marks not only the first time profit has surged past $1 billion in the company’s history, but it is up nearly tenfold from the $104 million the EV giant reported in the same period last year.
As impressive as those numbers are, it’s not all clear roads ahead just yet, and Musk did acknowledge that growth has been held back by the global chip shortage the entire automarket is struggling with. Whilst Tesla reported impressive vehicle delivery numbers, breaking the 200,000 barrier for the first time this quarter, its growth for the rest of the year will depend on its ability to continue to navigate the continued difficulties that the shortage presents. The company also delayed production of its Cybertruck and has pushed back plans for a tractor until 2022 in light of the worsening shortage.
While we're making cars at full speed, the global chip shortage situation remains quite serious. For the rest of this year, our growth rates will be determined by the slowest part in our supply chain,
It’s not just the chip shortage that’s dragging on income – Tesla also incurred $23 million in Bitcoin-related impairment during the quarter, on the back of the cryptocrash, for which Tesla was ironically a catalyst back in May. Elon Musk has recently said that Tesla will likely start accepting the digital currency again if mining continues to become more environmentally friendly, but who knows.
Tesla gained 2.21% on Monday in anticipation, but it’s a tough market and the stock opened down 1.92% on Tuesday morning.
SolarCity scrutiny could hit Musk where it hurtsElon Musk is heading to court to defend his role in Tesla’s $2.6 billion acquisition of SolarCity in 2016 – and this time it's personal, because if shareholders win, Musk will be coughing up over $2 billion of his own personal wealth.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk is expected in court Monday, taking his place as the first witness in a trial to defend his role in Tesla’s controversial acquisition of SolarCity in 2016. The investors and pension funds that are leading the lawsuit claim that the deal was essentially a bailout, and that Musk used his control of Tesla to force the company to rescue SolarCity from bankruptcy – conveniently also saving his own personal and substantial investment in the solar panel maker. Solar City was founded by Musk and some of his cousins, and the tech pioneer was the biggest shareholder in the company.
The stakes are high on this one, and over $2 billion is resting on the outcome of the court case, which is expected to take about two weeks. Bailing out Solar City would be a breach of Tesla’s fiduciary duties and the court case initially targeted Musk and the rest of the Tesla board. However, Musk has been left as the lone defendant after being the only one to refuse to take the $60 million settlement that the rest of the board jumped on. Though the SolarCity acquisition is only a small part of Tesla’s long and drama-filled history, it raises serious questions surrounding Musk’s corporate control, bringing up concerns over conflicts of interest and due diligence within Tesla and its corporate governance.
If Musk isn't able to convince the judge that the deal was a legit transaction, he could be ordered to hand back the roughly $2 billion that Tesla spent on SolarCity from his own pocket. Let’s be honest though, for a man with around $177 billion floating around, it could be worse.
Tesla hits 200,000 in Q2Tesla hands investors some positive news with its latest quarterly delivery numbers, which saw the EV pioneer hit some exciting milestones.
Tesla ended the week with a bang, releasing its second quarter vehicle production and delivery numbers and shaking off its logistics issues and parts shortage woes to deliver over 200,000 cars for the first quarter ever. The firm has been plagued with supply chain issues all year, falling prey to “insane difficulties” in Q1 at the hands of the global chip shortage, port disruptions, and production issues in China, one of its most important regions.
We had quite a difficulty with scaling our production in China because we were unable to get engineers there because of Covid quarantine restrictions,
said Musk in an earnings call.
But never fear, the legend is making a comeback, and Elon Musk tweeted out his praise of his EV baby this week for overcoming its challenges to reach a milestone of more than 200,000 vehicles built and delivered in Q2.
The electric car maker delivered 201,250 vehicles in the last three months, beating Wall Street expectations of 195,000 to 200,000, and representing a jump of 122% from the same period last year. There were some challenges though – shipping issues meant that not all of the 206,421 cars manufactured were able to get to their new owners. Prices barely moved.
China recallTesla gets dealt another blow as China orders a safety fix and the EV maker has to recall almost 300,000 cars.
Tesla vehicles, especially the auto-drive function, have been the subject of a string of criticisms recently, and now China is piling on with demands that almost all its cars receive a safety fix. Chinese regulators said on Saturday that Tesla would be recalling 285,000 Model 3 and Model Y cars because they needed an online software update related to... wait for it...yep, you guessed it, the auto drive function.
The State Administration for Market Regulation said that the move was because the assisted driving in the EVs is being activated by drivers accidentally, causing the cars to accelerate suddenly.
JL Warren analyst Miles Qianli Dong doesn't think it will have much of an impact on sales going forward.
We believe that this is Tesla China’s subtle way to make concessions with Chinese consumers and government in light of the recent PR crisis,
The market clearly isn’t too bothered either – stock rose over 2% in Monday morning trading.
The Model Plaid is finally here!After a couple of false starts and a bit of a program change, Tesla finally holds its Model Plaid delivery event and releases its newest invention on the world.
The people have been waiting for this new Tesla model for a while now, with the original event due to be held last week, but finally delivery has begun for Tesla’s newest Model S Plaid – just under a decade after the first original Model S delivery event. The event had previously been scheduled for June 3, but the electric vehicle pioneer cancelled just before the event to make sure everything was perfect. Which it was, apparently, because Musk also cancelled the Model S Plaid Plus (the luxe version of the classic sedan) because the Plaid is “just so good.”
Anyone with a need for speed (and a liquid bank balance) will be all over this new vehicle, which breaks records by going from 0 to 60 mph in less than 2 seconds and has the fastest quarter mile ever recorded, with Musk claiming the new car is
Faster than a Porshe but safer than a Volvo. It's like, man, this is, just, sustainable energy cars can be the fastest cars, be the safest cars, gonna be the most kick-ass cars in every way.
Not everyone is on the same page though, and Musk was careful to note that its newest car has yet to be given a safety rating from NHTSA, which has spent a lot of time looking into the safety of Tesla’s self-driving vehicles following various accidents. Not that seems to have stopped the fanfare or demand for the EV. The company has plans to deliver the first 25 cars now, and by next quarter aims to be delivering over a thousand a week.
Tesla is always looking to create the best car on the planet; let’s see if the Model Plaid is it. A test drive can’t hurt, right...?
Sad Plaid pushbackOn what was meant to be the release date for its new Model S Plaid, Tesla loses just over 5% instead, due to the recall of a bunch of its cars.
Wednesday was meant to be a good day for Tesla fans, as the new Model S Plaid was set to come out and wow the world. Sadly, the combination of a 6,000 car recall and a pushback of the Plaid launch date sent Tesla stock on the decline instead.
Everyone has been super excited about the Model S Plaid, especially after comedian and car fanatic Jay Leno had a sneak peek and saw the car beat a quarter-mile record. But last week, Elon tweeted that the record-breaking car wasn't yet ready.
Though disappointment was in the air, safety comes first. Investors might wish that the EV company had taken the same cautious approach with its recent Model Y and Model 3 vehicles – Tesla this week had to recall just under 6,000 of them because of concerns over loosening brake bolts. It’s not Tesla’s first dalliance with vehicle recalls; taking back 135,000 in the U.S. earlier this year over touch screen failures, and nearly 10,000 in 2020.
Radar repercussionsAfter making some changes to its self-driving tech, Tesla loses its coveted ‘Top Pick’ Consumer Reports ranking.
Following ongoing controversies surrounding Tesla’s self-driving tech, Tesla last week officially made some changes to the technology it uses, including a move from using radars to only using cameras combined with machine learning in its advanced driver assistance systems.
It wasn't the decision itself that got people riled up, but the fact that the move temporarily suspended a bunch of advanced safety systems like collision warning and crash imminent braking – which is kind of the important stuff. It’s not just Consumer Reports that have taken a stance; the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) also stripped Tesla of its safety endorsements, and the NHTSA has taken safety checks away from certain Tesla cars.
Speaking of Musk, this week he shared the reason that Tesla has been silently hiking up the prices of its vehicles. The EV pioneer has quadrupled the price of some of its cars since early April, and now its cheapest sedan will set you back a whole $3,000 more than it would earlier in the year. Even by Tesla standards, that’s a big jump.
Musk confirmed in response to a tweet on Monday that the increases are due to supply chain issues, particularly around raw materials.
Autodrive advancementsTesla is up almost 7% for the week as it advances efforts to develop autonomous cars and takes steps to get ahead of the worsening chip shortage that's affecting tech companies around the world.
Tesla has been King of the EV world pretty much since there was an EV world, and in the face of growing competition the company is making moves to keep its crown. But it’s had its own snafus, and its self-driving technology has been grabbing headlines for a while now. The NHTSA has opened almost 30 investigations into Tesla vehicle crashes using self-drive technology – but the company is now switching things up in that department, transitioning its driver-assistance system to rely only on optical cameras instead of radar. Tesla’s best selling vehicles, Model 3 and Model Y, will this month start featuring a camera-based system to enable all of its Autopilot features: becoming the first Tesla vehicles to rely on camera vision.
A vision-only system is ultimately all that is needed for full autonomy
Tesla said in April. In the long run, it's likely that whatever car company is the first to offer real autonomous driving will see its shares take off, so this is definitely a step in the right direction for the pioneering company.
Updating its self-driving tech isn't all Tesla is doing to stay ahead of the game, and reports have come in that it’s planning to take the unusual step of paying for a bunch of chips in advance, in a bid to secure its supply amid a global shortage. Disruptions from the crisis are expected to cost the EV industry 5% of estimated sales for the year. Rumor has it that the firm is discussing advanced purchasing proposals with operators in Asia and the U.S., and is also looking into buying its own plant.
Given the current capacity shortage, Samsung may give dedicated capacity to companies like Tesla, which uses chips with a longer life cycle
Said CW Chung, an analyst at Nomura.
Look ma, no handsTesla has one of its worst weeks since February and the second worst week since joining the S&P 500, ending May 14 down by over 13% in the face of factory delays and new developments in its most recent autopilot crash incident.
Last week was quite the rollercoaster ride, filled with a number of setbacks and a whole bunch of headlines that did not leave investors feeling confident. Things started with a jolt as the firm had to halt plans to expand its Shanghai plant after uncertainty surrounding U.S.-China tensions, sending prices down just under 2% on the day, and almost 5% the day following.
When he was in charge, Donald Trump introduced a bunch of levies that resulted in 25% tariffs on imported Chinese electric vehicles. Tesla had previously planned to make the expanded Shanghai branch its global export hub, but is now looking to limit the proportion of Chinese output in its global production. In April, Tesla exported most of the cars that the Shanghai factory produced, so it really is a key ingredient in meeting demand outside China. The situation wasn't helped by news that Tesla’s Model Y slumped to sixth place in China’s EV sales ranking last month, from third place the year before, right after its latest earnings reported weak sales numbers in China. Given that it was optimism around Chinese demand that blew up Tesla’s share price so astronomically last year, this could be some seriously bad news.
The blows kept coming later in the week, when video surfaced of a driver killed in a Tesla crash on May 5 going hands free using the autopilot function. Given the ongoing National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NTSB) investigation into whether the car’s autopilot mode was a “contributing factor,” the release was not good timing. It’s the 29th NTSB probe into a Tesla crash so far, and the fourth that has implicated Tesla’s self-driving technology.
Elon Musk also came out as saying that there’s basically no way auto-drive was enabled, so it’s all a bit awkward.
Tesla backtracks on BitcoinTesla’s trend-setting CEO backtracks on the company's decision to accept Bitcoin as payment for its cars, putting the change of heart down to the environmental impact of Bitcoin mining.
Elon Musk, who is known for his market-moving tweets, announced on his official Twitter account that Tesla would suspend the use of Bitcoin for vehicle purchases because of concerns over the environmental impact of Bitcoin mining.
Creating Bitcoin requires high-powered computers competing against each other to solve technical mathematical equations, which is energy intensive and largely relies on electricity that is generated with fossil fuels like coal. Currently, Bitcoin mining uses up more energy per year than the whole of Argentina.
The decision came less than two months after Tesla bought $1.5 billion worth of Bitcoin and started accepting the digital currency as payment for its cars. But since then, Musk has been receiving getting some stick from investors around keeping Bitcoin on its balance sheets.
Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance (ESG) issues are now a major motivation for many investors. Tesla, being a clean energy-focused company, might want to work better in the environmental area of ESG,
said Julia Lee from Burman Invest.
But a cynic might suggest that this is just another move by Elon Musk to influence the cryptocurrency market, as he has done on so many other occasions.
All eyes on Elon (again)A Delaware judge thinks that Elon Musk is suspiciously rich and has asked to see documents relating to the inventor's compensation plan, sending prices down almost 5% this week. Tbh, he’s probably just saying what a lot of people are thinking. The dude’s a gajillionaire, no question. But is it legit?
Tesla’s legal team have been given orders to hand over communications between CEO Elon Musk and the company’s in-house attorneys regarding his 2018 compensation plan, which is said to be over $50 billion. Vice Chancellor Joseph Slights Jr. made the ruling in response to accusations from shareholders against Elon and Tesla’s board of directors, claiming that they:
“breached their fiduciary duties to the company and its stockholders, granting unjust enrichment to Musk and wasting corporate assets.”
The drama started in 2018 when Musk’s giant compensation plan was first approved. Given the size of said compensation, shareholders suspected Jonathan Chang and Todd Maron of Tesla’s General Council (both of whom have now left the company) worked to advance Elon’s interests and negotiated for the fat sum on his behalf against the board’s compensation committee.
“Whose idea was the largest compensation plan ever designed?”
is basically the question everyone is asking.
"Leveraging his control, close personal relationships, and reputation for retribution, Musk co-opted Maron and Chang to help him structure the plan free from committee involvement,"
the plaintiffs' attorneys wrote when asking for the documents to be turned over.
“Musk and his agents handed the committee a fully-baked plan,”
they added. The plot thickens.
Tesla stock slips despite upbeat earningsElon Musk’s baby, Tesla, reports Q1 earnings that beat on both the top and bottom lines, posting its biggest profit ever. Stocks slip just under 5% though. Why? Your guess is as good as ours.
It’s been a record-breaking quarter for Tesla, which over the last few months has managed to sidestep the industry wide chip shortage, improve its manufacturing process, earn a record profit, and even hoover up some extra cash off Bitcoin. The company reported earnings of 93 cents per share on revenue of $10.39 billion, beating expectations of 79 cents per share on $10.29 billion. Net profit was at a quarterly record of $438 million on a GAAP basis, with $518 million in revenue from sales of environmental regulatory credits.
In a new plot twist, the company also announced a whopping $101 million in sales of Bitcoin, kinda vindicating its previously criticized move towards the cryptocurrency earlier in the year.
Tesla made waves in February after announcing a $1.5 billion purchase of bitcoin to allow for “more flexibility to further diversify” as well as aiming to maximize returns on its cash holdings. The company also announced plans to begin investing in cryptocurrency, and started accepting payments in Bitcoin, making it the first automaker to do so, with its $1.5 billion investment giving it the liquidity it needed to start accepting the currency. The company had over $19 billion in cash and cash equivalents at the time, but the investment still represents a big portion of its cash.
There was a bit of chatter around this after Elon Musk (who will be hosting SNL on May 8, keep an eye out for a funny night) tweeted the word “Bitcoin” a few weeks before, and people accused him of trying to push up the price of the stock. Which worked btw, sending Bitcoin up almost 20% at the time and ultimately contributing $101 million to the bottom line this quarter.
