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Decline and fall: Tesla under Musk

๐ŸŒˆ Abstract

The article discusses the recent challenges faced by Tesla, once seen as an unstoppable leader in the electric vehicle (EV) industry. It examines the company's slowing sales, growing inventory of unsold vehicles, and the growing concerns about CEO Elon Musk's leadership and distractions.

๐Ÿ™‹ Q&A

[01] Tesla's Challenges

1. What are the key challenges facing Tesla according to the article?

  • Slowing sales and growing stockpiles of unsold vehicles
  • Crisis of confidence in Elon Musk's leadership due to his erratic behavior and political controversies
  • Critical projects like the Cybertruck stumbling out of the gate
  • Musk's increasing distraction with his acquisition of Twitter (now X)
  • Musk's controversial compensation package and weak corporate governance
  • Alienation of Tesla's progressive customer base due to Musk's political views and behavior

2. How has Tesla's market share and stock price been affected by these challenges?

  • Tesla's market share and stock price have declined, suggesting the company's best days may be behind it
  • The company's stock has fallen over 40% since the start of the year

3. What is the evidence of Tesla's growing inventory of unsold vehicles?

  • In the last quarter, Tesla produced 433,371 vehicles but delivered only 386,810, a significant production-delivery gap
  • Satellite imagery shows vast parking lots full of unsold Teslas at the company's Gigafactory in Austin and the Chesterfield Mall in St. Louis

4. How has Musk's acquisition of Twitter (X) affected Tesla?

  • Musk's acquisition of Twitter for $44 billion is seen as a catastrophic mistake that has distracted him from focusing on Tesla's core business
  • Musk spends his days posting memes and getting into flame wars on his "vanity platform" instead of addressing Tesla's challenges

[02] Musk's Leadership and Tesla's Future

1. How has Musk's leadership and behavior impacted Tesla?

  • Musk's ego, penchant for overpromising, picking needless fights, and chasing techno-utopian whims have become Tesla's biggest liability
  • His controversial political views and behavior have alienated Tesla's progressive customer base
  • Musk's inability to restrain his worst impulses and focus on Tesla's core challenges threaten to undo the company's success

2. What does the article suggest Tesla needs to do to evolve and remain competitive?

  • The focus needs to shift to the "blocking and tackling" of efficient manufacturing, build quality, and customer support, rather than pursuing moonshot projects like robotaxis and AI
  • Tesla can no longer rely on its early adopters and Musk's cult of personality to drive growth

3. What is the overall outlook for Tesla's future according to the article?

  • Unless something changes, Musk and his enablers will keep running Tesla into the ground
  • Tesla's fundamentals, from demand to profitability to public sentiment, are all headed in the wrong direction
  • The article suggests that Tesla's rise may be one of the great business narratives of the 21st century, but its founder's hubris and inability to get out of his own way may lead to its downfall.
Shared by Daniel Chen ยท
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