Elon Musk currently has many reasons to triumph. But one thing should particularly satisfy the Tesla boss: The speculators he fervently hated, who bet on a stock crash, got a bloody nose.
In the first two trading days of the new year alone, the so-called short sellers accumulated a loss of around $ 900 million according to the analysis company S3 Partners. Since the end of 2018, it has cost a total of $ 3 billion in speculation.
After a stretch of bankruptcies, bad luck and breakdowns in the past, the eccentric entrepreneur can now boast a whole series of successes:
- The first week of trading in 2020 ended Tesla's stock at a record high of $ 443. The price has now passed the $ 420 mark at which Musk wanted to take his company off the stock exchange in summer 2018. Because he hastily claimed at the time that the financing was in a dry cloth, he got into trouble with the stock exchange regulator. The Californian electric car maker was not running smoothly for a long time. In the meantime, the stock dropped to $ 177. Today, however, the start-up from Palo Alto on the stock exchange is worth more than any of the three major car companies from Detroit. And even Volkswagen's lead in market capitalization no longer seems unachievable.
- Tesla delivered more than 100,000 vehicles in the fourth quarter, delivering what Musk promised to investors. In the year as a whole, 367,500 cars were shipped to customers all over the world, an increase of 50 percent compared to the previous year.
- The competition is left behind until further notice. According to the industry side InsideEVs.com, Tesla sold almost 160,000 of its Model 3 cars in America in 2019. The BMW i3 and the Volkswegen e-Golf each only managed a few thousand copies.
- Business is also rolling in China, the world's largest e-car market. Tesla hoisted its "Gigafactory 3" near Shanghai at record speed within 357 days. Shortly after Christmas, the first 15 of the cars built there rolled off the assembly line. It is a double premiere: for Tesla it is the first plant outside the USA, for Beijing it is the first company that was allowed to remain entirely in foreign hands.
Tesla boss Musk with the Tesla Model Y
- This year, Tesla plans to enter the booming SUV market with the Model Y.
- The presentation of the prototype Tesla Cybertruck was laughed at when the supposedly indestructible windows shattered in front of the audience. Nevertheless, according to Musk, 250,000 pre-orders have already been received for the pick-up-like run - the reservation also costs only $ 100.
- And Musk is even rid of the anger that his insult to a rescue diver as a pedophile had brought him. A Los Angeles court followed the Tesla chief's argument that the verbal abuse should not be taken literally and dismissed the helper's claim for damages in the cave drama of Thailand.
The latest results have calmed some Musk skeptics, who have been scared by the pop star of the economy with his overly full-bodied announcements in the past. A "Wall Street Journal" columnist was amazed that Tesla had recently achieved its goals, was a "masterpiece" that was equivalent to the spectacular escape of former Nissan boss Carlos Ghosn from Japan. If this reliability becomes a habit, Tesla will "become an interesting player and become a leading player in the industry."
"Musk has refuted many of his skeptics, including ourselves," said Wedbush Securities' Daniel Ives. The analyst raised his price target from $ 270 to $ 370. He is betting that the market for electric cars will grow rapidly worldwide in the coming years - and that Musk's vision will also pay off financially. According to Ives, the most important future markets are China and Europe.
Musk seems to see it the same way: The workers in the factory in Shanghai are to produce 3000 cars per week "in the near future". And he also has ambitious plans for the planned factory in Grünheide, Brandenburg. According to the planning documents, 500,000 Model 3 and Model Y are to be built there annually. The plant is scheduled to go into operation as early as July 2021 - a goal that appears extremely ambitious by German standards.
Market inflated by subsidies
Given the expected hurdles here and elsewhere, the new Tesla euphoria has not infected all experts. According to a survey by the Bloomberg news agency, more and more analysts are still advising to sell the stock than to buy it. After all, the company has yet to prove that it can generate sustainable profits.
There are many indications that things will not go so quickly: the stronger the e-segment grows, the more determined the competition will be. In addition, some observers fear that the market is artificially inflated due to the subsidy policies of many governments. Many buyers would only order an e-car because the state was helping. In the United States, the hefty tax rebates for Tesla buyers expired on January 1, 2020. It will now be seen whether demand continues.
Analyst Ives also has a few concerns. Whenever optimism had grown in the past "and it looked as if the sky was clearing over Fremont", a "negative variable" appeared a little later. According to him, it was the shortsellers who contributed to the rapid rise in prices in recent months: Because they had to buy in order to meet their obligations, this pushed the price up.
Musk himself is unusually careful. Wall Street Journalist John Stoll asked him if he would celebrate his triumph with a victory lap. The Tesla boss waved it off. He is afraid that this could charge him with "bad karma".