After Chaos Year 2018: Tesla boss Elon Musk remains under pressure

From the “production hell” to record profits: The year 2018 brought Tesla boss Elon Musk to the limit, but ultimately he could still show it to his critics. But that does not mean that the coming year will be a victory round for the dazzling tech billionaire – despite the recent successes, there are still a number of challenges.

Tesla delivered with his hopes Model 3 one of the biggest dramas of the past financial year. “Tesla was facing a serious mortal danger during the startup of the Model 3 production,” musk recently admitted in a TV interview.

In late October, Musk’s hour of triumph struck

The euphoria around the Model 3 was huge. But with the cheaper electric car, the Tesla pave the way to the mass market, Musk would have almost taken over. One lost “how crazy” money and stood shortly before the bankruptcy, admitted the Tesla boss in retrospect.

The enterprising tech entrepreneur, who also operates the space company SpaceX and the tunnel boring company Boring Company in addition to Tesla, seemed at times to be annoyed at the end. Musk snapped at financial analysts, mobbed Twitter, sneaked in front of the camera and publicly argued with the Securities and Exchange Commission.


After all the escapades and problems with the Model 3, however, Musk’s hour of triumph struck in late October. Tesla made a surplus of $ 312 million in the third quarter – the biggest gain in the history of the company, founded in 2003, which had previously been able to end up with only two-quarters of a year in the black.

Musk described the results as “truly historic” and investors were also relieved after the record loss of $ 718 million in the previous quarter. “You should never get complacent, so we have to keep working hard – but I think we’re over the mountain,” Musk told the tech blog recode in November.

Previously, the 47-year-old star entrepreneur, who is compared by his fans to business legends such as the late Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, revealed surprisingly bleak insights into his soul life. It was “the most difficult and painful year of my career,” Musk said New York Times, “It was unbearable.” Sometimes he can only find peace with a sleeping aid.

Meanwhile, Musk, who already described himself as manic-depressive, seems to be on top again. Tesla’s share price has been booming for weeks – on the stock market, the electric car maker is worth a good $ 58 billion, significantly more than the US market leaders General Motors and Ford. But even if the skeptics are silent for now – Tesla and Musk continue to have their hands full to do.

Also interesting: Elon Musk: Soon cooperation with Daimler?

How Tesla is

Whether the company can operate profitably in the long term must first be seen. The latest quarterly figures were marked by special factors, in addition Musk remains the Model 3 for 35,000 dollars still guilty.

So far, there are only more expensive versions with correspondingly higher profit margins to buy. To make matters worse, the state e-car premium of $ 7,500 per car in the US 2019 expires.

And even though the mass production of the Model 3, repeatedly described by Musk as a “production hell”, has got off to a good start, Tesla has to show that it can consistently deliver high volumes. In addition, Musk continues to struggle with the consequences of his failed plan to remove Tesla from the stock market.

Because the SEC concluded that Musk was misrepresenting when he considered Tesla’s privatization on Twitter in August, the head of the company had to pay a fine and preside over the board of directors. However, investor actions continue with allegations of market manipulation. In addition, the SEC determines on the basis of the suspicion of misleading forecasts for the Model 3.

Musk is constantly talking about new adventurous ideas

And while Musk never tires of emphasizing that Tesla does not need new cash injections, the capital base remains relatively thin, with about $ 3 billion in cash and cash equivalents, given the high level of spending. According to financial services Bloomberg, $ 920 million in convertible bonds will mature on March 1 should the stock price fall below the $ 360 threshold by then.

Despite all the challenges Musk is constantly talking about new adventurous ideas. On Tuesday, in Los Angeles, with the Boring Company, he demonstrated a test track of a high-tech tunnel system that would one day revolutionize the tough traffic in US cities. Finally, there is something that could solve the “goddamn traffic problem,” musk triumphed.

That the Tesla boss is back in good spirits, as the fart app points out – a new hidden feature for Tesla cars. The US blog Electrek According to the fart simulation is to be installed as part of a software update on the on-board system and make on request or when flashing Pupsgeräusche.

One thing is certain: even in 2019, Elon Musk should not cause boredom.

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