Shares plummeted more than ten percent.
Grasping for Straws
Tesla shares have plummeted by over ten percent on Thursday, following an earnings report that fell short of expectations and warned of continued slowdowns for the rest of the year.
According to the report, Tesla reported a revenue growth of just three percent in Q4 of last year, with auto revenue bumping up a mere one percent year over year. Tesla also noted that volume growth "may be notably lower" in 2024 compared to last year.
Meanwhile, Tesla CEO Elon Musk has done his best to make things even messier by "blackmailing" investors, threatening to spin off artificial intelligence projects away from his EV maker unless he's able to claw back a 25 percent stake.
During this week's call, Musk tried to reassure investors that a mass-market, low-cost EV is still coming, despite a lack of prototypes or even public renders.
But despite admitting that he's "often optimistic regarding time," he admitted that such a vehicle likely won't get built until the second half of 2025.
Tesla's woes are also a sign that the company's recently released and long-awaited Cybertruck hasn't exactly ignited renewed optimism. It's clear by this point that the EV maker has had to make major compromises to bring Musk's pet project to life, with the truck disappointing fans with a lackluster range.
Then there's the carmaker's thus far failed efforts to realize its vision of "Full Self-Driving," which has been caught up in a government investigation following incidents involving emergency vehicles.
Instead of focusing on cars, Musk is now trying to spin Tesla as an "AI/robotics company," during this week's call — yes, exactly the same things he's threatening to spin our as a separate venture if he can't get a billion-dollar payout.
In other words, Musk, who has already been accused of abandoning the company following his disastrous takeover of Twitter, seems more concerned about his control over the company than he is about its long-term success.
With the company's core business of selling cars seemingly on the back burner, the mercurial CEO is now trying to spin up new sources of revenue in the form of "general purpose" bipedal robots that are meant to take care of "repetitive or boring tasks" — which even Tesla has seemingly yet to identify.
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