One of Elon Musk’s favorite terms is “bankruptcy.” He likes to point out that Ford Motor F +0.17% and Tesla TSLA –0.40% are the only American auto firms that haven’t gone bankrupt.
In a recent interview with the Tesla Owners of Silicon Valley Club, he used his favorite term several times. Investors may be alarmed by this term. Tesla stockholders will be outraged, claiming that such statements should prompt the company to issue a press announcement. This really isn’t that big of an issue.
On Wednesday, a video of the almost two-and-a-half-hour interview went viral. There were a lot of interesting quotations in this article. “The very hard aspect for a vehicle business is how to achieve revenue beyond expenses so that you don’t go bankrupt,” Musk stated early in the talk. “A car company is frantically wanting to go bankrupt at any given moment,” Musk said later.
Ride-sharing was the subject of the introductory question. On a side note, Musk said that Tesla’s current focus is not on ride-sharing, but rather on increasing plant utilization. Texas and Germany are the latest locations to welcome Tesla’s new manufacturing facilities. Due to a Covid-19 lockout, Tesla’s Shanghai facility has been experiencing production delays recently.
This led to an in-depth discussion about supply networks. Elon Musk, Tesla’s CEO, described the last two years as “an utter nightmare” due to supply-chain disruption. When it comes to keeping manufacturing running and paying employees, “our first worry is that we don’t go bankrupt.”
That term keeps popping up. Then there were remarks regarding the new Texas factory. According to Musk, “it is losing an enormous amount of money right now.”. “Both facilities in Berlin and Austin are huge money furnaces right now. Berlin and Austin are losing billions of dollars right now,” said one executive.
That’s a lot of information to take in at once. Early in the conversation, such was the case. It’ll all be rectified in a matter of days, according to Musk.
Tesla is not on the verge of bankruptcy, according to Barron’s. A free cash flow forecast of $11 billion for 2022 and $40 billion for 2022, 2023, and 2024 Wall Street is expected.
The problems of the sector are reflected in Musk’s remarks. Covid-19 lockdowns and a scarcity of chips have disrupted the whole automotive industry for months. It’s not just affecting Tesla. In recent months, Toyota Motor TM (TM), for example, has repeatedly reduced its 2022 output projections.
It’s not only Tesla that has difficulties; it’s the whole industry. It has to get two additional plants up and running quickly to meet the increasing demand. Currently, Tesla has all the overhead of a new plant—employees, utilities, components supply—without enough vehicles to generate sales. Clearly, this dynamic is weighing heavily on Musk’s mind.
Investors may wish to consider the influence on profit margin projections of this dynamic. The first-quarter operating margin was 19.2%. In the fourth quarter of 2021, just 14.7% of the population was able to access broadband internet. There is a general consensus among Wall Street experts that profits will drop by 14.6% in the second quarter.
Also brought up in Musk’s wide-ranging discourse were issues such as birth rates, complete self-driving technology, and advertising. Tesla is contemplating advertising in an effort to get more favorable press attention. Musk is a firm believer that editorial choices are influenced by advertising.
This might be considered good coverage of the interview. Bears could be annoyed by it. But Tesla and the car industry have plenty to worry about without devoting too much attention to the interview, for both bears and bulls. Competition, increasing rates of interest, battery materials, and Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s attempt to acquire Twitter all contribute to a volatile market (TWTR).
Despite all the discussion, the stock doesn’t seem to be reacting to it. Tesla’s stock was up 2% in Thursday’s premarket trade. SPX –0.13 percent and DJIA –0.15 percent futures gained 0.5 and 0.3 percent, respectively, in the S&P 500 Index