Tesla’s earnings report was boosted by substantial sales numbers, which were up 74% from the same period last year. However, none of its 184,800 vehicle deliveries were the higher-end Model S and Model X vehicles, no more of which were produced in the quarter. In January, Musk had promised that the new Model S was already in production and due to start delivery in February 2021, but admitted late April that there were more challenges than expected with supply chain issues. The delivery date has now been pushed back and Tesla is aiming to produce 2,000 Model S and X vehicles per week at a later point in the year. The firm expects to see more than 50% growth in vehicle delivery for the full year, with Elon Musk claiming that “demand is the best we have ever seen,” despite the fact that Q1 usually sees a slowdown.
Tesla’s guidance remains unchanged, which disappointed some investors, but is only to be expected considering the global supply chain issues currently facing the tech world. The issues have already manifested themselves in higher costs for Tesla, forcing the EV company to produce and ship parts in less than ideal locations.
Another Tesla crashTesla is down 3.40% as it faces yet another NHTSA investigation after a fatal driverless car crash in Texas.
Two men died on Saturday as Tesla crashed into a tree and exploded, and according to police sources, there was nobody behind the wheel. Another federal agency, the National Transportation Safety Board, will also be sending two investigators to look into the vehicle's operation and post-crash fire.
This isn't the first time Tesla has faced federal investigators following a crash, and the NHTSA has sent teams to investigate similar Tesla crashes in recent weeks in Houston, Lansing, and Detroit. There have also been at least two fatal crashes in which Tesla owners using Autopilot have smashed into a stopped vehicle.
Biden boosts EV outlookTesla pops just under 9% on a couple of pieces of good news, including a price upgrade and Biden’s new $2 trillion infrastructure plan.
At the end of March President Biden introduced a $2 trillion plan to upgrade the country’s infrastructure; the biggest initiative of its kind in over 50 years. It could be a huge green step forward on the journey to shift the transportation industry’s shift to electricity, and would generate major benefits for Tesla and other EV companies. Biden’s plan specifically includes “creating good jobs electrifying vehicles” and consists of funding vehicle production and parts, tax incentives, and rebates to make EVs more affordable.
For the EV sector, the Street has been awaiting this day since Biden was elected into 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue back in November which set the stage for a green tidal wave in the U.S. to kick off with electric vehicles the centerpiece
Dan Ives, Wedbush equity analyst said.
Tesla handles double-charging outcryAfter a bit of an outcry, Tesla refunds customers who got charged twice for Model and Model Y cars. Prices sink just under 3%.
At the end of March, a couple of poor (literally, after this) souls out there found themselves in a state of shock after purchasing a new Tesla and being charged twice for the pleasure. The customers watched tens of thousands speed out of their accounts with no authorization, and apparently faced quite the runaround when they looked to get a refund, having to wait up to a week. Teslas ain't cheap, so it makes sense people might be somewhat stressed.
Tesla lost just under 5% as the story gathered momentum. One buyer, Christopher T. Lee, even made a YouTube video review urging Tesla buyers to get a cashier's check instead of allowing the company access to their bank account, and the video got 10,000 views.
There were some observers out there who thought the issue was made up by short-sellers to make a buck off denting Tesla’s market cap, but screenshots of the double charging on Twitter quickly cleared the issue up.
Hang fire though, because not only has Tesla kindly given a refund at last, but customers have been gifted a sweet $200 to spend exclusively on Tesla.com and show off all their Tesla love. All’s well that ends in some free merch.
Pedal to the metalTesla has put the pedal to the metal with production and delivery of its vehicles this quarter, and shares close the day up 4.43% after a Q1 vehicle sales surge.
Shares jumped up 7% initially on April 2 after Tesla shared its strong Q1 vehicle delivery and production numbers, which reported that the company delivered 184,800 vehicles and produced 180,338 cars in the first quarter of 2021. The higher delivery numbers suggest that the company is successfully ramping up production, an issue which has dragged it down in the past, and is now working through the delivery stockpiles, supply chain issues and backlogs from COVID-19. Analyst expectations were more around the 168,000 mark, and Tesla beat estimates pretty safely, while at the same time beating its own quarterly record. Good times all round.
Of the cars Tesla delivered, most were the Model 3 and Model Y, although the company also sold an extra 1,010 Model S cars built in previous quarters. The company is now ramping up production on its X and S Models, after making some tweaks that were “exceptionally well-received” according to Musk.
One of its biggest markets, China, is also pumping: a February filing showed that Tesla’s sales in China more than doubled in 2020, with sales from the region making up about a fifth of Tesla’s $31.54 billion revenues. No wonder the share price is storming. The company is ahead of the trend as per, and has already started scaling up production at its Gigafactory in Shanghai – which, according to Q4 2020 figures, could produce as many as 1.05 million cars vehicles in a year.
But it's not only cars that are pushing the company towards growth; its solar power business is also expanding. In a new development this week, Tesla’s Megapacks will be used by tech giant Apple at its new battery-based renewable energy storage facility in California.
Quarterly production and delivery numbers are always a nice early indicator of how the quarter has gone before earnings come out. Last year the company only just missed its goal of producing 500,000 cars in 2020, cruising in at 499,550 vehicles, and it sent the stock spiralling upwards. Compared to the 88,400 cars it delivered in Q1 2020, it looks like Tesla is in the fast lane to beating its target hollow this year.
The Elon EffectTesla is down 3.39% after Elon Musk tweets that he thinks “there is a >0% chance Tesla could be the biggest company” in the world. So far so good – but he gets into some hot water with his timing estimate, suggesting in a now-deleted tweet that the firm could be bigger than Apple “within a few months.”
Despite the deletion, the Twitterverse of course had screenshots at the ready – in this world, nothing can be unsaid, and concerns are raised yet again about the impact Musk's tweets have on market prices.
Musk has clashed with the SEC before, and it had been a tricky week for Tesla tweets already. Just one day previously, he was ordered by The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) to delete a tweet that was seen as anti-union and a threat to labor organizers at Tesla. After the NLRB announced in 2018 that Tesla had violated labor laws by firing union activist Richard Ortiz, Elon tweeted: “Nothing stopping Tesla team at our car plant from voting union. Could do so tmrw if they wanted. But why pay union dues & give up stock options for nothing?” It did not go down well. At all.
The federal agency ordered Tesla to make sure the tweet was deleted and to hire back Richard Ortiz, as well as compensate him for loss of earnings and benefits. In Tesla’s financial filings, Elon Musk tweets are considered official company communication, and he’s been famously rapped on the knuckles for market manipulation through Twitter. The guy must cause some serious headaches up in Tesla HQ.
Although past efforts have bumped up the share price, this time around his big mouth had a bad effect, knocking Tesla down a few pegs.
Crypto for a carElon Musk moves Tesla into the crypto-verse by tweeting that the company will now directly accept bitcoin as payment for one of its high tech cars. Prices sink over 3%.
Price target shoots for the moonTesla gets a new price target from Ark Investment’s Cathie Woods that's even more ambitious than trying to pronounce baby Musk’s name - expecting prices to hit $3,000 by 2025. In a move towards that goal, prices gain 2.31%. Slow and steady wins the race, right?
Tesla jumps 20% on China salesAfter a poor start to the month, Tesla shoots up by 20% on the back of strong sales in China and yet another analyst upgrade.
The car firm didn't have a great start to March, losing 18% in the first week and falling to a low of $558.79 on March 8. This was in part due to expectations of higher inflation (and higher interest rates), which shifted investor sentiment away from longer-term tech stock investments – and even pushed the tech-heavy Nasdaq index into an official correction, losing over 10% inside a month (from a high of 14,095.47 on February 12.)
But Tesla has always been a volatile stock, and it proved this yet again on March 9, soaring by 20% to reach $673.58 and breaking $700 the following day: adding over $100 billion to its market cap and almost $25 billion to Elon Musk's personal fortune. The bounce-back, its biggest in over a year, was driven in part by higher sales in China (from 15,484 in January to 18,318 in February); while New Street Research analyst Pierre Ferragu upgraded to a 'Buy' rating with a $900 price target, which added to the boost.
It took Musk's wealth (on paper at least) back up to $174 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaire's Index, closing back in on Amazon's Jeff Bezos, who at $180 billion is currently back on top as the richest man in the world.
Although still about 20% below its astonishing January highs, Tesla has gained around 70% over the last six months. And there could be further good news in the pipeline, with suggestions that a potential new gigafactory in the UK might be back on the table.
Elon tweet wipes BTC/Tesla valueElon Musk is up to his old tricks again, and his latest Bitcoin tweet looks to be an own goal as it wipes $15 billion off his net worth.
He sent the prices of both Bitcoin and Tesla tumbling this week with a Tweet suggesting that price of both Bitcoin and Ethereum did seem "a bit high."
Coming just weeks after Tesla added $1.5 billion of Bitcoin to its own balance sheet, the move saw Bitcoin (BTCUSD) lose almost 10% of its value against the dollar, while Tesla stock dropped 8.55% to close at $714.50.
Overall, Tesla shares have lost around 20% since January, and the latest hi-jinks knock Musk off the top spot of World's Richest Man, returning the title to Amazon's Jeff Bezos.
Tesla tests the crypto watersIn a move that makes waves across the crypto world, Tesla announces a $1.5 billion investment into Bitcoin (BTCUSD) – but while the BTC price bounces, Tesla remains static. In other news, Chinese regulators chastise safety failures, and Audi steps up the competition.
Tesla confirmed its landmark Bitcoin investment in an SEC filing on January 8, outlining a new investment direction designed to push spare cash into alternative (read: exciting) asset classes. Musk had been outspoken in his interest for cryptocurrencies in recent weeks, tweeting a whole bunch of cryptic clues and references to relatively obscure currencies like DogeCoin so the news didn't come as a huge surprise to everyone – although the size of the investment might have come as a bit of a shock to its shareholders. The company also confirmed plans to start accepting Bitcoin as payment, which would add even more to its coffers.
With $1.5 billion in Bitcoin, Tesla could become seriously influential in the crypto space. In fact, according to January 2021 data from Decrypt, its latest investment makes it the fourth biggest institutional investor in Bitcoin in the world: after Grayscale Investments (over $21 billion and the major player in the space, holding around 2% of all Bitcoin currently in circulation), Coinshares (about $2.4 billion), and London-based Ruffer Investment Company, which in December 2020 allocated about 2.5% of its Multi-Strategies Fund to Bitcoin as a hedge against devaluing global currencies, and currently holds coins worth around $1.8 billion. It's an elite club – the next biggest institutional investor is Canadian crypto-asset portfolio manager 3iQ, which holds 16,454 BTC worth around $566 million (as of January 14, 2021), only about a third of the Tesla investment.
But not everyone is on board. Economist and NYU professor Nouriel Roubini criticized Musk for his aggressively pro-crypto tweeting in the days following Tesla's Bitcoin investment, suggesting that he should be (yet again) investigated by the SEC for market manipulation given that his tweets undoubtedly drove up the price ahead of the SEC filing.
And other critics point to Tesla's current troubles in China, its biggest market outside the US and a key driver of its recent price climb, where five regulators chastised the firm for quality and safety issues including abnormal acceleration and battery fires. Tesla's Bitcoin investment was announced on the same day as its slap on the wrist, a move that legendary shorter and Scion Asset Management boss Michael Burry suggested (in a now deleted tweet) could have been designed as a distraction.
It looks like investors aren't entirely convinced either. When the news broke, Bitcoin itself bounced up around 16% to hit almost $45,000. Tesla, on the other hand, stayed hovering around $860-70 mark, gaining only around 1.3% on the day, as traders digested the news.
Further pressure was also brought to bear in the same week with the long-awaited release of Audi's flagship E-Tron GT, its come-back competitor to the Tesla Model S, which saw Tesla stock drop over 5% the day of launch.
Profits are up, shares are downTesla releases its Q4 and FY results for 2020 and it's looking good, with the company's first ever annual profit. The stock still falls though, with results missing analyst expectations after a record year of deliveries and high growth expectations.
The company posted $575 million in operating income for Q4, with earnings of 80 cents a share on quarterly revenues of $10.74 billion, and total net profit of $721 million for the full year of 2020. Not bad in the middle of a global pandemic. It's not all good news though – and despite record deliveries and an eight-fold increase in share price for 2020, the coming year could bring its own challenges.
One big loss is likely to be regulatory credits. Tesla has made a lot of money over the years ($1.5 billion in 2020 alone) selling these to other car companies - but it's a revenue source that won't be around for much longer, as other manufacturers catch up on EV production and no longer need to buy Tesla's excess credits to match their shortfall on zero emissions cars.
And other firms are catching up fast. Volkswagen, for example, plans to double its EV sales in 2021, growing them from 3% to 6-8% of its total sales. Given that the firm sold over 9 million vehicles last year, that could mean sales upwards of 720,000. By comparison, Tesla sold just under 500,000 cars last year, and is aiming for 50% growth in 2021 – which would mean selling 750,000 cars. The point is, the gap is narrowing fast.
The market knows it. Analysts had expected EPS to be in the region of 90 cents to a dollar, and the lower earnings saw the share price slip by around 2.83% to close at $864.16.
Volkswagen plans to double its EV sales in 2021. Photo: Volkswagen
Could Tesla hit $1trn?On January 6 Morgan Stanley auto guru Adam Jonas not only rates Tesla a buy, he increases his price target to $810, the highest on Wall Street. The news bumps the stock up to a high of $801 on January 7 .
If Tesla hit the $810 mark it could see a valuation upwards of $1trn, joining the elite handful of $1trn+ companies that includes Apple (AAPL), Microsoft (MSFT), and Alphabet (GOOGL).
Sounds ambitious – even Apple only hit the $1trn mark back in 2018, the first company ever to do so. But the figures look promising. Tesla has aggressively invested in production capacity, which now sits at 840,000 cars per year, and Musk suggested in the firm’s Q3 2020 earnings call that they could hit a million by the end of 2021. The Shanghai gigafactory started producing the Model Y from December 31, with the price discounted by a whopping 30%. New vehicle assembly plants in Germany and Texas, expected to complete this year, will also ramp up capacity.
There are threats, of course – other auto giants are crowding into the race. General Motors CEO Mary Barra came out fighting on January 5, with plans to hit $1bn in EV sales for 2021. “We are committed to fighting for EV market share until we are number one in North America,” she said.
But will it dampen Tesla’s current bull run? It would be a brave trader to bet against Musk right now – in 2020, shortsellers lost $40.1bn against the firm. Can 2021 bring more of the same? It's looking good for Musk, anyway. He added about $165bn onto his personal fortune in 2020 and in January it finally happened – he surged past Amazon's Bezos with a net worth of $194.8bn to become the world's richest man. Hey, we called it.
So close - Tesla squeaks to 500k targetTesla promised to hit 500k customer deliveries in 2020, and they’ve only gone and damn well done it.
Well – as good as. On January 2 the firm released its production figures for the previous year and despite a couple of minor bumps in the road (you know, just a massive global pandemic, factory closures, a stock market crash, California on fire…) it managed to deliver a whopping 499,500 cars, just 450 short of the half a million target, and a 36% jump on 2019.
