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History of TSLA

Important events

Apr 052021

Pedal to the metal

Tesla 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.
Mar 262021

The Elon Effect

Tesla 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.
I think there is a >0% chance Tesla could be the biggest company
Mar 242021

Crypto for a car

Elon 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%.
Mar 222021

Price target shoots for the moon

Tesla 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?
Mar 102021

Tesla jumps 20% on China sales

After 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.
Feb 222021

Elon tweet wipes BTC/Tesla value

Elon 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.
That said, BTC & ETH do seem high lol
Feb 082021

Tesla tests the crypto waters

In 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.
The future currency of Earth
Jan 272021

Profits are up, shares are down

Tesla 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
Jan 062021

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.
Jan 022021

So close - Tesla squeaks to 500k target

Tesla 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.
Dec 212020

A wild ride into the index

Tesla 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.
Dec 082020

Capital raising catapults Tesla into top tier

Tesla 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.
Nov 242020

Market cap crosses $500bn

Tesla 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?
Nov 162020

S&P500 inclusion sends Tesla through the roof

It’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.
The first Tesla taxi in NYC just hit the streets as the city’s only electric yellow cab. The plan is for hundreds more to join it. 🚕🔋🗽 https://businessinsider.com/first-tesla-model-3-yellow-cab-taxi-nyc-hits-streets-2020-11 $TSLA #Tesla #EV #TeslaTaxi
Nov 062020

Teslaquila, it makes me happy

Elon 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.
Teslaquila coming soon …
Oct 212020

Tough crowd in Q3

Tesla 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.
Oct 202020

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.
FSD beta rollout happening tonight. Will be extremely slow & cautious, as it should.
Oct 052020

Raising the roof

The 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.
Hey @elonmusk why didn't you tell us that Tesla sells convertibles now? Because the roof of our brand new model Y fell off on the highway
Sep 102020

The power of a new product

Rumors 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.
Model Y is still too big for some cities in Europe. What about smaller European style hatchback?
Sep 082020

S&P 500 snub

Tesla 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.
Aug 312020

Stock split resets price

Shares 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.
Aug 172020

Musk blings the big bucks

It’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.
Jul 222020

4 profitable quarters in a row

Tesla 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.
Jul 202020

Dominance in Chinese EV market drives shares to record high

Between 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.
Jul 052020

Shorting the shorters with short shorts

Tesla 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.
Limited edition short shorts now available at http://Tesla.com/shortshorts
Jun 302020

A good day for tech stocks

Investors 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.
Jun 012020

One small step for Musk

Over 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%.
May 092020

Getting back to work

Tesla 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.
May 012020

Elon tweet wipes $14bn off Tesla value

Tesla 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.
Tesla stock price is too high imo
Apr 292020

Musk doesn’t like lockdown

On 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).
Apr 132020

Surprise price surge

On 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.
There’s a lot to talk about just on the battery front, so, yeah, just that. I guess we could answer some powertrain questions in Q&A.
Mar 192020

Musk makes noise over Covid-19

Mr 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.
The coronavirus panic is dumb
Mar 122020

Coronavirus continues

March 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.
Market was bit high anyway, so due for a correction
Mar 092020

Saudi slump sees stock slide

Plunging 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.
Mar 022020

Coronavirus hits production

Infection 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
Feb 272020

Chinese market cracks

Tesla 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.
Feb 192020

Another day, another (2) billion dollars

Tesla 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.
Feb 032020

We have lift-off. Oh, wait

Elon 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.
Jan 312020

Stock starts to soar in Tesla’s biggest ever bull run

Here 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.
Jan 292020

Shooting for the stars

Tesla 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.
Jan 132020

Tesla gonna talk

Musk 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.
Teslas will soon talk to people if you want. This is real.
Dec 302019

Tesla delivers first Chinese-made cars

The 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
Nov 212019

Tesla smashes up Cybertruck at launch

Yeah, 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.
Nov 122019

Coming soon: Giga Berlin

Tesla 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.
Might be an indoor/outdoor rave space on the roof
Oct 242019

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.
Sep 262019

Major software update sees big tech tie-ups

Tesla 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...
Aug 282019

Tesla launches new insurance product

Tesla 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.
Jul 252019

CTO says bye-bye

July 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.
Jun 172019

Musk deletes Twitter. Jk.

