One of the most important weeks of the year is running for Tesla - the final spurt to the new year, in which you want to shine with the strongest possible sales figures at the beginning. The car manufacturer is going full throttle when it comes to this: Generous discounts for those who make quick decisions, stocks are increased by selling former test vehicles and delivery dates are brought forward, sometimes by several months. Everything for the balance sheet. The star has information about such a delivery. The car was actually supposed to be delivered in the second quarter of 2023, but it was spontaneously brought forward to the end of December 2022 - with the request that the vehicle be picked up from the dealer as soon as possible. The question, however, is how to get an appointment for approval so quickly.
Elon Musk, known for the intense pressure he puts on the workforce at the company he's focusing on for the moment, took a surprisingly long time this year to push Tesla employees to perform at their best. Just yesterday he sent a message to his subordinates to save what can be saved. The late timing won't be coincidental, as Musk had been spending an above-average amount of time on Twitter over the past few weeks, threatening his reputation as a business genius even among fans (read more here).
The email, which “CNBC” has in its entirety, has the subject “The final days” – meaning the last days of the year, not those of the automaker. Musk begins with an acknowledgment: "Just a quick note to thank you for your hard work and congratulate you on an excellent job in 2022!" Musk is not wrong to thank him, because his company's business results are quite impressive. Each quarter, Tesla was significantly ahead of the previous year, delivered more cars than before, and generated decent profits overall.
And yet: While the company's share price was around 350 US dollars in January, a Tesla share certificate costs just under 120 US dollars today. Since September, Tesla's enterprise value has been in a remarkable downward spiral that was not seen in the former prodigy of the stock market. The causes are manifold.
Elon Musk's behavior since his Twitter takeover and the little time that the multi-entrepreneur devotes to the automaker is particularly serious. Musk also sold countless shares to finance Twitter, which of course also affected the price. But regardless of the trials and tribulations of the tech billionaire, Tesla is in a difficult environment.
The company's technical advantage over the competition is shrinking, and sales of new cars are falling worldwide for economic reasons. And China, Tesla's most important market, is causing a variety of problems, such as the effects of the relaxation of the corona virus on the population. The Chinese New Year is also approaching, when the lines at Tesla's Shanghai plant will stand still for almost two weeks.
In parallel, investigations are underway in the USA that take on the reliability of Tesla's driver assistance systems and just before Christmas a court in California prohibited Tesla from using the term "Full Self-Driving" (FSD, 'fully self-driving') because the vehicles just can't do that.
For Musk, however, it is initially about the bare numbers. In his email he continues: "With many vehicles only arriving at the last minute, we must make every effort to deliver our vehicles to the customers who have ordered them before midnight on December 31st. In addition, any additional car that we Being able to produce and deliver on time is important."
Like a mantra, he repeats a sentence that veteran employees of the company can recite in their sleep: "Please give your all in the next few days and, if possible, help with the delivery. It will make a real difference!" Give it your all – the workforce has always had to give it their all at the end of a quarter in recent years.
For those genuinely worried about their company, Musk concludes his email with advice: "Don't let the madness of the stock market worry you too much. If we continue to perform excellently, the market will recognize it. Over the long term, I firmly believe that Tesla will be the most valuable company in the world!"
Tesla's market value is currently 355 billion US dollars - and thus still far above all other car manufacturers. Toyota takes second place with 185 billion US dollars, the most important German manufacturers Porsche, Volkswagen, Mercedes-Benz and BMW together have a market value of around 289 billion US dollars.
Measured by the number of units, Tesla is still valued very highly, especially since the company currently lacks a product that could somehow meet the high expectations that are in this course. It won't be the Cybertruck, a roadster ready for series production is also still a long way off.
Maintaining its high valuation should be a challenge in itself - becoming the most valuable company seems unrealistic right now. Tesla would first have to multiply the current price in order to climb back to the previous all-time high. At its peak, the company was valued at $1.2 trillion. Apple was worth over $3 trillion at the same time - and is still over $2 trillion today after the "stock market madness."