In fact, Tesla actually produced a total of 509,737 cars over the period, so let’s not split hairs here – they pretty much made it. We call that an awesome achievement, especially in such a crazy year. The news sent the stock soaring above $700, making a lot of investors very happy. By January 6, shares were at a high of $774, bringing Tesla’s market cap to well over $700bn – within spitting distance of Facebook.
A wild ride into the indexTesla joins the S&P500 as its sixth-biggest member on Monday December 21, kicking out Apartment Investment and Management (AIV) to make space... and it's a major deal. Trading goes crazy in the final hours of Friday, with shares going on a rollercoaster ride before closing at a record-breaking $695 as investors scramble to get ahead of the game.
The stock fell by over 4% during Friday before jumping back up by over 6% to end the day at its highest ever closing price, giving the firm a market cap of well over $650bn. The share price was already up by around 70% since the S&P 500 announcement back in mid-November, and by over 700% since the start of the year. The company will account for 1.69% of the S&P500, and its inclusion has forced index funds to buy upwards of $85bn of Tesla stock in order to balance their holdings. Going forward, every time Tesla moves by $11.11, the S&P 500 will move by a point – which judging by past performance, could mean good news for S&P 500 investors.
But can the bull live up to the hype? Its price fell by around 3% in after hours trading, and opened on December 21 at $666.24, falling a further couple of percentage points during the day to end -6.49% lower at $649.86, as investors who bought ahead of entry cashed in their holdings.
Some market commentators have warned that S&P500 inclusion could cast a damper on its seemingly unstoppable rise, with history suggesting that many blue chip stocks tend to underperform the index in their first year after inclusion. By comparison, Apartment Investment and Management is expected to outperform by up to 20%.
Rob Arnott, founder of Research Associates, thinks that that Tesla's inclusion could be a bubble rather than a buy signal.
Tesla is entering the S&P500 with a stupendously high valuation. Traditional cap-weighted indices, such as the S&P500, are structured to buy high and sell low – and Tesla is a prime example of this maxim,
he said in a December 17 paper.
The odds are against its remaining a top-dog stock.
Will we see a reversal in 2021? It's bulls against bears...and the fight is on.
Capital raising catapults Tesla into top tierTesla tempts investors with a new share sale, its first since May 2019 and its biggest in the past decade. In a December 8 filing to the SEC, it confirms plans to sell up to $5bn shares of common stock in the open market “from time to time” – a move likely to give the firm more control over the share price than if it went all out with a formal secondary offering. The share price dips slightly on the news, falling by about -1.33% in early trading.
The sale follows the firm’s 5-for-1 stock split in August, and comes just a few weeks before its official inclusion in the S&P500 on December 21, giving it a whopping war chest of cash to match its massive share price rise over the past year. The money might come in handy, given that Tesla promised to boost its production levels to above 500,00 units in 2020, and Musk is sticking to that goal despite Covid chaos. And he might actually manage it – Tesla delivered 139,300 vehicles in Q3, an all-time record.
In other news, sales in China soared to record highs in November, with 21,604 Model 3s sold (according to data from the China Passenger Car Association), a massive 78% year-on-year increase that should go some way towards reassuring investors that jumped late onto the Tesla bandwagon this year as its stock shot up on the promise of Chinese success.
Oh yeah, and Elon Musk has moved to Texas, and he’s taking Tesla with him. Apparently, California is “too complacent” and wasn’t a “great use” of his time. A lot of it is probably to do with how mad he was about California’s treatment of tech firms during the pandemic. He threatened to move the Tesla HQ to Texas or Nevada back in May, and the firm is already building a factory in Austin to produce its futuristic new cybertrucks.
You snooze, you lose, Cali.
Market cap crosses $500bnTesla is now worth HALF A TRILLION DOLLARS. That’s right – on November 24 the share price crosses $555, up a whopping third since the S&P500 announcement the previous week.
As institutions and investment managers scramble to swallow up Tesla stock, seems like no one’s got a bad word to say about it. Wedbush Securities is one of the most bullish – issuing a strong buy recommendation and predicting a possible 104% upside potential in a bull-case scenario, due to Tesla’s "sustained path to profitability.” Basically, the growing global demand for electric vehicles could push the stock up to $1,000.
New designs around Cybertruck and Model Y will further aid growth globally and thus enable Tesla to achieve its million delivery units likely by 2023,
said Wedbush analyst Daniel Ives. He also highlighted the “Teflon-like demand” for the Model 3 in Europe and China, despite the Covid-19 pandemic.
Oh yeah and by the way, you know how Elon Musk is super rich? Well he just got super richer. According to the Bloomberg Billionaire’s Index, as of November 24 he’s sitting on a sweet $140bn. That means he’s got more wealth than Bill Gates. Musk is now the second-richest person in the world after Amazon’s Jeff Bezos (listed at $187bn as of November 24), and he’s got less than $50bn to go. Anyone want to place a bet on Elon Musk securing the top spot by Christmas?
S&P500 inclusion sends Tesla through the roofIt’s finally happened: after five consecutive quarters of profit (and a stinging snub back on September 8 that sent stock tumbling over 21% in a single day) the S&P500 has finally accepted Tesla for inclusion. Crack open the champagne and get your big boy pants on, ‘cos Tesla has finally made it – now we’re playing in the major leagues.
The carmaker was already more valuable than 90% of the existing companies in the index – and its debut on December 21 is expected to be the biggest on record. No prizes for guessing that the stock went soaring into outer space as a result. The share price, which closed at $408.09 on November 16, jumped more than 14% in after hours trading to open at $460.17 the next day. And although the following week saw some volatility, it just kept on climbing – a week later on November 23 it topped a high of $526 and was up more than six-fold on the year. It’s not all to do with Tesla though - global equities overall rallied this week (with the Dow Jones Industrial Average topping 30,000 for the first time ever) on the back of optimism around coronavirus vaccines, and the market’s relief that Trump conceded the Presidential election to Joe Biden (for now).
This is nothing but good news for Mr Musk, whose personal wealth jumped by about $15bn the day after the news broke. So far this year, he’s made a cool $90bn on the back of the booming share price. Drinks are on Elon for, well, ever.
In other news, anyone need a ride? On November 9, Tesla hit the mean streets of New York with the city’s first ever electric yellow taxi, and plans to roll out hundreds more. It’s the first step towards the golden dream of a totally automated taxi fleet.
Teslaquila, it makes me happyElon has always been keen on the idea of Tesla tequila, ever since 2018 when he joked about passing out on ‘Teslaquila’ as part of an April Fool’s prank about Tesla going bankrupt.
That one might have backfired (the stock lost 8% in a single day as people panicked that he was serious) but the booze idea stuck around – and in November 2020 he finally gets his wish, with the official launch of the $250 Teslaquila. It’s in the shape of a lightning bolt. It’s 40% proof. And you can only buy two bottles per person.
Unsurprisingly, people went nuts. Within a couple of hours of launch the website had sold out and bottles were being resold online for as much as $899 for – get this – the empty bottle! Yes, that’s right, almost a thousand bucks and you don’t even get any tequila. That’s gonna make it harder to drink away the pain.
Tough crowd in Q3Tesla releases its Q3 earnings, reporting $331 million in profit and making it the company’s fifth quarter in a row in the black. Investors are relieved that the company has stayed profitable, but it's a tough crowd out there and prices only go up 0.75%.
Tesla reported $8.8 billion in revenue in the third quarter, with earnings sitting at $2.18 per share. Despite adding a new SUV to its lineup and opening a plant in Shanghai in the last year, automotive revenues declined by 4% year-on-year. In the same quarter last year, Tesla reported $111.2 million in revenue from regulatory credits, a number which nearly tripled to $428 million in regulatory credits in Q2.
Zachary Kirkhorn, the company’s CFO, said that Tesla expected regulatory credit revenue to continue growing, but planned to focus on making money from software (such as its Self-Driving option) for long-term profitability.
Full Self Drive: promises, promises?Tesla has been promising a properly self-driving, fully automated car for years and years. It hasn’t succeeded yet, despite repeatedly raising the price of its ‘full self drive’ (FSD) package – but it looks like it’s finally getting closer. In 2019 Musk promised that FSD would be “feature-complete” by 2020 and that by 2021 drivers would be able to fall asleep and wake up at their destinations without any human intervention. Sounds terrifying, but the latest FSD software upgrade has actually gone down pretty well with drivers. Not with investors though – the stock dropped over 2% the day of launch.
Released in October 2020 to a select group of Tesla customers, Musk warned that rollout needed to be “extremely slow and cautious.” People seem to like it though, with users tweeting a ton of videos showing how much the upgrade has improved autopilot performance.
Still not a good idea to close your eyes at the wheel though. We recommend staying awake for now.
Raising the roofThe roof of a Model Y flies off randomly while owner Nathaniel Galicia Chien is driving down Interstate 280 with his parents just hours after buying the car. It’s the latest in a long line of complaints about the new model, and people ain’t impressed.
The power of a new productRumors start to circulate amongst hatchback aficionados that Tesla could be looking at a European city friendly hatchback, sending prices up almost 11%.
A random Tweet claimed that Tesla cars were too big for European cities, and asked Musk if he’d consider making a small hatchback. Whether he was bored and having a bit of Twitter fun or not, Musk hinted that there could be plans for something along those lines in Germany. Ooh, exciting.
S&P 500 snubTesla dreams about it, when it can’t sleep it screams about it, but finally its ambition of making S&P 500 Index is about to become reality. Unfortunately, at the very last the firm is passed over for entry, and a lot of people are very, very disappointed. When news lands that it wouldn’t be included, the share price plummets 21.06% in the worst single day loss in the company’s history.
But it’s always darkest before the dawn. The next day proved much more promising, perhaps as investors began to suspect shares had been oversold. Prices steadily rose, jumping around 11% on September 9. Even so, after its ground-breaking August, prices dropped from $2,510.70 on September 1 to $1,651.05 at closing on September 8.
Stock split resets priceShares jump as Tesla announces its first ever stock split, designed as a nice little thank you package for retail investors by making shares cheaper and more easily accessible for the everyday folk to get involved with.
In a 5-for-1 split on August 28, the share price reset from $2,230 to a far more accessible $446. Prices surged by 13% the same day, making August a record-breaking month for Tesla.
Musk blings the big bucksIt’s official: Elon Musk is now the fourth-richest person in the world after an 11.2% stock surge on August 17. No particular market-moving news here, but Musk’s net worth grew by over 57% in 2020 alone, and with just $15bn to go he could soon take over Zuckerberg’s No.3 title.
4 profitable quarters in a rowTesla releases Q2 earnings to great fanfare, winning its long-awaited fourth profitable quarter in a row. Could it be the beginning of its S&P500 journey? Investors aren’t super impressed and the share price sinks almost 5% by the end of the next day. Yeah, we don’t really get it either.
The carmaker made $6 billion in revenue and reported a small profit of $0.50 per share, which surpassed expectations for both. Apparently though, a large proportion of that revenue was not because of selling cars, but because it had taken advantage of legislation that allowed it to sell highly profitable carbon emission tax points to its competitors. Hey, a car company’s gotta do what it's gotta do to get by, don’t judge.
On the plus side, Tesla’s first full year of profitability on a GAAP basis meant it could now be considered for inclusion on the S&P 500 index.
Dominance in Chinese EV market drives shares to record highBetween March and July 2020, Tesla’s market value grows by more than $210 billion – greater than Toyota’s total market cap – to become the world’s most valuable carmaker. All hail the new Emperor.
Why the jump? Massive demand as the EV market leader in China, where it sold 50,313 cars in the first six months of 2020 according to Citi (C), +130% on last year. However, sales of Chinese all-electric vehicles actually fell 40% year-on-year to 67,000 units in June, despite Tesla growing to account for 23% market share, according to CPCA in July. So, is China all it’s cracked up to be? Investors still seem to think so.
A few days later, better-than-expected Q2 results on July 22 send prices up even further, with revenues of $6.04bn and continued profitability making it finally eligible for a spot on the S&P500.
Shorting the shorters with short shortsTesla launches a snazzy new range of red satin short shorts to poke fun at short-sellers after it becomes the most valuable car-maker in the world, and people want them so bad it basically breaks the internet.
Celebrate summer with Tesla Short Shorts. Run like the wind or entertain like Liberace with our red satin and gold trim design. Relax poolside or lounge indoors year-round with our limited-edition Tesla Short Shorts, featuring our signature Tesla logo in front with "S3XY" across the back. Enjoy exceptional comfort from the closing bell.
Elon Musk famously hates Tesla short-sellers, whom he’s frequently accused of hurting the company in order to manipulate the stock.
They're jerks who want us to die,
he told Rolling Stone in 2017.
They're constantly trying to make up false rumors and amplify any negative rumors. It's a really big incentive to lie and attack my integrity. It's really awful.
In 2018 he tweeted that they “should be illegal,” and in August 2018 he sent billionaire short-seller David Einhorn a box of short shorts to console him after he blamed Tesla’s price increase for his fund’s crappy performance in the first half of the year.
A good day for tech stocksInvestors are happy on June 30 after a lot of high-profile tech stocks make a recovery from a slump, and by the end of the day the market as a whole is up by between 1-2%. Tesla stands out from the crowd with an end-of-quarter push towards profitability, ending the day at $1,079.81, up by almost 7%.
Tesla had its sights on a spot on the S&P500 index for a while, and its profitability put the goal even closer within reach. To qualify, it needed to complete four consecutive quarters of making money, and by June 2020 it was three quarters (geddit?) of the way there. Even though profit during the pandemic wasn’t expected, Elon Musk sent an email on June 30 telling employees to work hard for the goal.
Unfortunately, on September 8, the firm was passed over for entry at the last minute, and a lot of people were very, very disappointed. When the news landed that it wouldn’t be included, the share price plummeted 21.06% in the worst single day loss in the company’s history.
One small step for MuskOver the weekend another Musk company, SpaceX, sends two NASA astronauts to the International Space Station for the first time. Hard not to be impressed, and the markets feel the same way – Tesla stock jumps almost 8%.
Getting back to workTesla really, really wants to get back to work. The last major car manufacturer left in California, Covid-19 hit the firm (and its employees) pretty hard so on May 9, it launches its ‘Getting Back to Work’ restart plan, aimed at getting its factories going again. Unfortunately, not everyone is on the same page.
Alameda County, the location of Tesla’s California factory, refused to allow Tesla to restart, because it decided to independently extend its own county-wide ‘shelter at home’ order, despite the State of California giving overall permission for manufacturing to resume.
Alameda County is insisting we should not resume operations. This is not for lack of trying or transparency since we have met with and collaborated on our restart plans with the Alameda County Health Care Services Agency. Unfortunately, the County Public Health Officer who is making these decisions has not returned our calls or emails,
Tesla complained in a May 9 press release.
The County’s position left us no choice but to take legal action.
Tesla filed a lawsuit against the County on May 9 to force it to allow the Fremont factory to reopen. Two days after filing the lawsuit, Elon Musk reopened the factory in defiance of county orders, and on May 20 Tesla dropped the lawsuit.
Elon tweet wipes $14bn off Tesla valueTesla stock recovers strongly ahead of the main market, with more than 90,000 vehicles sold in Q2 – but a controversial tweet from Elon claiming the share price was too high blows up everything, wiping an estimated $14bn off the firm’s value. That’s 137 Sydney Opera Houses.
The stock fell by almost 10% by midday, from a start of $781.88, to close at $701.32. With a stock split on the cards later in the year, there’s every chance Elon was teasing the market early.