Musk tweets that he’s deleting his Twitter account. Media goes mad. Spoiler alert: he doesn’t.
May 162019

Big year for buying firms

2019 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.
May 032019

Major losses lead to loss of faith

Early 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
Apr 242019

Large losses in Q1

Tesla 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.
Mar 182019

Musk tweets against the rules, says SEC

The 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.
Mar 152019

Sexy new Model Y unveiled

Tesla 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
Jan 302019

Q4 carries on the rally

Prices 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.
Jan 182019

Back-to-back profits

In 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.
Dec 282018

Larry Ellison joins the board

Tesla 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
Nov 072018

Robyn Denholm appointed Chairman

Tesla 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%.
Oct 262018

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.
Oct 242018

Model 3 on the rise

Tesla 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.
Sep 122018

Global finance head steps down

Tesla 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.
Sep 072018

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
Aug 072018

Musk tweet explodes into regulatory firestorm

In 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.
Am considering taking Tesla private at $420. Funding secured.
Aug 012018

Elon is excited about the future

Tesla 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?
Jun 202018

Whistleblower pays the price

Tesla 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.
May 022018

Record-breaking report

Tesla 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.
May 012018

Nikola sues Tesla on truck patents

Hydrogen 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
Apr 162018

Temporary halt of Model 3 production

Tesla briefly pauses production of its Model 3 electric car, claiming a long waiting list and a bottleneck at the factory.
Apr 012018

April Fool’s fail

Mr 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,
he joked.
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.
Elon was found passed out against a Tesla Model 3, surrounded by "Teslaquilla" bottles, the tracks of dried tears still visible on his cheeks. This is not a forward-looking statement, because, obviously, what's the point? Happy New Month!
Mar 172018

Shares drop over 8% following fatal crash

A 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.
Feb 082018

Q4 stock plunge

Despite 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.
Feb 072018

Tesla bleeds as SpaceX soars

Just 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
Jan 292018

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
Dec 122017

Pepsi orders 100 Tesla trucks

In 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.
Nov 162017

Tesla’s Semi revealed

The 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
Nov 162017

Sexy new Roadster rolls onto the stage

Tesla 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.
Nov 082017

Pushing up production with Perbix

Tesla 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,
it said.
Nov 012017

Q3 losses

Shares 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.
Sep 222017

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?
Aug 312017

Tesla’s hyperloop pod breaks records

Did 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.
Just received verbal govt approval for The Boring Company to build an underground NY-Phil-Balt-DC Hyperloop. NY-DC in 29 mins.
Aug 022017

Stock surge after Q2 results

Boosted 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.
Jul 072017

Model 3 hits the mainstream

The 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
Jul 032017

Heavy shorting as bubble bursts

Tesla’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?
Jun 142017

Strong first half results in record share price

Tesla 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.
May 032017

Tesla gets into the repairs gig

In 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
Apr 112017

AutoNation CEO takes a swing at Tesla

Mike 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.
Feb 222017

CFO leaves, Q1 earnings drop

CFO 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.
Jan 192017

Autopilot saves lives, says NHTSA

Tesla’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.
Dec 172016

Elon promises tunnels to end traffic hell

Elon 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.”
Traffic is driving me nuts. Am going to build a tunnel boring machine and just start digging...
Nov 172016

SolarCity merger sees shares bounce

Tesla 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.
Nov 082016

Tesla goes Deutsch with Grohmann acquisition

Tesla 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.
Oct 262016

Profit time with Q3 results

In 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.
Sep 192016

Hackers gonna hack

Researchers 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,
they said. 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.
Aug 032016

The end of a wild quarter

Tesla 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.
Aug 012016

SolarCity announcement

Tesla 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
Jun 302016

Fatal crash sends stock into freefall

A 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.
May 182016

Fundraising to fuel Model 3 production

Tesla 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.”
May 042016

Busy day for Q1 results

In 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.
Apr 112016

Mario Kart Easter egg discovered

Tesla 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.
Mar 312016

Model 3 wins big to push back price

Generally 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
Feb 102016

Strong faith for Q4 figures

The 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.
Feb 032016

Lesson: don’t piss off Elon Musk

I 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.
Jan 092016

Go park yourself

In 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,
he said.
Nov 192015

Things go wrong in Hong Kong

Tesla’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.
Nov 032015

Q3 numbers boost share price

Shares 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.
Sep 292015

Self-drive sends stock soaring

On 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
Aug 202015

Stock sale pressures price

A 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.
Aug 052015

Delivery guidance drama in Q2

Q2 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.
Jul 172015

Maximum Plaid

Tesla 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
Jun 092015

Battery swapping idea dead in the water

At 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.
May 062015

Q1 exceeding production plans

Manufacturing 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.
May 042015

Elon becomes used car salesman

Tesla quietly launches a pre-owned vehicle program offering older versions of its Model S for lower prices than new models.
Mar 302015

