Musk Facing a Full Plate

Musk Facing a Full Plate

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by Gill D on June 20, 2022

This was a very difficult week for Elon Musk in what has been a very tumultuous year for him. As investors continued to sell off their tech assets, Tesla's stock, which has lost over half of its value since peaking in November, fell more than 6% in the past week.

Tesla is dealing with internal issues that aren't helping. This week, they were connected to concerns about the company's cutting-edge driver-assistance systems' safety. A number of employees at SpaceX, Musk's other major business, were let go after they distributed an internal memo that purportedly called the CEO and founder a distraction and an embarrassment. The Federal Aviation Administration on Monday issued a lengthy to-do list for SpaceX's Starship rocket program before it can be granted a launch permit near Boca Chica, Texas. There are a multitude of issues weighing on the Tesla’s CEO plate.

What’s happening with Twitter?

In April, Musk made a contract to pay $44 billion for the social networking firm, but since then, he has openly criticized the deal, raising doubts about whether it will actually go through. According to comments posted on the internal chat board, Musk addressed Twitter employees in a video address on Thursday for the first time. It seems that the prospective owner was making an attempt to build a relationship of transparency and trust with the employees who would be working for him.

According to a person who saw the communications but asked to remain anonymous because they were meant to be secret, internal reactions after the meeting showed that employees were still left with questions and concerns.

Problematic data regarding driver-assist crashes

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration also said last week Wednesday that Tesla vehicles accounted for nearly 70% of reported crashes involving advanced driver-assist systems since last June. Data provided by the U.S. safety agency said the electric cars were involved in 273 of the 392 accidents cited in the report, which included data from 11 automakers.

Still, the NHTSA said the data doesn’t have proper context and is only meant as a guide to quickly identify potential defect trends. NHTSA Administrator Steven Cliff said at a media event, "I would advise caution before attempting to draw conclusions based only on the data that we’re releasing. In fact, the data alone may raise more questions than they answer.”

Price hike on Teslas in the US

When Musk announced plans in June to cut 10% of Tesla’s workforce, the CEO said he had a “super bad feeling” about the economy. For consumers, those concerns are turning into sticker shock. Tesla hiked prices for all car models in the U.S. this week as the auto industry continues to grapple with supply chain issues, inflation and economic uncertainty.

The highly popular Tesla Model Y

 

Growing Competition

By 2024, Volkswagen is expected to overtake Tesla as the world's largest manufacturer of electric vehicles. According to a Bloomberg Intelligence report, the German powerhouse will surpass Tesla in 2024 by doubling output to more than 2 million battery-powered vehicles. The majority of rivals, including Ford and General Motors, lacked a motivation to catch up as rapidly as Volkswagen, the survey claimed, due to rising battery costs and constrained production capacity. Therefore, it is likely that Tesla will continue to be the top EV seller in the US for some time.

Volkswagen's manufacturing and sales are concentrated in Europe, and according to Bloomberg, the corporation will grow more in China than in the United States. Less than 10% of VW's total sales last year came from the US.

In the first quarter of 2022, Tesla, which joined the EV revolution early, sold 75% of all electric vehicles in the US. However, rivals are gradually eroding some of their market share by utilizing their size. Ford has taken the lead with its 200,000-order Ford F-150 Lightning, and GM is moving forwards with its next-generation "Ultium" batteries. Porsche, a manufacturer of sports cars, is another option under consideration for Volkswagen.

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