Having said that, there’s also every chance that he was just being a bit larger than life – especially as later in the day he claimed that he was going to sell almost all his physical possessions, including his house, because:
Don’t need the cash. Devoting myself to Mars and Earth. Possession (sic) just weigh you down.
Musk doesn’t like lockdownOn Tesla’s Q1 earnings call, our favorite troublemaker Mr. Elon Musk unleashes a tirade against the “facist” shelter in place orders, sending prices tumbling despite a fairly good quarter.
Tesla’s Q1 report, issued rather later than usual after Covid-19 challenges, included $16 million in profit, a revenue of $5.99 billion, and $1.24 earnings per share – not bad at all. Tesla also recorded negative free cash flow of $895 million though, complicating its goal of being free cash-flow positive for 2020 (FYI, free cash flow is basically the cash left over after operating expenses and capex, which is usually used to pay dividends and/or repay debt).
Surprise price surgeOn April 13, whilst the broader market pulled back amid the developing Coronavirus crisis, Tesla stock soars by almost 14% to close the day at $650.95.
There isn’t really any market-moving news, but the combo of some positive analyst targets the previous Friday, plus news on the expansion of Tesla’s Shanghai factory, and a surprise tweet from Musk hinting that the company’s upcoming talk with analysts would be about batteries. Whatever floats your boat.
Things kept getting better the next day, with two analyst upgrades sending prices up 9%. April turned out to be a pretty good month for Tesla overall, and prices increased almost 50% from $504 to $781.88.
Musk makes noise over Covid-19Mr Tesla CEO has had a problematic Twitter journey on the Covid-19 front, starting with a March 6 Tweet claiming that “the coronavirus panic is dumb” which, astonishingly, is the most-liked Tweet on the platform that week. Despite claiming to have actually had treatment for coronavirus, on March 19 he doubles down, dropping a whole bunch of truthbombs that send the Twitterverse crazy.
First he warned that the “danger of panic still far exceeds danger” of coronavirus itself. Then he promised that Tesla would repurpose its factory to make ventilators if there was a shortage – a claim that the Mayor of New York later took him up on. Finally, he predicted that based on current trends, there would likely be no new cases in the US by the end of April. Clearly, it didn’t play out that way (20,517 new daily cases as of April 30, 2020, and 1,936 new daily deaths).
Luckily, the same day Tesla received a bullish review from a Morgan Stanley analyst, who wrote that the sharp share price decline amid Covid gave the stock a great risk-reward profile. Prices jumped up almost 19% on the back of the call.
Coronavirus continuesMarch was a lot. For everyone. And even the best tech in the world couldn’t stop the pandemic from taking a toll on Tesla. Shares of the company fell almost 12% on March 12, mostly because of yet another sell-off in the overall market and a price target downgrade from Morgan Stanley (MS). This was the start of a pretty bad couple of days, and by March 18, prices had dropped to $361.22.
There was turmoil in the overall market after Donald Trump announced his (limited) anti-Covid measures, the details of which weren’t quite rigorous enough to calm investor nerves. CEO Elon doesn’t help with Tweets warning that the market was “a bit high anyway” and “due for a correction”.
Two days later, on March 18, COVID struck again. Tesla was ordered by the California County Sheriff to close its main factory for a three-week lockdown. Shares tumbled a further 16% on the news, taking prices down to $361.22 from $711.26 at the start of March. The factory finally closed its doors, Willy Wonka-style, on March 24.
Even after the slip and price slide journey of the past few weeks though, shares were still up 56% over the past six months.
Saudi slump sees stock slidePlunging oil prices and Coronavirus fears are starting to stress investors out, and on March 9 Tesla’s price dips almost 14%.
The ongoing oil price battle between Saudi Arabia and Russia didn’t help either. Historically, when gas and crude oil prices are low, electric vehicle sales tend to slide, as it becomes cheaper to drive the old-style gas-guzzling world-destroyers. Bummer.
Coronavirus hits productionInfection rates go up, stocks go down, and three quarters of the workforce are cut from Tesla’s Nevada battery site. Things aren’t looking good.
Sounds obvious, but the problem is that if people can’t drive, they tend not to buy cars. As expected, the company’s cash flow dried up. This led to fears of a tough 2020 and a share price wobble that lost over 50% – falling from $901 on 18 February to $427.53 on March 16.
Photo: Brian McGowan / Unsplash
Chinese market cracksTesla stock takes a beating, dipping almost 13% as signs of weak sales in China start to appear, worsening amid a softening economy and the spread of the Coronavirus. Shares fall from $730 on February 27 to end the day at $679.
Sales numbers in China had been decreasing since December, with registrations of new Tesla cars down 46% between December and January. Chinese EV sales dropped a steep 34.6% in the fourth quarter of 2019, investment bank Cowen said in an early February report. Given that Chinese demand was a massive factor in the stock’s stratospheric rise in 2020, the news unsurprisingly spooked investors.
Another day, another (2) billion dollarsTesla stock continues to roar. On February 13 Tesla announces a secondary stock offering with the intent to raise around $2bn at $767 a share, which boosts the share price by 10% over the week to close at $901 on February 21.
This little update came about two weeks after Musk declared that Tesla was done with raising capital for the foreseeable future, which might make him a little bit of a fibber, but a damn rich one – the move boosted his net worth (already 19th in the world) by a sweet $3.1bn to hit $43.3bn.
The offering met the high end of Tesla’s expectations, and Musk himself purchased $10 million worth of shares on Valentine’s Day. The offering, which finally closed on February 19, raised $2.31 billion in net proceeds.
We have lift-off. Oh, waitElon Musk has got a shiny new rocket ship: Tesla stock. In its biggest one-day jump since May 2013, Tesla gains a whopping 19.89% on February 3, after Argus Research raises its price target.
This was just the beginning of a pretty volatile period for Tesla though, with prices shooting up by up to 50% over the next few days, though it settled down to end the week around 15% up. February 4 saw an especially wild ride, with prices hitting a high of $968.99, a low of $833.88, and closing the day up by almost 14%. The gains were helped along by long-time Tesla bull Ron Baron, who suggested that this was, as he'd predicted, just the beginning for the firm’s potential price growth.
Fast forward about 24 hours though, and prices actually sank more than 17% on February 5, in part impacted by the spreading Coronavirus in China, which was already beginning to severely impact delivery schedules and production. The week closed at decent enough $748.07.
Stock starts to soar in Tesla’s biggest ever bull runHere begins the stratospheric rise of Tesla’s stock, mainly down to optimistic expectations of Chinese demand, with the new Shanghai Gigafactory and the start of Model Y production supporting a strong trading outlook.
In April 2020, Elon said the Shanghai Gigafactory would achieve a production rate of 4,000 per week, or 200,000 units per year, by mid-year, as part of an annual goal to deliver 500,000 vehicles globally. The expansion in capacity supported a strong trading outlook, with shares topping $650 as of January 31, 2020.
Shooting for the starsTesla is nothing if not ambitious. January was its best month since 2013 and on the back of better than expected earnings and revenue, released on January 29, it predicts sales of more than half a million cars this year. Prices are quick to respond, surging almost 7% in after hours trading and closing up more than 10% on January 30.
The company made a profit of $105m in Q4 2019 on revenues of $7.38bn, both better than expected, continuing a remarkable streak for Tesla, whose shares had surged almost 120% since the its third-quarter earnings release in October 2019. The company delivered about 367,500 vehicles in 2019, a 50% rise from 2018, and claimed to feel “comfortable” that it would reach its car-sale goals for 2020. CEO Elon Musk also told investors that the company had no intention of raising capital, maybe ever again (spoiler alert: that promise would last about two weeks).
This was the start of a stratospheric surge in stock price, mainly down to optimistic expectations of Chinese demand, with the new Shanghai Gigafactory and the start of Model Y production supporting a strong trading outlook. In April 2020, Elon said the Shanghai Gigafactory would achieve a production rate of 4,000 per week, or 200,000 units per year, by mid-year, as part of an annual goal to deliver 500,000 vehicles globally. The expansion in capacity supported a strong trading outlook, with shares topping $650 as of January 31.
Tesla gonna talkMusk tweets that: "Teslas will soon talk to people if you want. This is real."
Guess it depends what they say. A car that did yo momma jokes would be pretty rad.
Tesla delivers first Chinese-made carsThe first 15 Model 3s made at the firm’s Chinese Gigafactory are delivered to Tesla employees in a fancy ceremony. And it’s a big deal. The Chinese market is the holy grail for electric cars, and Tesla’s foothold is about to send its share price higher than a Falcon 9 rocket.
Great wall of China. Photo: Hanson Lu / Unsplash
Tesla smashes up Cybertruck at launchYeah, you read that right. Tesla launches its long-awaited, supercool, futuristic and supposedly indestructible Cybertruck and, well, turns out it isn’t. Lead designer Franz von Holzhausen smashes two of its armored glass windows onstage with a metal ball to prove their strength and they fracture in dramatic fashion. Not supposed to do that.
Called everything from edgy to wedgy, production of the Cybertruck is due to begin in 2021 with a starting price of $39,900. This love child of the DeLorean and the Halo franchise’s warthog was first unveiled in November 2019 and is Tesla’s attempt to break into the massively profitable pick-up truck market. Pegged as a light commercial utility vehicle, it’ll come in three versions (single motor, dual motor and tri-motor) with an estimated range of 250–500 miles and an estimated 0–60 mph time of 2.9–6.5 seconds. Two more expensive versions, with bigger batteries and better motors, are on course for 2022. Hopefully by this time they’ll have stronger windows.
Oh and don’t worry about the poor smashed-up prototype, because some guy called Dan Milano and his brother built a new version out of potato and posted their journey on Twitter, and it’s awesome. The windows were, of course, mashed.
Coming soon: Giga BerlinTesla makes tracks for Europe with a bold new Berlin Gigafactory, and Musk is ready to party.
The Model Y is expected to be the initial focus for the factory, which is set to open Summer 2021, although it looks like partying will also be a priority – in July 2020 Musk hinted at an “indoor/outdoor rave space” on the roof.
Everyone knows that German engineering is outstanding, for sure,
he said at the 2018 Golden Steering Wheel Awards in Germany.
That’s part of the reason why we are locating our Gigafactory Europe in Germany. We are also going to create an engineering and design center in Berlin, because Berlin has some of the best art in the world.
Shares jump 17%On the back of excellent Q3 earnings and an unexpected profit report, the stock jumps up over 17% and continues to rise by a further 9% the following day.
Revenue was $6.35 billion, albeit with a $1.12 loss per share. The company achieved record deliveries of 95,356 vehicles and record production of 87,048 vehicles though, beating its previous records by a few thousand. Bearish analysts lifted their outlooks, boosting the price. Brian Johnson of Barclays increased his target from $150 to $200; while Credit Suisse analyst Dan Levy bumped his up from $189 to $200.
The jump didn’t do short sellers any favors at all, which must have made Musk happy.
Major software update sees big tech tie-upsTesla rolls out its biggest software update ever, linking up with Spotify (SPOT) Premium, Netflix (NFLX), YouTube (GOOG), and Hulu (DIS) – although they only work when the vehicle is parked. Possibly more excitingly, they also introduce “Caraoke” – which “lets you sing your heart out with friends on a road trip — or by yourself.” All together now...
Tesla launches new insurance productTesla looks to capture yet another slice of the auto pie with the launch of its own insurance product offering “competitively priced insurance offering designed to provide Tesla owners with up to 20% lower rates, and in some cases as much as 30%.” There are a few teething problems with the website though, which went down within a few hours of launch.
CTO says bye-byeJuly sees more bad news including weak revenues, larger-than-expected losses and worryingly high costs for the second quarter knocking the stock back below $200.
The Q2 results, released on July 24, saw a GAAP operating loss of $167 million, and a net loss of $408 million, including $117 million of restructuring and other charges.
Chief Technology Officer, co-founder, and allegedly all-round legend J.B. Straubel made things worse by leaving the firm. July 25 saw Tesla’s poorest trading day of 2019, with losses topping 13%. Bad Mr Straubel.
On the upside, the firm achieved record deliveries of 95,356 vehicles and record production of 87,048 vehicles in Q1, surpassing its previous quarterly records of ~91,000 deliveries and ~86,600 units produced in Q4 of 2018.
Musk deletes Twitter. Jk.Musk tweets that he’s deleting his Twitter account. Media goes mad.
Spoiler alert: he doesn’t.
Big year for buying firms2019 is a big year for Tesla in terms of acquisitions. It’s pretty secretive about its activities – the only officially announced deal is its acquisition of Maxwell Technologies on May 16 – but there are a bunch of others on the radar.
The Maxwell deal was a $218m all-stock deal designed to further scale up and improve Tesla’s battery production as the electric vehicle market becomes ever more competitive. Maxwell specializes in ultracapacitors but uses dry electrode technology, supposedly more efficient and cheaper than the more commonly-used wet electrode technology. Tesla hoped this would give it the edge it needed to stay ahead of the pack – and could lead to them producing their own battery cells in-house, rather than outsourcing, in yet another step up the supply chain. That might be a punch in the nose for Panasonic (6752), which currently produces battery cells at Tesla’s Nevada Gigafactory and sells them onto the firm for inclusion in its battery packs.
But it wasn’t just Maxwell. In a 2019 SEC filing, Tesla confirmed that it had made “various other acquisitions” for the sum of $96 million, specifically in the areas of technology and workforce. These are believed to include Canadian battery manufacturing specialist Hibar Systems, along with Artificial Intelligence start-up DeepScale, which focuses on Deep Neural Network (DNN) technology – perhaps to try and improve its Autopilot system as part of Elon’s long-term vision to develop a fleet of self-driving robotaxis.
Major losses lead to loss of faithEarly 2019 is a terrible time for Tesla. Amazon (AMZN) invests $700m into rival electric vehicle manufacturer Rivian, Consumer Reports retracts its recommendation of the Model 3 citing safety concerns, and the firm admits in its 2018 Annual Report that it could “face difficulties meeting sales and delivery goals in both existing markets as well as new markets” over the coming year.
The federal tax credit available to Tesla customers in the US fell to $3,750 from $7,500 in January, effectively increasing the cost of its cars and causing sales to slow. In March, Tesla also stumped up the cash to pay off a $920 million convertible bond obligation in cash, which raised concerns over the health of its balance sheet, exacerbated by a heavy round of layoffs. A surprise announcement (later retracted) that it’d close its retail outlets and move all sales online made the market jittery, while the reveal of its new Model Y crossover SUV failed to get anyone excited. In April, Q1 results showed that delivery targets were still being missed by over 30%, leading to a higher-than-expected $702m loss, while in May the firm announced a radical cost-cutting exercise. Morgan Stanley cut its worst-case scenario valuation from $97 down to just $10. In total, the firm’s market value fell by almost 50% in the first six months of the year. Another ouchie.
On May 1, Tesla’s share price was at its lowest since 2017. An equity and notes sale on May 3 to raise cash was increased to $2.7bn from $2.3bn due to high demand, which saw the share price jump to $255. But the gains didn’t last long.
Amazon invests $700m into rival electric vehicle manufacturer Rivian. Photo: Rivian
Large losses in Q1Tesla releases its Q1 earnings, and prices sink just over 4% in the face of larger than expected losses.
