At its inception, Tesla was seen as the underdog of automakers. It was the first company solely dedicated to manufacturing electric cars, headed by a group of young engineers and entrepreneurs. Last year, the company made over $21 billion and sold around 260,000 vehicles.
Years ago, critics thought Tesla would never succeed because it was trying to market electric powertrains to a market where the gas-operated motor was the norm. Now, people don’t want Tesla to prosper due to the questionable business practices of its current manager.
Tesla faces bankruptcy
Earlier this year, the company was heavily in debt. Tesla went through a dry spell on the stock market, and its shares didn’t increase in value for weeks. Because of this, the company was expected to pay almost a billion dollars directly from its own stock.
Despite a huge chunk of the company’s revenue getting wiped out, this event didn’t seem to phase Musk. The CEO said Tesla was still on track to build a new manufacturing plant in Shanghai. He also teased some new cars set to go into production.
Tesla reports big earnings
This was not the first time Tesla has faced financial trouble. In the final quarter of 2018, Tesla had to pay $180 million on behalf of its newly-acquired Solar City company, but it opted to put off immediate repayment, subjecting itself to higher interest rates.
Tesla also consistently overshot its potential earnings, meaning it has less to spend on new plants and engineering research. Despite this, Tesla had a pretty successful third quarter of 2019. The company reported that it made $6.3 billion, which caused its shares to rise by 20%. Plus, the Shanghai factory was complete.
New Tesla cars in the works
With its finances currently stable and the completion of the new plant, Tesla is on track to create several new vehicles. Musk promised a crossover version of the Model Y would release sometime next summer. It will have an electric driving range of 300 miles.
Tesla will also introduce trucks into its lineup. A Tesla Semi Truck will have a limited release in Europe, with production expected to begin in 2021. Tesla wants to release its first pickup truck by 2022. The company claims it will have an electric driving range of 500 miles and an unbelievable towing capacity of 300,000 pounds.
Is Musk fit to run Tesla?
While the company currently enjoying success, its future is always up in the air due to its CEO. Musk has done many things over the years in an attempt to keep his business afloat.
Last year, a man named Walter Huang died in his Tesla Model X while using the Autopilot feature. This caused many consumers to question the reliability of Tesla’s technology. Rather than take responsibility for the car his company produced, Musk shifted the blame toward the deceased customer.
Musk’s impulsive nature is a detriment to Tesla. In February, he announced that Tesla would close most of its stores in the U.S. to cut costs, then changed his mind.
He also tried to implement a price cut for the Autopilot upgrade to attract new customers but he didn’t refund the customers who’d already paid a lot out of pocket for the extra feature. After numerous complaints, he apologized, but only time will tell if he’s learned from his mistakes.