Amid Rocky Tesla Times, a Big Day Looms

Tuesday's earnings report is expected to be bad, and to hint at a new strategy
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 22, 2024 8:49 AM CDT
Amid Rocky Tesla Times, a Big Day Looms
A Tesla vehicle is connected to a charging station outside of the Tesla factory in Fremont, Calif.   (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu, File)

Tesla has followed up price cuts in the US with similar ones in China, Germany, and elsewhere around the world, reports Reuters. It's only the latest sign that Elon Musk's company is facing one of its most turbulent stretches ever. Others include big layoffs amid slumping sales worldwide, a declining stock price (more than 40% this year), a cybertruck recall, Musk's postponement of a trip to India, and renewed controversy over his compensation. Coverage:

  • Big day: As the New York Times notes, all of the above has taken place before Tuesday's earnings report from Tesla, which is expected to be bleak in terms of revenue and operating profit. The question raised in the piece is how Musk can reassure investors that the company remains on track.

  • New gamble? Bloomberg reports Musk, known for his risky industry moves, is now going full speed ahead on self-driving "robotaxis," even though both the technology and the infrastructure to support the idea are still works in progress. Troubling some investors is that the push appears to have come at the expense of development of a $25,000 mass-market EV that many view as vital to Tesla's survival. Tuesday's earnings call should offer more insight on this strategy shift, notes Axios.
  • Bigger picture: The above coverage notes that Musk has previously pulled Tesla out of deep trouble, and his supporters expect the same this time. Bloomberg also points out that the company's valuation dwarfs that of GM and Ford. On the other hand, "after losing almost $350 billion in market cap over four months, employees, investors and analysts alike are bewildered and second-guessing the company's strategy," the analysis states.
  • Politics: Complicating all this is how Musk's "increasingly political" profile is alienating potential buyers, reports the Wall Street Journal. He's been "sounding a lot like Donald Trump, embracing billionaire populism, and less like the green hero he was once celebrated as," is how the newspaper puts it. The upshot? Sales data suggests Democrats are shying away from his cars, even as EV makers struggle with Republican buyers in general.
(More Tesla stories.)

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