The electric carmaker reported a loss of $2.90 per share, much weaker than the $1.30 loss that was expected, and revenue reached $4.54 billion as opposed to the $5.19 billion expected. Tesla ended Q1 with $2.2 billion of cash and cash equivalents, $1.5 billion lower than at the end of the year before.
The reduction was because of a convertible bond repayment of $920 million, as well as a higher number of cars in transit to customers at the end of Q1. Due to unforeseen challenges, only half of the quarter’s numbers had been delivered 10 days before the end of the quarter, leaving a lot of deliveries to happen in Q2 instead.
Musk tweets against the rules, says SECThe SEC says Elon Musk is in “blatant violation” of his securities fraud settlement and has made no “good faith” attempt to comply, filing a new suit for him to be held in contempt of court. Their issue is that although Musk’s tweets are supposed to be reviewed by a third party before publishing in order to avoid major share price impact, Musk is basically still churning out tweets by the buttload.
Musk calls it an “unconstitutional power grab.”
So, that went well.
Sexy new Model Y unveiledTesla unveils the Model Y SUV, a lower-cost version of the Model X designed for mass-market consumption. The car was expected to be Tesla’s best selling vehicle yet, as it sidestepped into the competitive affordable SUV market. It has a range of 300m, room for seven, and a starting price of just $39,000. Based on the Model 3, it comes in four different powertrains: Standard Range, Long Range, Long Range with Dual-Motor All-Wheel Drive, and Performance.
The Long Range and Performance models started production in January 2020, with the first deliveries arriving in March, while the Standard version is expected in 2021, along with an optional third-row seat (with seating for two more people). The car made a big splash – by July 2020 it was the third best-selling electric car on the market (the Model 3 was number one) and the third best-selling electric car in the world, according to EV-Sales.
Model Y / Tesla
Q4 carries on the rallyPrices are still rallying from Tesla’s amazing Q3, and stay steady in the face of better than expected Q4 results. The stock jumps almost 4% when the results are released.
Revenue was posted at $7.38 billion, more than double its revenue the same quarter last year, and earnings were $2.14 adjusted. Automotive revenue in Q4 increased by 4% sequentially over Q3 and by 134% compared to Q4 2017, largely thanks to Model 3 deliveries. With nearly 140,000 units sold, the Model 3 was also the best-selling premium vehicle in the US for 2018 – the first time in decades an American carmaker had scored that winning spot.
Back-to-back profitsIn good news, Tesla posts record revenues for 2018 and is profitable for a second consecutive quarter for the first time ever. Musk calls 2018 “the most pivotal year in Tesla’s history.” But in bad news a whole bunch of senior staff leave including CFO Deepak Ahuja, the firm is fined $29,365 for violating California labor laws, and it announces plans to lay off 7% of its workforce. Swings and roundabouts.
Larry Ellison joins the boardTesla adds tech guru and Oracle (ORCL) founder Larry Ellison to its board of directors, along with former Kellogg's executive Kathleen Wilson-Thompson.
The move was part of Tesla’s settlement with the SEC following its securities fraud investigation against Musk, which required the firm to hire two new independent board members. Ellison already owned around 3m shares and was rumored to be close friends with Musk. Keep your friends close after all.
Photo by Oracle PR / Hartmann Studios / Flickr
Robyn Denholm appointed ChairmanTesla has finally found a new chairman, after the regulator insisted that it replace Musk after his 420 Twitter storm. She’s been a Tesla board member since 2014, and was previously the CFO of Australian telecoms giant Telstra (TLS).
The market received the news with wariness, and the stock fell 1.4%.
Is Tesla under investigation by the FBI?The Wall Street Journal reports that FBI agents are investigating Tesla in a criminal probe over allegedly misstated information on production of its Model 3 sedans back in 2017. The share price then jumps over 5% to hit a high of $339.90. Can you explain this one? Because we can’t.
Model 3 on the riseTesla shares surge over 9% after Q3 earnings blow Wall Street out the water, and Model 3 sales push the company firmly into the black.
Analyst consensus expected a loss of 3 cents a share, but Tesla was not to be underestimated, and posted a profit of $2.90 a share. The company reported a record $6.8 billion revenue and turned $312 million in profit, and earnings were helped by cost-cutting, less spending on future models, delaying payments to suppliers, and a rush to sell as many cars as possible. Automotive revenue in Q3 increased by 82% sequentially over Q2, mainly due to a sharp increase in Model 3 deliveries.
Global finance head steps downTesla isn’t having much luck with staffing, and in September Justin McAnear, VP of worldwide finance and operations, confirms he’ll step down next month.
His departure came just days after the resignation of chief accounting officer Dave Morton, while head of HR Gabrielle Toledano also left the firm the same month.
And then I got high...Hey, you know when your company is in trouble, several key staff members have left, you’ve been banned from tweeting by the SEC, and you’ve had to step down as Chairman? The logical response is obviously to go onto a super famous podcast and smoke weed live live on air whilst drinking whisky and tell people that we all just need to “relax and love each other.” Right? Right.
On September 7, Elon appeared on the massively popular Joe Rogan Experience podcast. During a rambling 2.5hr conversation, he and Rogan not only drank a bunch of whisky but shared a joint live on air. Hey, it was California, so technically legal. Investors were emphatically not keen though, and coming hard on the heels of the 420 twitter storm back in August, it sent Tesla stock tumbling. The share price lost over 6% in a single day, and over 12% on the week, closing on the 7th at $263.24.
At least they had a good time.
Elon smokes weed / The Joe Rogan Experience
Musk tweet explodes into regulatory firestormIn August 2018, Elon famously tweets that he’d got the funds needed to take Tesla private at a price of $420 per share – a move that sparks a federal lawsuit and sees the SEC file a personal case against him for securities fraud. Oops.
Although he later backtracked, his words had more than a grain of truth to them – Elon had long been livid at short-sellers whom he believed were deliberately damaging the Tesla brand for their own profit, and a few weeks earlier had emailed the Tesla Board with the suggestion of taking the firm private.
Despite the $420 figure being selected as a joke due to its link with marijuana, the share price jumped 6% immediately, reaching almost $380 and forcing the firm to halt trading for 90 minutes until it could issue an official response, before swinging wildly over the next few weeks. Eventually, Elon reached a deal with the SEC including legal vetting of any tweets or public statements about the company’s finances. However, he and Tesla were still fined $20m each, and he was forced to step down as Chairman. That’s a lot of chaos packed into just 129 characters.
Elon is excited about the futureTesla stock prices surge more than a whopping 16% in one day after Q2 results come out and Elon Musk has a particularly upbeat earnings call with analysts, pledging future profitability.
The stock had been under some pressure as doubts circulated around the amount of cash Tesla was burning through, but it looks like it was all worth it. The company beat Wall Street revenue estimates at $4 billion, although it missed earnings estimates with a net loss of $742.7 million.
Tesla said it produced 53,339 vehicles in the second quarter, delivering 22,319 Model S and Model X vehicles and 18,449 Model 3 vehicles, totaling up to 40,768 deliveries. Production though is running behind and the company has ended up setting up assembly lines in temporary tents. Kinda like a… giant car festival?
Whistleblower pays the priceTesla files a $167m lawsuit against former employee Martin Tripp, claiming that he “unlawfully hacked the company’s confidential and trade secret information and transferred that information to third parties.”
According to Tesla, Tripp placed “hacking software” in the computers of three of its employees to regularly export confidential data. Musk called it “sabotage” and accused Tripp of leaking negative stories to the media. In an email to Tesla employees, he may(?) have gone a bit overboard on the conspiracy theory angle, suggesting that “Wall Street short-sellers,” “oil & gas companies,” or “the multitude of big gas/diesel car company competitors” could have been behind the plot.
If they’re willing to cheat so much about emissions, maybe they’re willing to cheat in other ways?
But wait, the plot thickens. Later on June 20, the same day Tesla filed the lawsuit, the company received an anonymous call saying that Tripp was planning a mass shooting at its Nevada Gigafactory. When contacted by the police, Tripp reportedly burst into tears and claimed that it wasn’t him, but that Musk might have done it himself in a quest to destroy him.
On Twitter, Musk said that Tripp had admitted to taking bribes from Business Insider journalists in exchange for “valuable Tesla IP.” It seems like the courts agreed with him. In September 2020, Tesla won the lawsuit.
Record-breaking reportTesla loses over 5% in the face of Q1 earnings, which show record revenues along with record losses.
Tesla posted adjusted losses of $3.35 per share despite revenues of $3.4 billion – bigger than ever before. It ended the quarter with $2.7 billion in cash. Net losses, however, were just as big $784.6 million.
Once Tesla hit its ideal production rate of 5,000 Model 3 cars per week, which was expected to happen within two months, the company planned to increase that goal to 10,000 Model 3 cars produced per week. Maybe that could stem the flow.
Nikola sues Tesla on truck patentsHydrogen truck start-up Nikola Motor Company (NKLA) files a $2bn lawsuit against Tesla for infringing its patents with the new Tesla all-electric Semi. Tesla says “it’s patently obvious there is no merit to this lawsuit.” At this point, it's worth pointing out that Elon previously made all of Tesla’s own patents available to its competitors.
As of September 2020, the lawsuit was still grinding its way through the courts. In what must have come as no small satisfaction to Tesla though, Nikola (NKLA) later became embroiled in scandal, with short-selling firm Hindenburg Research accusing the firm of fraud and claiming that its truck didn’t actually, um, work. Founder and former CEO Trevor Milton and Nikola (NKLA) itself then came under investigation by the Department of Justice.
Nikola Tre / Nikola
Temporary halt of Model 3 productionTesla briefly pauses production of its Model 3 electric car, claiming a long waiting list and a bottleneck at the factory.
April Fool’s failMr Musk plays an April Fool, using his fave platform Twitter to have a laugh with his fanbase. Tough crowd this time though, and his joke wipes 8% of the share price.
He built up anticipation early in the day, tweeting
Important news in a few hours…
After its worst-performing month in seven years, people were understandably curious, but they got pretty freaked out when he tweeted that Tesla had gone bankrupt.
Despite intense efforts to raise money, including a last-ditch mass sale of Easter Eggs, we are sad to report that Tesla has gone completely and totally bankrupt,
Elon was found passed out against a Tesla Model 3, surrounded by "Teslaquilla" bottles, the tracks of dried tears still visible on his cheeks.
People panicked. We thought it was funny.
Shares drop over 8% following fatal crashA fatal crash of a Tesla car whilst on autopilot in California sends the stock spiralling, losing -8.22% to close at $279.18, its biggest single day loss in over a year.
Q4 stock plungeDespite a smaller than expected Q4 loss as well as a slower cash burn, stock prices plunge almost 9%.
Tesla had an adjusted loss per share of $3.04 on revenues of $3.29 billion for Q4, with a total year revenue of $11.8 billion. Automotive revenue in Q4 increased by 36% over Q4 2016, mainly due to 35% growth in vehicle deliveries. The company reported negative free cash flow of $276.7 million, up from its negative $1.4 billion the quarter before, but Wall Street had some doubts as to how long these numbers would last, which could have been a contributing factor to the plummeting share price.
Record Model S and Model X deliveries in Q4 boosted sentiment, but net losses for Q4 were still worryingly high at $770.8 million, with a recorded $2.24 billion loss for the full year - more than double that of 2016.
Tesla bleeds as SpaceX soarsJust days after Elon Musk famously sent his cherry-red Tesla Roadster into orbit as part of the SpaceX rocket test launch, Tesla announces a net loss of $675.4m for Q4 2016, its largest yet. Perhaps they should have kept the car.
Coming off the back of disappointing Model 3 sales and delays in production, the news pushed the stock down from $352.05 on 20 February to $266.13 on 26 March, wiping over a fifth of the company’s value. A slight bounce came when Elon announced that he’d work for free for the next 10 years.
Starman / Space X
Musk moves into flamethrowing. Sorta.Remember The Boring Company, that tunnel business that Musk tweeted about back in 2016? Well, he actually went and did it. Or at least, he set up a company and a website. Not sure how well the tunnelling side is going but turns out that what the public really really wants? Flamethrowers.
That's right, Elon legit manufactured and sold 20,000 "not a flamethrower"s emblazoned with The Boring Company logo at $500 a pop, making a cool $10m in the process. Cue an avalanche of videos comparing them to actual flamethrowers. Didn’t have anything to do with Tesla either but, as always, Musk’s flamboyant antics had a knock-on effect, and the share price took an upwards jump.
In other news, Tesla unveils a unique new compensation plan for Elon: he’ll only get paid if he reaches certain massive milestones, including a Tesla market valuation of $650 billion. That’s bigger than Amazon (AMZN), and more than 10 times Tesla’s current size. Good luck, dude.
Not a flamethrower / The Boring Company
Pepsi orders 100 Tesla trucksIn an early Christmas present (and a touching display of faith), PepsiCo (PEP) slaps down a $2m deposit for 100 Semi all-electric trucks, the biggest order yet. Is there a rival all-electric alternative to Coke (KO)’s famous Christmas trucking ad on the way? We sincerely hope so.
Tesla’s Semi revealedThe big reveal of November is Tesla’s Semi, sparking a lot of excitement over Thanksgiving. The Semi is Tesla’s bid to break into the freight market, and it’s a big step. The vehicle is a beast: a battery-powered Class 8 semi-truck, with four separate engines to boost power, and Autopilot as standard. First announced in 2016, production was expected to begin in 2020 but was delayed.
According to Tesla, it will come in both a Standard and a ‘Founder’s Series’ version, at an estimated price of $150,000 and $200,000 respectively, and a range of between 300-500m. Online reservations have been available since 2017 and Tesla says that it has already received substantial pre-orders from corporates including Pepsi (PEP), Walmart (WMT), and Anhauser-Busch (BUD). Tesla says that when carrying an 80,000lb load the standard model will be able to accelerate from 0 to 60mph in 20s.
However, some people have expressed doubts – in 2018, Daimler (DAI)’s head of trucks Martin Daum said that the Semi would “defy the laws of Physics.”
Tesla Semi / Tesla
Sexy new Roadster rolls onto the stageTesla goes back to its roots with the all-new Roadster, revealed at the same launch party as the Semi, and it’s pretty damn cool.
The new prototype Roadster model takes Tesla full circle to tap back into the luxury sports car market again, with a swanky new version of its original sports car. Expected to start at around $200,000 ($250,000 for the 1,000 limited edition ‘Founder’s Series’ models), Tesla promises an ambitious 620m range and an acceleration speed of 0-60mph in just 1.9s – which would make it the fastest road-legal car in the world. In fact, on its website Tesla is already calling the new four-seater “the quickest car in the world.” Originally scheduled to go live in 2020, deliveries were delayed to 2022 due to Covid-19.
The marketing drive has already gone up a gear though. Following on from its first public reveal at the Grand Basel Motor Show in 2018, the new Roadster has been hawked about all over the place as Tesla looks to drum up publicity for its flagship new motor. In November 2020 it was even featured on The Simpsons, owned by Leo diCaprio and with a license plate reading ‘King of the World.’
Musk is also getting all competitive with Porsche (PAH3), which set a new record for the fastest electric car lap at Nurburgring in 2019. In September 2020, Musk promised to bring a Roadster over to Germany to test its own performance at the legendary “green hell” track.