Elon tweet boosts market cap

In 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.
Major new Tesla product line -- not a car -- will be unveiled at our Hawthorne Design Studio on Thurs 8pm, April 30
Feb 202015

Tough earnings call

Tesla 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.
Feb 112015

Delivery shortfall in Q4

Despite 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.
Jan 132015

"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
Dec 192014

Battery swaps, upgrades

Tesla says that it'll finally start offering battery swaps for the Model S as a quicker alternative to charging. In other news, it also launches a massive upgrade for existing Roadster owners, which makes them all very happy.
Nov 192014

Model X launch delayed

Originally 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.
Nov 052014

A quiet Q3

Announced 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.
Oct 102014

Auto-parking, all wheel drive and South Park

Tesla 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"
Sep 192014

Ring ring… who’s there? It’s your car

The 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.
Jul 312014

Few surprises for Q2

There 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.
Jul 302014

Panasonic power

Tesla 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
Jun 122014

Share and share alike

In 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.
May 072014

Attack is the best form of defence

Sales 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.
Mar 192014

New Jersey ban

Musk 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
Feb 192014

Shares shift into high gear

Tesla 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.
Feb 142014

Shares rocket on record Q4 sales

While 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.
Jan 272014

Inroads made into premium auto market share

In 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.
Dec 182013

Tax break boosts confidence

The 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.
Nov 182013

Model S accidents send shares crashing

Three 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.
Nov 052013

A questionable Q3

After 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.
Sep 152013

Short-sellers get stung

Tesla’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).
Aug 072013

Q2 news

Elon’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.
Jul 162013

Goldman Sachs gives a thumbs down

Goldman 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.
May 082013

Confirmed profit pushes price

Tesla 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
Apr 012013

Coming soon: profit

Stock 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.
Mar 252013

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.
Really exciting @TeslaMotors announcement coming on Thursday. Am going to put my money where my mouth is in v major way.
Feb 202013

Q4 figures see shares drop

Tesla’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.
Feb 082013

New York Times 'disaster' drive

It’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,
he insisted. 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.
Dec 122012

European distribution center opens

Tesla 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.
Nov 052012

Q3 earnings point to better things

Tesla’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.
Sep 242012

Superpowered supercharging

Tesla 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.
Aug 112012

Limited edition red Model S launches

Tesla 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
Jul 252012

Q2 earnings

Tesla 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.
Jun 222012

New models, little impact

The 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
May 082012

Q1 earnings

Tesla 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.
Apr 082012

Abu Dhabi dumps Tesla stock

Abu 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.
Mar 062012

Want to rent a Tesla? Now you can

Tesla 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.
Feb 152012

Year round up

Tesla 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.
Dec 312011

No more Roadsters

Tesla 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.
Photo: Wikimedia
Nov 012011

Q3 results are in

Tesla 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.
Oct 112011

Panasonic partnership

Panasonic (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.
Sep 212011

First showroom opens in the Netherlands

Tesla opens a new showroom in the Netherlands. This electric vehicle gig is going global.
Sep 162011

Tesla launches Hong Kong service center

Tesla launches a service center in Hong Kong, bringing the Roadster to the South Asian market.
Central Hong Kong. Photo: Florian Wehde / Unsplash
Aug 032011

“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.
Jun 032011

Capital raising

Tesla 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.
Apr 112011

Design studio gives customers what they want

Tesla 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.
Feb 152011

Strong Q4 results

Revenues 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.
Dec 162010

Toyota tie-up

Tesla expects to get about $60m in revenue from building the electric guts of the upcoming RAV4 sport-utility vehicle for minority stakeholder Toyota (TM). Market likes the news. Stock up 4.09%.
Photo: Toyota
Sep 302010

First showroom opens in France

Vive La France! Share price closes at $20.41.
Sep 292010

Tag Heuer World Tour ends in Paris

Tesla 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.
Musk said.
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.
Aug 042010

First loss since launch

Tesla 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.
Jul 012010

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
Jun 292010

IPO makes a surprisingly small splash

Tesla 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.