Tesla’s stock falls after Elon Musk reveals his ‘master plan’ … CEO Elon Musk, has a “master plan” for his company and for the future of electric vehicles and autonomous driving. After more than a week of teasing about its existence, Elon Musk revealed Part 2 of his “master product plan” for Tesla on Wednesday evening. Or, as he calls it, “part deux.” -LATimes
A visionary and his master plan. Do we believe it?
We previously wrote about Musk HERE:
Elon Musk and Tesla Are the Face of Bubbling Stock Market, but Maybe Not for Long … It is true, that Elon Musk is considered by many to be a true visionary, but in our view, few visionaries turn their dreams into reality with $4.9 billion in government support.
That’s according to the LA Times last summer.
SolarCity, SpaceX and Tesla all received massive funding injections. Musk wasn’t appreciative of the estimates, calling the report “incredibly misleading and deceptive to the reader.”
But according to the Times, Tesla alone received $2.3 billion – and that was last year.
Musk’s companies make electric cars, sell solar panels and launch rockets into space. But none of them make any money. And these past weeks, as The Wall Street Journal pointed out, Musk has seen his publicity sour.
The souring had to do with Musk’s proposal to buy solar-panel manufacturer SolarCity Corp. – a move criticized by Tesla analysts and followers.
Not much later it became public knowledge that a Tesla Model S in self-driving mode crashed with a fatality.
We wrote, “Of course, none of this will probably put a dent in Musk’s progress so long as Tesla’s stock stays up.”
To try to guarantee that, Musk has announced a new “multiyear, four-pronged strategy.”
[The strategy] includes new kinds of Tesla vehicles, expanded solar initiatives, updates on Tesla’s “autopilot” technology and a ride-sharing program.
Tesla’s stock Thursday morning was trading at $222, down about 3%. While the plan is bold and futuristic, financial analysts see it as vague with no hard timelines, a distraction from here-and-now concerns such as getting the upcoming Tesla 3 through the assembly line and onto the market.
Some surmised that the timing of the announcement was a way for Musk to distract from recent headlines that have raised concerns about Tesla’s autopilot function and its troubles hitting vehicle-delivery targets.
Is it possible that Musk has made his fabulous projections one time too many?
Karl Brauer, an analyst at Kelley Blue Book: “It’s sadly not a very unique or original plan. What he’s saying is, ‘I’m going to have autonomous vehicles that are purely electric driving around serving people’s transportation needs.’ Well, every automaker has already envisioned that, and many are already working toward it.”
Michelle Krebs, senior analyst at Autotrader: “As is typical, Elon Musk has laid out a grandiose plan for the future with no time frames and few specifics, and no mention of how and when Tesla will be profitable.”
The Times article rebuts criticism however. It points out that “Musk has emerged as the 21st century’s most audacious, best-known living entrepreneur, replacing the late Steve Jobs as the business world’s leading icon.”
The article cites his cars and his new company, SpaceX, as evidence of Musk’s genius. Also that NASA has given Musk tremendously profitable contracts. (We’re tempted to count that as yet another government giveaway, though admittedly most might not.)
Anyway, the article doesn’t get into Musk’s government funding. Most mainstream articles on the “most important entrepreneur since Steve Jobs” don’t.
And here, in a single quote, is the reason why Musk has such avid followers and, increasingly, determined detractors:
In his new master plan, Musk said, “We must at some point achieve a sustainable energy economy or we will run out of fossil fuels to burn and civilization will collapse. … The faster we achieve sustainability, the better.”
Good Lord. There’s plenty of energy in the world. Civilization is more likely to collapse from fedgov wars and overspending than a lack of “fossil” fuels – which are probably in part geological anyway.
Musk wants to achieve sustainability for the world (in part by traveling to Mars) but he might want to achieve it for his own companies first.
If by some chance you are interested in investing in a Musk production, please understand that he has started very few of his ventures, not even Tesla.
His primary business method seems to be to find companies favored by US federal government policies. He then buys the companies, or invests in them, and approaches fedgov for money.
As an entrepreneurial tactic, it’s reprehensible. As practical matter it seems to have worked for him thus far.
But as we pointed out in our previous article, Musk may finally be reaching the end of his ability to survive on PR and government resources.
His business, at least some of them, are so big that they will actually have to rise and fall on the revenue they produce. And the stock market will stay up only for so long.
There are increasing elements of an obvious “hustle” about Musk’s various endeavors. People are starting to notice. When the stock market finally collapses, Musk will face significant challenges.
Conclusion: It will become clear, then, whether his businesses are real or imaginary, or possibly both.