What’s even more exciting are some of the new specs that are trickling out as the car gets closer to production. In 2019, Musk teased the world with the optional Roadster ‘SpaceX’ package, which will include actual rocket thrusters to “dramatically improve acceleration, top speed, braking and cornering.” He also said that the thrusters would “maybe even allow a Tesla to fly.” Hot air? Maybe, but we can totally see Musk as Danny from Grease.
Pushing up production with PerbixTesla ramps up its production process, buying up Minnesota-based factory automation firm Perbix to help it build “the factory of the future.” The share price doesn’t budge though.
Terms weren’t disclosed, but the firm had already been a supplier to Tesla for almost three years, and was the logical next step in its bid to cut costs by automating the manufacturing process.
With the acquisition of Perbix, Tesla further advances its efforts to turn the factory itself into a product – to build the machine that makes the machine,
Q3 lossesShares take a hit of just under 7% when Q3 earnings show an even bigger loss than expected.
The trouble could be to do with the heavy amounts spent on ramping up production of the Model 3. Production complications had slowed down the manufacturing of the company’s first mass market electric sedan Model 3, considered to be an integral part of Tesla’s potential success.
Automotive revenues grew 10% as compared to Q3 2016, mainly due to a 4.5% increase in Model S and Model X volumes. Q3 reported overall revenues of $2.98 billion but a loss per share of $2.92. Tesla predicted that Model S and Model X sales were on pace for about 100,000 deliveries in 2017, an increase of 30% compared to 2016.
Are gasless gas stations the future?Tesla CTO J.B. Straubel suggests that Tesla could turn some of its supercharging stations into convenience stores selling cold drinks and snacks while people wait. Basically, a gas station without the gas. Everyone needs a bathroom break on a long journey, right?
Tesla’s hyperloop pod breaks recordsDid we mention that Elon Musk wants to build the world’s first hyperloop? Yeah, that’s a thing now. And in August 2017, his Tesla branded hyperloop pod (the thing you travel in) achieved a record 220mph in testing.
What’s a hyperloop, we hear you ask? Basically, a sealed tunnel that can transport you at hypersonic speeds and – pay attention, this bit’s important – still deliver you alive to your destination. Musk first proposed it back in 2013 through SpaceX, and in July 2017 he tweeted that he had received “verbal approval” to build a hyperloop between New York City and Washington, DC. Lucky he created that random tunnel-building company a while back then. Looks like your journey to Capitol Hill could soon get a whole lot quicker.
Stock surge after Q2 resultsBoosted by a nearly doubled revenue and narrower than expected Q2 losses, prices surged 6.51%.
Tesla also confirmed it had already shifted 47,000 cars so far in 2017, hitting its target for the first half of the year and giving investors peace of mind that the cheaper Model 3 wouldn’t eat into Model X sales.
The company reported a loss of $401 million from revenues of $2.7 billion. Still up from the previous quarter’s losses, but not as bad as people were expecting.
Model 3 hits the mainstreamThe first hotly anticipated Model 3 finally rolls off the production line on July 7, with the first deliveries taking place on July 28.
The most hair-raising move from Tesla in years, and one that the company has been gunning for since it started, the Model 3 was Tesla’s big push into the mainstream, affordable market, and its first car to be priced below $70,000.
Codenamed ‘BlueStar’ by developers, it’s been in Tesla’s business plan since 2007, although it was only unveiled in 2016 and started production in 2017.
The vehicle struggled at first with production problems and failed to hit the volumes it hoped for – not helped by over ambitious statements from Mr Musk, who promised up to 200,000 Model 3s in the second half of 2017 – four times as many as the firm actually managed to produce. Nevertheless, it’s been popular ever since launch, winning the highest number of advance orders ever.
In February 2019 the new $35,000 Standard Range model was released, and as of 2020 the Tesla Model 3 was the world's best-selling electric car of all time, with more than 500,000 units already delivered.
Model 3 / Tesla
Heavy shorting as bubble burstsTesla’s market value rose above $62bn in June, raising fears of the ‘b’ word – fears that seem real in July, when the firm releases Q2 results marking further losses along with lackluster sales results and lower-than-expected pre-sales of the Model 3.
By July, the firm had lost 20% of its June high, and was the second-most shorted stock on the market. But bear in mind, at the time legendary fund manager Ron Baron predicted Tesla’s stock could break $1,000 by 2020, which is exactly what it did. Wish you’d listened to him, right?
Strong first half results in record share priceTesla shares jump 75% in H1 2017 to reach their highest. Level. Ever.
The surge was driven by strong results, a close relationship between Elon and President Trump, a doubling in size of the Gigafactory in Nevada, and the upcoming rollout of the new Model 3. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration closed its investigation into the firm’s autopilot technology in January, setting Tesla free from blame with a ruling that its software wasn’t responsible for the fatal crash in 2016.
The same month, Morgan Stanley (MS)’s seer Adam Jonas upgraded the stock to buy, and by June analysts at Berenberg Bank were offering price targets of a whopping $464, the goodest yet.
Tesla gets into the repairs gigIn its Q1 2017 earnings letter, Tesla announces plans to open its first self-owned body repair shops, which it says will “significantly improve the customer experience with out-of-warranty body repairs.” Gotta keep those cars shiny.
The quarter was better than expected, posting revenues of $2.79 billion (more than double that of the year before) and a loss of $1.33 per share. Investor doubt could be partly due to concerns that the cheaper Model 3 would eat into sales of the more expensive Model X. Net losses (GAAP) also rose to $330.2 million.
However, Tesla said we could expect to see between 47,000 to 50,000 deliveries in the first half of 2017, which would be a massive increase. And in Q1, vehicle production increased by a whopping 64% compared to a year ago. Not bad.
Photo: Enis Yavuz / Unsplash
AutoNation CEO takes a swing at TeslaMike Jackson, CEO of AutoNation (AN), the biggest car retailer network in the US, calls out Tesla’s high valuation.
Following a recent bull run, the company’s share price topped $313, making its market cap bigger than General Motors (GM), something Jackson said was “inexplicable” given that GM produced over 10m cars a year and brought in revenues of over $9bn. He called Tesla “either one of the great Ponzi schemes of all time or it’s gonna work out.”
Speaking at an auto show in New York, he had some scathing words.
What would impress me about Tesla? Selling vehicles at a profit would be very impressive. Giving away vehicles at below what it costs you to make them is not very exciting.
CFO leaves, Q1 earnings dropCFO Jason Wheeler announces he’s leaving: shares go down. The 6.41% price drop could also have something to do with Q4 results, which were not quite as good as expected.
For the full year, revenues were up 73% from 2015 at $7 billion, and the company claimed to now have a $3.4 billion cash position. A loss of $0.69 cents per share was reported however, along with a net loss for Q4 of $219.5 million and for the full 2016 year of $773 million. Tesla also slightly missed its 80,000 vehicle delivery forecast for 2016, coming in at 76,230 deliveries.
Autopilot saves lives, says NHTSATesla’s crash rate dropped 40% after it launched the semi-autonomous Autopilot software, according to a report from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration investigating a May 2016 fatal accident involving a Tesla Model S. That’s good news.
Elon promises tunnels to end traffic hellElon Musk gets sick of sitting in traffic, decides to build tunnels instead. Is he joking, or is he serious? Hard to tell sometimes. The market seems to like him though – Tesla’s share price continues to rise throughout December.
He says he’s going to call it “The Boring Company.” Tagline: “Boring. It’s what we do.”
SolarCity merger sees shares bounceTesla merges with SolarCity in August as part of its long-held plan to extendo-reach its supply chain and move further into sustainable energy. Shares initially drop, but bounce up again a few days later as the market absorbs the impact.
The all-stock deal had an equity value of $2.6bn, valuing SolarCity common stock at $25.37 per share – a price some analysts complained was too high. Tesla got greater economies of scale from the deal, claiming cost savings of $150m in the first year alone. The stock rose despite concerns over what S&P Ratings called “significant risks related to the sustainability of the company’s capital structure,” which in corp-speak means they think Tesla might’ve paid too much for it. It’s not all bad though – the acquisition offered Tesla greater economies of scale, with the firm claiming cost savings of $150m in the first year alone.
The company projected that the deal would add more than half a billion dollars in cash to its balance sheet within three years.
Tesla goes Deutsch with Grohmann acquisitionTesla doubles down with the acquisition of Germany’s battery automation specialist Grohmann Engineering, now known as Tesla Grohmann Engineering, as part of its drive to scale up production to half a million cars a year. The share price jumps slightly to $194.94.
The acquisition was turned into Tesla’s Advanced Automation facility in Germany, a subdivision focused on improving automation and streamlining its manufacturing process. Elon called it “our first acquisition of significance in our whole history” and expected it to achieve “exponential improvements” in the production process.
The financial terms of the deal were never disclosed, but the buyout is widely seen as a smart move – especially in competitive terms. In January 2020, Daimler (DAI) had to slash the production targets of its flashy new Mercedes-Benz by 50% due to a battery shortage – a problem it blamed in part on Tesla’s earlier acquisition of Grohmann, which had previously been used by Mercedes to build batteries for its electric fleet.
Profit time with Q3 resultsIn Tesla’s second quarter ever to report a quarterly profit, it makes up for lost time: reporting a $21.9 million net income. Shares pop overnight but lose most gains the next day.
The last quarterly profit was reported over three years ago, so you’d think there would have been more excitement, right? Total Q3 GAAP revenue was $2.30 billion, up 145% from Q3 2015, while total Q3 gross margin was 27.7%.
JP Morgan warns though that the results could be misleading, saying the profit was more down to a change in accounting methods. Elon Musk though, thinks that the next quarter might be a profitable one too.
Hackers gonna hackResearchers from Keen Security Lab, a division of the Chinese internet giant Tencent (700), found a remote vulnerability to hack into the Model S – a fault that could allow malicious hackers to take control of the car and cause some serious damage.
With several months of in-depth research on Tesla Cars, we have discovered multiple security vulnerabilities and successfully implemented remote, aka none physical contact, control on Tesla Model S in both Parking and Driving Mode,
Don’t worry though – these are the good guys, and they had already worked with Tesla to patch the flaw before going public. All better now.
The end of a wild quarterTesla closes the book on a crazy quarter that included a high profile autopilot crash, a $2.6 million bid to buy SolarCity, and hellish production problems. Q2 results are still met with a slight boost of just over 2%.
Non-GAAP revenue was $1.6 billion for the quarter, up 31% from a year before. Total Q2 gross margin was 21.6% on a GAAP basis and 20.8% on a non-GAAP basis. Automotive revenue was $1.2 billion on a GAAP basis and $1.5 billion on a non-GAAP basis. However, the company delivered fewer cars than planned due to its steep production ramp.
SolarCity announcementTesla announces plans to buy solar energy firm SolarCity for $2.6bn. People aren’t sure about the move. The stock loses 2.04% to close the day at $230.01.
Photo: BrokenSphere / Wikimedia
Fatal crash sends stock into freefallA driver tragically dies in a crash involving a Tesla using self-drive software. Needless to say, it’s not a good day at the company’s press office.
Negative headlines spun up around the world, and America’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) launched an investigation. The Tesla PR team responded with a somewhat-prickly statement pointing out that “autopilot is getting better all the time, but it is not perfect and still requires the driver to remain alert.” The response did little to support the share price, which went into a four-month spiral, plummeting back below the $200 mark.
Fundraising to fuel Model 3 productionTesla announces plans to raise $1.4bn through a secondary stock offering, with another 5.5m shares to be purchased by Elon Musk via a stock option exercise, in order to "accelerate the production ramp of Model 3.”
Busy day for Q1 resultsIn a busy day for Tesla, the company announces Q1 results and the retirement of two key employees. Bearish reviews send shares down by almost 5%.
The company reported $1.6 billion in revenue and a loss per share of $0.57, and raised capital spending by 50% to $1.5 billion. The company also reported it expects to produce 20,000 vehicles in the second quarter, 30% more than the quarter before.
All in all it was a decent quarter, but potentially overshadowed by the news that executives Greg Reichow and Josh Ensign - two people responsible for actually building the cars – would be leaving the company.
Infamous short seller Jim Chanos also reiterated his doubts over the company and said he was short Tesla.
Mario Kart Easter egg discoveredTesla makes it onto Mario Kart in a clever PR stunt that pulls attention away from a worrying Model X recall due to faulty seats.
When the Model S or Model X is in Autopilot mode, the instrument cluster shows the car "driving" down a road. Normally it's a boring grey one, but engaging Autopilot four times in a row turns it into Rainbow Road from Mario Kart instead. I mean, it’s literally impossible to stay on that track, so here’s hoping the autopilot is a better driver than we are.
More excitingly, did you know the Model S also has a secret James Bond mode? An Easter egg discovered in January turns the car into a Bond-style Lotus Esprit S1 submersible onscreen. Musk has always been a fan – back in 2013 he bought the real iconic submarine car with a bid of $866,000.
Model 3 wins big to push back priceGenerally speaking, 2016 doesn’t start well. In January, the world loses David Bowie while Tesla loses almost a third of its value – partly due to an uncertain timeline for the Model 3 launch, and lingering doubts over production capacity.
Morgan Stanley (MS)’s Adam Jonas cut his top price target from $450 to $333 while brokerage firm Stifel (SF) warned that heavy short-selling could cause yet more share price bleeding. But, the Model 3 announcement in March met with a doubleplusgood reaction from the market, upping the stock back over $240. With more than 300,000 pre-orders, things are looking up.
Model 3 / Tesla
Strong faith for Q4 figuresThe electric car maker reports its year end earnings, coming in slightly below expectations on the revenue side and sadly missing its car delivery target. Promises of higher car deliveries next year bring back the faith though and Tesla shares get a comfortable boost of just under 5%.
Tesla still isn't turning a profit, and posted an adjusted loss per share of $0.87, marking its 11th straight quarterly decline. Revenues totaled $1.75 billion. Delivery numbers are a key metric for Tesla because it shows how quickly the company is able to make electric cars and get them to people who ordered them. Though it missed its guidance last year by a few thousand cars, Musk got people excited by saying that Tesla planned to deliver between 80,000 and 90,000 cars in 2016, quelling fears from investors that the company wouldn’t be able to keep up with demand.
Lesson: don’t piss off Elon MuskI think we’ve all figured out by now that Elon Musk doesn’t take criticism lightly. And oftentimes, he’s in a position to hit back. In February 2016 Californian venture capitalist Stewart Alsop learns this to his cost when he writes an open letter to Musk criticizing a Model X launch event. His mistake? Not waiting until his new Model X was delivered. Musk is so mad that he goes ahead and cancels Alsop’s order. No new car for him.
Go park yourselfIn its software update 7.1, Tesla unveils a supercool new feature called ‘Summon’ that lets the car park itself kerbside. Musk calls it "just a baby step," promising that a Tesla would be able to self-drive across the US by 2018.
Ultimately you’ll be able to summon your car anywhere … your car can get to you,
Things go wrong in Hong KongTesla’s all-singing, all-dancing Autopilot mode hits a speedbump in Hong Kong. The firm is asked to disable automatic steering and lane change functions by the Hong Kong Transport Authority due to safety concerns.
Q3 numbers boost share priceShares shoot up over 11% on Q3 results, despite slightly missing expectations on earning.
The company reported a non-GAAP revenue of $1.26 billion, up almost 33% from a year ago, and an adjusted loss per share of $0.58 against the expectation for a $0.56 loss. GAAP revenues were $937 million. However, profits weren’t so great – GAAP net losses stood at $229.8 million.
