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Chris Lau

Long Summary of Tesla's Situation

Summary of Tesla's situation: - Tesla currently has 2.67 billion in cash.

Original source: Link to the thread --

  • About 1.1 billion of this is in loans that need to be returned early next year
  • Around 40% of their cash in hand is from refundable deposits, from people who thought they would get a $35k car
  • Tesla cannot make $35k M3s at a profit(this is widely accepted, and even Tesla hinted at it), they'll lose money even making $42k cars. They need to make $50k cars to earn a decent profit
  • When asked in the earning call last week about reservations and how many people chose to cancel/take up their car once offered, Musk stunningly called the question "boring" and "boneheaded" and went on take questions from a youtuber for 20 mins. This was considered unprecedented and bizarre and stock dove.
  • Tesla is losing about 800-900 million a quarter, so they will run out of money without a cash infusion. Literally everyone knows that Tesla will need to raise capital this year.
  • Musk though, has insisted that Tesla will not need to raise cash because they will be "profitable by Q3 or Q4". Reminder that they lost 780 million in Q1, and even small profits won't be enough to prevent running out of cash. In order to make profits they need to sell 10,000 cars a week. They were supposed to produce 5000 cars a week in 2017. They have just now been able to produce 2500/week.
  • Even bulls say that Musk is bluffing and he will eventually raise cash this year. Moody's downgrade of Tesla to essentially junk stocks makes it harder to raise cash at good interest rates. Moreover, there is speculation and some evidence that the reason Tesla haven't already done so, is that they are under SEC investigation which would prevent them from raising cash without disclosing a lot of details harmful to them.
  • Tesla has access to standard credit lines for about 500 million, but they recently had to pledge their Fremont factory to just maintain these credit lines.
  • A lot of Tesla's financial executives have left the company - a red flag to many including Jim Chanos, who famously shorted Enron due to similar indicators. The head of autopilot left and the head of engineering left 'for vacation' last week.
  • Tesla's autopilot is complete false advertising. Their original autopilot was developed by MobilEye. MobilEye hated tesla's exaggeration of the system's capabilities and withdrew their supply after a person died using autopilot. Tesla responded that mobileye was jealous of Tesla's superior "Enhanced Autopilot" which has hardware capable of full self driving. It is universally accepted that enhanced autopilot is worse than mobileye's system right now, and in general both are basically lane-keeping system with AEB. Waymo and GM/Cruise are far ahead with their FSD capabilities than Tesla(again, widely accepted)
  • Part of Tesla's debt comes from bailing out Solar City, a completely unprofitable company loaded with debt that was run by Musk's cousins.
  • Starting from 2019 and 2020, all the major automakers are bringing out electric models. This will further damage Tesla's competitiveness, since they have the wost QA and build quality due to their haphazard and panicked development process

Despite all this, the market cap of tesla is larger than Ford, Fiat and nearly equal to GM. Their inflated market cap(which even Musk admits is inflated) is fuelling their funding which inflates the market cap even more as they lose more money trying to make bigger promises. A classic example of a huge bubble.

What does Tesla have to it's advantage? Tremendous marketing and brand value. They're probably inching towards or even surpassing Apple

What does Tesla have against it? The realities of running a business and actually making the products.

Credits - otalp @ Hacker News



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