Tesla's Biggest Supporters 'Are Pushing the Panic Button'

Elon Musk's Cybertruck gamble could be his company's undoing, per Mashable's Chris Taylor
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 24, 2024 11:10 AM CDT
Musk's Cybertruck Gamble Could Be Tesla's Undoing
Elon Musk is seen at the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures in Los Angeles on April 13.   (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP file)

During an October earnings call, Tesla CEO Elon Musk joked "we have dug our own grave with the Cybertruck." That's suddenly "looking like less of a joke for Tesla," with every Cybertruck in America recalled, dismal Cybertruck sales overall, and profits down 55%, according to Tesla's quarterly earnings report released Tuesday, writes journalist Chris Taylor at Mashable. Indeed, the direction Musk is taking Tesla "seems increasingly like whistling past the graveyard." With the much-anticipated Tesla Model 2 yet to appear, Musk looks focused on the $80,000-plus Cybertruck and a self-driving cybertaxi concept still to be unveiled. Meanwhile, "some of Tesla's biggest boosters are pushing the panic button," Taylor writes.

For Tesla to break even with the Cybertruck, whose research and development costs are sure to be very high, it would likely need to sell 300,000 units per year, experts say. Although more than 1 million people paid a $100 deposit for a Cybertruck, only 3,800 units have sold in the last four months, and there are plenty of issues with those. Yet "by all accounts, Tesla's gigafactories have been doubling down on Cybertruck production, all to meet the demand that the CEO insists is there," Taylor writes, adding Musk doesn't seem to have noticed that his "far-right lurch is demonstrably turning off the Democratic-voting would-be Tesla customers just when the company needs them."

"It is no exaggeration to say that Cybertruck sales are the battleground on which Tesla's entire future is being fought," Taylor adds, noting "the previously unthinkable—that Musk has no real plan, that Tesla might actually make more money in the long run without Musk and his pliant board at the helm—is gaining currency." However, Tesla's board intends to reward Musk with "a $50-plus billion stock package payday ... one that a Delaware judge already struck down as 'unfathomable,'" Taylor writes. A shareholder vote is to be held in June. "Can they, or anyone else, shock the EV maker's board out of its complacency?" Taylor asks. "If not, then Tesla may have made itself many thousands of large, angular, steel headstones for its corporate grave." Read Taylor's piece in full here. (More Tesla stories.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.