The bigger focus of the report though was the attention given to the future plans for self driving cars, as well as car delivery numbers for the quarter. After Wall Street recoiled last quarter at Musk’s lower car delivery guidance, it now looked like Tesla was on track to deliver 52,000 after planning to deliver 5,000 and cutting that number down last quarter. The biggest constraint to filling that guidance was production time of the Model X, but if anyone could do it, it was Tesla. The company also noted that “vehicle electrification and autonomous driving are crucial to sustainable and safe personal transportation; plus these technologies make driving more enjoyable” - and as such was spending more time and money each quarter on innovation.
Self-drive sends stock soaringOn September 29, Tesla finally begins deliveries of the delayed Model X, its first crossover utility vehicle, originally slated to launch back in 2014.
Global Model S sales were also up 50% from the previous year, raising investor confidence. Despite a slight lull early in the quarter, the share price was given a kick up the butt in October by the confirmation of Tesla’s self-drive software, enabling Autopilot. Further gains followed news that the firm was in talks with China to produce its electric cars domestically.
So what did the Model X look like? Basically a spaceship, especially given its crazy falcon wing doors. It was Tesla’s first attempt at an SUV, and Elon famously called it “the most difficult car in the world to build,” due to its blend of advanced technology, futuristic features (including the famous falcon-wing doors and a windshield claiming to be the largest single piece of glass ever installed on a car) and high-level performance.
Although announced in 2012, full production was delayed until 2015, and the firm initially struggled to meet its 25,000 pre-orders. The car started at $139,000 for the top performance model, but subsequent trims reduced the price somewhat and in 2020 the Model X started at $84,990, going up to $104,990 for the Performance version. The only seven-seater EV in the market, the Model X initially struggled with range due to its size and bulk, but most of these kinks have since been worked out. The Long Range Plus model in 2020 had a range of around 350 miles, while the Performance version can manage 305 miles. The car comes with Autopilot as standard, as well as an optional Full Self Driving system.
Model X / Tesla
Stock sale pressures priceA surprise stock sale raises $738m to pay for the new Model X production and ambitious $5bn Nevada battery factory — but worries over Tesla’s balance sheet place a further squeeze on the share price.
Delivery guidance drama in Q2Q2 results are in, and despite the pretty financial picture they paint, share prices fall by almost 9% after Tesla trims its delivery outlook.
Tesla reported total non-GAAP revenue of $1.2 billion for the quarter, up nearly 40% from a year ago, and up 8.5% sequentially, while GAAP revenue was $955 million. Q2 non-GAAP net loss was $61 million, or a loss of $0.48 per basic share, while Q2 GAAP net loss was $184 million or a loss of $1.45 per basic share.These earnings were on expectation for revenue but below expectation for earnings.
In March, Tesla had said it planned to deliver 55,000 in 2015, but the latest estimation put that number more at the 50,000 mark. The company had spent millions on improving production and manufacturing of the Model X, with the hope that sales and deliveries would improve as a result.
Maximum PlaidTesla announces the new $10k ‘Ludicrous’ speed upgrade for its Model S, and it’s awesome. But wait – there’s more. Buried in the press release is a throwaway sentence that is actually some of the biggest news the firm has come out with in years.
There is of course one speed faster than ludicrous, but that is reserved for the next generation Roadster in 4 years: maximum plaid.
Yes, the iconic Roadster is coming back, and it’s going to be a fast one.
Why “maximum plaid?” Glad you asked. It’s a homage to the Mel Brooks movie Spaceballs, in which after achieving Ludicrous Speed, the ship Spaceball One GOES INTO PLAID.
What have I done??? My brains are going into my feet!!!
"It's Tesla. They've gone to plaid." / MGM
Battery swapping idea dead in the waterAt the Tesla shareholders meeting, Elon Musk admits that the battery swap idea (technology that allowed batteries to be swapped over for seamless charging) is probably dead in the water.
What we're seeing is a very low take rate for the pack swap station. So we did an initial round of invitations, where we did basically like 200 invitations, and I think there were a total of four or five people that wanted to do that, and they all did it just once. So, okay, it's clearly not very popular,
he said. The people want what the people want, Elon. And apparently, what they want is supercharging, not swapsies.
Q1 exceeding production plansManufacturing efficiency is a big focus this quarter, and Tesla has succeeded in manufacturing 11,600 cars in the first 3 months of the year - 1,000 more than projected. It doesn't seem to make a big difference to the share price though, which declines in after hours trading but recovers almost 3% the next day.
The increased vehicle production led to revenues of $893 million - up 52% from the previous year. However, losses widened to $154m from just under $50 million (GAAP) the year before.
Elon becomes used car salesmanTesla quietly launches a pre-owned vehicle program offering older versions of its Model S for lower prices than new models.
Elon tweet boosts market capIn February 2015 the Model X SUV prototype premiers at Tesla’s design studios in Hawthorne, California – but although critics like the look of it, the grand unveiling does little to the share price.
What did though, was a teaser tweet from Musk at the end of March (can you spot a trend developing here?).
Major new Tesla product line – not a car – will be unveiled at our Hawthorne Design Studio on Thurs 8pm, April 30.
The launch of the battery line sparked a buying frenzy, with the share price climbing steadily over the next few months to peak at $268 on June 1, its longest consecutive rise in over two years.
Tough earnings callTesla stock falls by 4.76% on the back of a tough earnings call in which it says over 1,000 Model X shipments slipped back into 2015 because of "a combination of customers being on vacation, severe winter weather and shipping problems (with actual ships)." Musk is still confident though – he predicts the stock will go into “insane mode” over the next decade. Dammit, we hate it when that dude is always right.
Delivery shortfall in Q4Despite having met its manufacturing targets for the year, Tesla is hit by a delivery shortfall and prices fall by almost 5% on Q4 results.
The company reported revenue of $3.2 billion in 2014, up from about $2 billion in 2013. A net loss for the year of $294 million was reported, compared to a loss of $74 million the year before. In the fourth quarter, Tesla had revenue of $957 million, up $615 million from the same quarter a year before.
However, it was unable to deliver promised vehicles and therefore unable to hit its promised delivery forecast because of a bunch of different outside influences, including customer vacations (which seems like kind of a weak excuse?), severe winter weather and shipping problems.
"The stupidest car in the world"Elon Musk’s kid calls the Model S “the stupidest car in the world” because it doesn’t have reading lights in the back. Musk shrugs, takes it on board, installs reading lights. Good to know he can accept constructive criticism.
Model S, "The stupidest car in the world" Photo: Tesla
Model X launch delayedOriginally scheduled for delivery in 2013, Tesla announces in November that the long-awaited Model X launch will be pushed back yet again, now due in Q3 2015, because it needs to do more testing.
The firm is kinda defensive about the whole thing, calling the delay "a legitimate criticism" of the company but only because it would rather "forgo revenue... than bring a product to market that does not delight customers." Well, it’s hard to argue with that. Unless you’re a shareholder.
A quiet Q3Announced after the market closed, Q3 earnings report a loss but still beat Wall Street expectations, and prices get a comfortable boost of over 4%.
Despite losing almost a month of production because of factory retooling, this quarter saw the highest number of Model S’s ever; a Non-GAAP revenue of $932 million for the quarter, up 55% from a year ago; and a small profit of $3 million.
Auto-parking, all wheel drive and South ParkTesla takes its first step toward automated driving, with a teaser for new features for the Model S that allow the car to park itself and sense dangerous situations.
The firm also announced plans for an all-wheel drive option of the Model S sedan that can go from zero to 60 miles per hour in 3.2 seconds yet doesn’t compromise the vehicle’s efficiency. Like having a “personal roller coaster,” promised Elon Musk.
In other news, Tesla gets featured on an episode of South Park, and Elon is delighted.
Elon gets featured on South Park in S18 E4: "Handicar"
Ring ring… who’s there? It’s your carThe new Model S upgrade now allows you to start your car and drive it with your iPhone. That’s some space age stuff right there.
Few surprises for Q2There are no big surprises in Tesla’s Q2 earnings, and it’s rather lost in the noise of the Panasonic news. Prices decline just over 2% but recover over 4% the next day.
Non-GAAP revenue was $858 million for the quarter, up 55% from a year ago, with GAAP revenue sitting at $769 million. Compared to Q1, the average selling price of Model S stayed fairly stable.
Panasonic powerTesla and long-standing partner Panasonic (6752) sign an agreement to cooperate on the construction of Tesla’s first large-scale battery manufacturing plant in the US (the Gigafactory).
The agreement laid out that Tesla would prepare, provide and manage the land, buildings and utilities, while Panasonic (6752) would manufacture and supply cylindrical lithium-ion cells and invest in the associated equipment, machinery, and other manufacturing tools. It was a pretty big deal, because making its own batteries was a crucial step in scaling up to mass market production levels.
Gigafactory 1. Photo: Smnt / Wikimedia
Share and share alikeIn a bold move, Elon Musk promises to share all Tesla’s patents with anyone that wants them, in a bid to boost the growth of the EV market. He also says he doesn’t see other manufacturers’ electric cars as competition – which could be taken as both a compliment and an insult, to be honest.
Tesla Motors was created to accelerate the advent of sustainable transport,
he said in a blog post.
If we clear a path to the creation of compelling electric vehicles, but then lay intellectual property landmines behind us to inhibit others, we are acting in a manner contrary to that goal. Tesla will not initiate patent lawsuits against anyone who, in good faith, wants to use our technology.
Attack is the best form of defenceSales are booming. Tesla’s first quarter shareholders’ letter reported “the most rapid expansion in Tesla’s history” with a record 7,535 Model S vehicles produced for global delivery.
Net income of $17 million was reported (non-GAAP) at $0.12 EPS. However, when GAAP charges were accounted for the numbers looked less great, marking an overall loss of $50 million.
The firm also confirmed plans to expand its factory capacity to boost Model S production and kick off the hotly anticipated Model X, for which production design prototypes are already underway. New stores, new service centers and new Superchargers were also kicking off, and the Shareholder Letter also announced the planned construction of the exciting new Gigafactory. “2014 is already a very busy year,” said Musk.
New Jersey banMusk gets into yet another fight, this time with New Jersey and its car salesmen. Why? Because New Jersey decides to ban direct car sales by manufacturers in order to protect car retailers, a move that basically decimates Tesla’s business. Musk hits back with a furious blog post ‘To the people of New Jersey’ that is, um, less than tactful, accusing the state’s lawmakers of brokering a backroom deal with car dealerships and calling it “mafia” tactics.
This went down, unsurprisingly, like a ton of bricks with the state legislature and the car dealers themselves.
He needs to stop and take a breath,
Jim Appleton, the president of the New Jersey Coalition of Automobile Retails, told The Verge.
If you’re an internet billionaire, maybe you think the world revolves around you, and the world springs from your laptop. Well, I got news for him... With all due respect, his legal opinions are about as sound as my programming abilities.
The story has a happy ending though. In 2015, the state granted Tesla an exemption, allowing it to sell its own cars through four showrooms. All’s well that ends well.
The Flag of New Jersey
Shares shift into high gearTesla reports Q4 results that are much higher than expected, and predicts that it will sell 55% more vehicles this year than last. The news revs shares up by almost 9%.
For the quarter, non-GAAP revenue (excluding stock-based compensation and non-cash interest expense) was $761 million, up 26% from Q3. GAAP revenue for Q4 was $615 million, up 43% from Q3. Tesla produced more cars than originally expected in the quarter, aided by manufacturing, design A Model S Test Drive in China and quality improvements, with a record 6,892 Model S vehicles sold and delivered. Both Toyota and Daimler powertrain programs remained on plan and contributed $13 million of revenue in the quarter. Q4 sales also included $15 million of regulatory credits revenue.
The company earned $45.9 million over the fourth quarter - almost three times higher than the previous quarter - while revenues jumped 26%. The company also said that it was pretty close to making a production version of its next model, the Model X – exciting considering how well the Model S went down.
Excitingly, given its previous production constraints, Tesla predicted deliveries of over 35,000 Model S vehicles in 2014, representing a 55+% increase over 2013. Production was expected to increase from 600 cars/week to about 1,000 cars/week by end of the year as the firm expanded its factory capacity and addressed supplier bottlenecks.
Shares rocket on record Q4 salesWhile Elon’s other company, SpaceX, is busy smashing through the stratosphere in F9 rockets, Tesla breaks through a ceiling of its own on February 14: shares push past the $200 mark on the back of record Model S sales. Happy Valentine’s Day ❤️
Consumer Reports called the Model S “the best car of 2014” and celebrated its “blistering acceleration, razor-sharp handling, compliant ride, and versatile cabin” as “a glimpse into the future.” A 26% jump in revenue, annual sales of over $2bn, and a major increase in sales targets saw the share price shoot up. Meanwhile, a glowing note from Morgan Stanley (MS) analyst and well-known Tesla bull Adam Jonas brought investors piling back into the car company with a price target of $320 – due in part to fervent belief that the firm would disrupt the electrical grid storage biz with its new battery factory.
Inroads made into premium auto market shareIn an investor presentation released in January, Tesla claims about 2-3% of the US premium auto market, along with 1% of the global premium auto market, and 0.02% share of the overall global automobile market.
That might sound small, but in 2019 the global premium auto market was worth about $351bn, giving Tesla a $3.5bn market share. Around about this time, it’s market cap hit a record high, topping $22bn.
Tax break boosts confidenceThe California Alternative Energy and Advanced Transportation Financing Authority confirms that Tesla will not have to pay sales and use taxes on new equipment worth almost $500m. This equates to a $34.7 million tax break. Good times.
Model S accidents send shares crashingThree high-profile Model S accidents do some major brand damage, while heavy Q4 losses push the share price to $121.58, its lowest point since July.
A questionable Q3After spending most of the year on the climb, weak Q3 earnings bring Tesla to a halt and shares drop over 14%.
It wasn't a spectacularly bad quarter for the company, with earnings, excluding special charges, coming in at $16 million, just ahead of the 11 cent estimate from analysts. But if you include those special charges, which could be anything from stock-based compensation to interest expenses, the company lost $38 million.
The revolutionary company reported over 5,500 Q3 deliveries of the Model S, saying that they were more production-restrained than demand-strained, with continued plans to focus on production capabilities.
Short-sellers get stungTesla’s share price almost quadruples between April and September 2013, backed by A++ reviews of the Model S and five-star safety ratings in federal crash tests.
Confidence was up due to the firm’s newfound profitability, which created a whole new class of ‘Teslanaires’ – investors who took $1m+ to the bank from betting on the company. But not everyone wins; short sellers trying to squeeze the stock got badly burned as it continued to rise (making Elon very happy – he’s long been tweeting on how damaging short sellers are to Tesla).
Q2 newsElon’s hot streak continues, and Tesla blows past sales estimates and reports a surprising second quarter profit in its Q2 earnings. It’s a happy surprise though, and the share price increases over 14%.
Net income increased by 70% from last quarter, driven largely by record Model S deliveries, and Q2 revenues were $551 million on a non-GAAP basis. Tesla was still expanding though, and said that at this point, turning a profit was not its primary mission. Production also increased from 400 cars a week to 500, and the company noted that production gains would be a large focus going forward.
Goldman Sachs gives a thumbs downGoldman Sachs (GS) analyst Patrick Archambault issues a price target of $84, a 34% discount to the previous close of $127.26, and the market listens. The stock bottoms out, losing 14.3% over the day to close at $109.05.
Archambault suggested three scenarios for Tesla: based on how many cars it would sell, market share and operating margin. The best case scenario had the company reaching 3.5% global market share with a 15.2% operating margin, but even then he only predicted a share price of $113. Oh, how wrong he was.
Looks like a lot of people took his predictions with a pinch of salt anyway – the rapid fall presented a toothsome buying opportunity, and the stock jumped by 10% the very next day.
Confirmed profit pushes priceTesla already has a diehard fanboy and fangirl following as one of the most volatile stocks on Nasdaq – and May 2013 sees the first big jump in which early investors can start cashing out.
On May 8 the confirmation of a Q1 profit of $11m, its first ever quarterly profit, saw the price jump 24% the next day and a massive 40% by the end of the week. Fortune favors the brave, after all.
Photo: Saketh Garuda / Unsplash
Coming soon: profitStock surges to all-time high as Tesla announces that the upcoming Q1 earnings report would show a quarterly profit for the first time in its 10-year history. Stock jumps 15.94% to a record $43.93.
Musk tweet drives share jump
Am going to put my money where my mouth is in a v major way,
Elon tweets on March 25, causing the share price to jump 2.4% to close at $37.51.
At the time, he had 167,000 Twitter fans, less than half of the following of a famous cat, and compared to the 37.5m he’d command seven years later. Still, the rise jumpstarted Tesla’s first big bull run - helped along by the debut in March of the prototype Model X at the Geneva Motor Show.
Q4 figures see shares dropTesla’s Q4 results are out, and after a share price jump of 6% in anticipation, the stock drops over 10% in two days in the face of a $90 million net loss.
The company still saw revenues increase by 500% sequentially at $306 million though, and in an effort to keep investors positive, shared that it hoped to report its first quarterly profit in Q1 of 2013 instead of the previous guide of late 2013. Deliveries were ramped up to 400 per week during the past quarter, with total production levels hitting 20,000 units per year.
New reservation activity also hit record levels during the fourth quarter: driven by holiday traffic to Tesla stores, multiple Car-of-the-Year awards, the start of European marketing, and visibility of customer cars on the road with related word-of-mouth enthusiasm. As a result, the firm added more than 6,000 new reservations in Q4, up from almost 2,900 in Q3. That’s not a bad result.
New York Times 'disaster' driveIt’s another war of words, as Elon Musk takes massive objection to a disastrous review in the New York Times of a Tesla test drive. The newspaper had a few nice things to say – calling the Model S “a technological wonder” – but on the whole the review is appalling and Musk, in his usual calm, considered manner, hits back with insults and accusations.
NYT journalist John Broder claimed that he had a terrible experience with the Model S, which consistently performed below the promised range, leaving him limping along with no heating in freezing temperatures, and requiring multiple recharges and technician calls. According to the article, the car eventually ran out of charge altogether and needed to be towed away. Musk was furious, taking to Twitter, TV and a Tesla blog to call the article a fake story, and attacking Broder personally.
Our Model S never had a chance with John Broder … he simply did not accurately capture what happened and worked very hard to force our car to stop running,
The NYT stood by its journalist, but Tesla wouldn’t let it drop. Why? Possibly because back in 2008, legendary UK motor show Top Gear had also claimed that the car had run out of charge during a test drive – an accusation that enraged Musk so much that he actually sued for libel. The case was dropped by a British court in 2012, but the Broder saga obviously touched a raw nerve. Musk eventually hit back by publishing reams of data that he claimed was from Broder’s drive, and which contradicted many of the claims made in the article.
While the vast majority of journalists are honest, some believe the facts shouldn’t get in the way of a salacious story,
he sniped. General unpleasantness ensued, resulting in an awkward statement from the NYT public editor Margaret Sullivan concluding that there were “problems with precision and judgement, but not integrity.”
But more importantly for traders was the impact on the share price. Musk claimed in a Bloomberg TV interview later that month that the negative review had wiped $100m off Tesla’s stock market value in just a matter of days, and that the firm had seen several hundred order cancellations as a result of the article. He might have a point. The share price fell from $39.48 the day before the story was published (February 7) to $37.04 a week later, a loss of $2.44 per share, and a 6.2% overall decline – which would equate to around $278m lost from its overall market cap.
It wasn’t just the bad article that made February a bad month though. The following week on February 20, Tesla released some pretty dire financial results (including a $396 million loss for 2012, around 56% worse than the previous year) which saw its shares drop 8.8% the following day.
European distribution center opensTesla announces a major new European distribution center in Tilburg to serve as its European service and parts headquarters, as well as the final assembly and distribution point for Model S vehicles sold in Europe.
General production of European left-hand drive Model S is due to begin in March 2013. Great news for everyone, except the British.
Q3 earnings point to better thingsTesla’s third quarter results point to better things ahead for the car maker and send the stock price up almost 9%.
This quarter was a fundamental one for Tesla as it successfully transitioned into a mass production car company, upscaling from manufacturing five cars per week at the start of the quarter to 100 per week by the end. Though it was still operating at a loss, the company reported revenues of $50 million and was on track for hitting its year end target of $400 million.
Superpowered superchargingTesla unveils its highly anticipated Supercharger network. The market likes it – stock jumps 2.13% to end the day at $30.66.
Constructed in secret, Tesla in September 2012 revealed the locations of the first six Supercharger stations, which would allow the Model S to travel long distances with ultra fast charging throughout California, parts of Nevada and Arizona.
Limited edition red Model S launchesTesla ships its limited edition US Signature Series Model S series, with just 1,000 available, including a never before or after seen, optional Signature Red exterior coloring. You know you want it.
Photo: Steve Jurvetson / Flickr
Q2 earningsTesla comes out with its second quarter earnings which miss expectations, sending prices down 2.67% and continuing a downward spiral into August.
Revenues stood at $27 million, which was about 12% below analysts expectations and 12% lower than the same quarter the year before. However, the Model S sedans continue to leave people excited despite the quarterly miss.
New models, little impactThe first all-electric Tesla, the Model S, launches on 22 June 2012 and by and large, people like it. The Model X SUV was unveiled a few months earlier, although production wouldn’t get going till 2015. Both did little to the share price, which ticked along below $40 for the rest of the year. Investors seemed confused whether this was a car company or a high growth tech stock. People still ask this.
But let’s talk some more about the Model S, because it’s pretty cool. Designed for the luxury consumer market, the model (development codename: Whitestar) was Tesla’s first big push into the mainstream. A five-door sedan with a range of over 300m and a significantly reduced charging time compared to the Roadster, the car was a hit, voted Car of the Year by well-known US magazines Motor Trend and Automobile in 2013, ranked the top-selling electric vehicle in the world for 2015 and 2016, and passing 250,000 units sold in September 2018. From 2014, the Model S has included Autopilot self-driving software.
In August 2016, Tesla introduced the Model S P100D with ‘Ludicrous mode’ – the third fastest accelerating production car ever produced, with a 0-60 mph time of 2.5 seconds, second only to the LaFerrari and the Porsche 918 Spyder. The Performance 200D model of 2017 can accelerate from 0 to 60mph in around 2.28s. The Model S comes in numerous different versions, differing in terms of battery size, power, and internal equipment. As of 2020 the price starts at around $85,000 – going up to $119,000 for the Performance model.
It is obviously an expensive vehicle… without customers willing to buy the expensive Model S and X, we would be unable to fund the smaller, more affordable Model 3 development,
points out Tesla.
Model S. Photo: Tesla
Q1 earningsTesla releases its first quarter earnings, which were not received very well and sent prices sharply down over 7%.
It wasn’t all bad though. On the Powertrain side of the business, Tesla completed its Toyota RAV4 EV development program in Q1 and started deliveries of production components, also ahead of schedule. It also confirmed a deal with Daimler to create an entire electric powertrain for a new Mercedes-Benz EV, formalizing the joint effort kicked off in Q4 last year.
The Model S was now expected in June, ahead of its July schedule, but apparently that wasn’t enough to keep people super excited - although with over 9,800 Model S reservations at quarter end, topping 10,000 soon after (even without any new stores added during the quarter) suggested that quite a few people were still keen. Q1 revenue was $30.2 million, with Roadster deliveries up 10% from last year to 99 for the quarter, making a total of 2,250 delivered.
Abu Dhabi dumps Tesla stockAbu Dhabi State energy firm TAQA sells a 7% stake in Tesla, reportedly because they got spooked after Elon Musk said that 2011 might be a tough year. They made an estimated $113m profit on the deal so 👏👏👏. But given that they sold at just over $34 and as of August 31 2020 the share price was up at $2,500, they might possibly wish they’d hung on to it.
Want to rent a Tesla? Now you canTesla announces its first leasing program in partnership with Athlon Car Lease, introducing the Model S into corporate fleets across Europe. Great news for those of us who can’t (yet) afford a Tesla of our very own.
Year round upTesla releases its fourth quarter and full year 2011 earnings, sharing the happy news that the new Model S is on track for a July debut. Prices increase 1.30%.
Total revenues were up 9% from the same quarter last year, and the company closed 2011 with over $204 million in revenues, which is up a whopping 75% from the year before.
No more RoadstersTesla ceases production of the Roadster, its iconic first car. The world mourns its passing.
Launched in February 2008, the Roadster was Tesla’s first flag-plant in the world of electric cars: its first ever highway-legal, entirely electric vehicle. Able to travel over 200m (320km) per charge, the car used a standard lithium-ion battery that could be recharged in a standard wall outlet, although it’d take you about two days to do so.
With chassis and body design from British race car company Lotus, at its launch it cost just over $100k – making it out of reach for all but the wealthiest buyers (or lottery ticket winners). Upgrades included the Tesla Sport (a souped-up version that could accelerate from 0 to 60mph in 3.7s, compared to 3.9s for the standard Roadster), the Roadster 2010 model (its first major product upgrade, with a new luxury interior, better suspension, and various other features), and the Roadster 2.5 (which had a jazzed up image and new power control hardware).
By the time it ceased production, Tesla had sold about 2,450 Roadsters across 30 countries. However, the firm didn’t abandon the model (or its owners) completely. In December 2014 it offered an optional upgrade to existing cars, including new tires and a battery upgrade that boosted capacity by 50%. Way to repay early loyalty.
Q3 results are inTesla releases its third quarter results, and the earnings call with Elon Musk sends prices up over 13%.
Total revenues in the third quarter were $58 million, up 85% from the same quarter the year before. Automotive sales grew by almost 11% from last Q2 thanks to solid Roadster demand and powertrain component sales. Total gross margin was 30%, the company’s fifth consecutive quarter of achieving 30% or higher gross margin.
Panasonic partnershipPanasonic (6752), the world’s leading battery cell manufacturer, signs a supply agreement with Tesla to use its automotive grade lithium-ion battery cells in the Model S.
In 2009, Panasonic (6752) and Tesla initially entered into a supply agreement and in 2010, Panasonic (6752) invested $30m in Tesla to deepen the partnership. The Model S deal was just the next step in their beautiful friendship.
First showroom opens in the NetherlandsTesla opens a new showroom in the Netherlands. This electric vehicle gig is going global.
Tesla launches Hong Kong service centerTesla launches a service center in Hong Kong, bringing the Roadster to the South Asian market.
Central Hong Kong. Photo: Florian Wehde / Unsplash
“Phenomenal” results across the board...apparently?Tesla announces $72m in revenue in the first 6 months of 2011 with a net loss of $107m. Elon calls it "phenomenal across the board" and the "best quarter" in the company's history. The market emphatically does not agree, and the stock loses 9.01% the next day, closing out at $24.75.
Total revenue in the second quarter was $58 million, more than double the same quarter of the year before, and the highest quarterly revenue in company history.
Capital raisingTesla prices its follow-on offering of 5.3m shares of common stock at a price to the public of $28.76 per share, the closing price for Tesla shares on June 2, 2011. It raises $152.4m to finance the development of the Model X.
Also known as a secondary offering, a follow-on offering is another issuance of stock after the IPO. Tesla also offered its underwriter a 30-day option to buy another 795,000 shares, and separately sold another 1.41 million shares to CEO Elon Musk and privately placed 637,475 shares with Blackstar Investco, an affiliate of minor investor Daimler.
The total raised in the end amounts to about $234 million. Not bad.
Design studio gives customers what they wantTesla takes auto retail hi-tech with a design studio that allows consumers to customize, view and share their own Tesla electric vehicles on the web, on their smartphones and iPads, and at Tesla stores.
The Design Studio’s goal is to personalize the Tesla experience,
said George Blankenship, Tesla’s VP of Sales and Ownership Experience.
It’s the most advanced configurator any automaker has come up with, letting you choose exactly what you want, look at it from every angle, and see it in the wild.
Strong Q4 resultsRevenues for Q4 2010 are $36.3m, up 16% from Q3. Looking at all of 2010, gross margin improved to 26% up from 9% the year before. Slow, but steady progress.
First showroom opens in FranceVive La France! Share price closes at $20.41.
Tag Heuer World Tour ends in ParisTesla famously has a “$0 marketing budget” these days, but it wasn’t always like that. The company might not run ads, but in September 2010 the TAG Heuer Tesla Roadster arrives in Paris at the conclusion of its historic world tour, the Odyssey of Pioneers, which saw it circumnavigate the globe in celebration of TAG Heuer (LVMH)’s 150th anniversary, arriving in Paris the day before the launch of Tesla’s new showroom. Epic PR stunt, amazing publicity. And, we bet, a pretty awesome party.
This trip was about showing people the boundaries of an electric car’s performance, durability and efficiency.
This tour demonstrates that the Roadster can go the distance – whether you are commuting to work or embarking on a once-in-a-lifetime adventure.
First loss since launchTesla announces its Q2 results (up to June 30, 2010) and it doesn’t make for great reading. Everyone knew the firm wasn’t profitable but the reported $38.5m losses are a big step up from $29.5 million in Q1, and the share price takes a hit: falling 3.14% the day the results are announced and continuing to decline over the following week to hit a low of $17.39 on August 12 before making a mild recovery.
Roadster 2.5 drives to the moon (not really)Tesla introduces the brand new Roadster 2.5 with updated styling and an upgraded interior, its fourth model in two years. Over 1,200 Roadsters are now driving in 28 countries with first sales in Canada, Japan and Hong Kong during Q2.
By July 31, customers had driven almost 6 million miles in their Roadsters. That’s like driving round the earth 120 times. Or 26 times the distance between the earth and the moon. Basically, it’s a heck of a lot of miles.
Tesla Roadster 2.5. Photo: Overlaet / Wikimedia
IPO makes a surprisingly small splashTesla lists on Nasdaq, selling 13.3m shares at $17 each to raise $226m. The share price increases 40.53% over the day to close at $23.89. By IPO standards, it’s nothing to write home about. It might be hard to imagine today, but at the time Tesla was having a rough ride of things, having almost gone belly up in 2008, mainly due to the global financial crisis.
The company was only saved at the last by a $50m investment from German carmaker Daimler (DAI) in April 2010 and another US$50m injection from Toyota (TM) in May 2010, just months before its IPO. That investment accounted for nearly a fifth of the company. Even with all that extra cash, plus the IPO money, it took years for the firm to pull itself out of its money worries.
Still, seeing Elon outside the NASDAQ building with his Roadster is pretty dope.