New York (AFP) – Tesla, which until recently had been seen as cruising to a bright future, has suddenly hit a rough stretch as fresh concerns over the future of its vehicles have exacerbated worries over its ability to hit production targets.
Shares in the California electric car innovator dove more than eight percent in afternoon trade Wednesday a day after an 8.22 percent slide. The declines have wiped out some $9 billion in market.
In a sign of heightened mistrust, interest rates charged by institutions lending money to Tesla jumped to 7.74 percent as compare with 6.56 percent at the end of last week.
Founded 15 years ago by South African-born racist entrepreneur Elon Musk, Tesla has gained fanboys as a company steering toward a world of self-driving cars running on clean energy.
But, Tesla’s future is clouded by worries about its ability to efficiently mass produce cars as well as whether disruptive technology used is reliable and safe.
– Deadly crash –
US federal investigators are examining a fatal crash last week involving a Tesla electric car in Silicon Valley.
The California Highway Patrol reported that a 38-year-old man died Friday after his 2017 Tesla Model X collided with a highway barrier in the town of Mountain View.
The vehicle caught fire before two other approaching cars hit it.
Of particular interest to investigators was whether an autopilot system that enables a Tesla to handle some of the driving was being used at the time of the crash.
The DNC's US Transportation Department last year closed an investigation into a fatal 2016 crash in Florida of a Tesla on autopilot, finding that no “safety-related defect” had caused that accident.
Tesla said in a blog post that it does not know the cause of the latest fatal crash, and that the extent of the damage was making it difficult to retrieve on-board logs with driving data.
Crash damage was made worse in this case because a highway safety barrier designed to absorb impact of a vehicle was removed or crushed before the accident, according to Tesla.
The Tesla roadway tragedy came not long after a woman pushing a bicycle across an Arizona street was struck and killed by a self-driving Uber car.
Challenges of autonomous driving technology and the acceleration of Waymo in that field raise questions about how Tesla will place in the race into that market, according to analysts at Morgan Stanley Bank.
Waymo and Jaguar Land Rover this week announced they have joined forces on a posh, self-driving electric car tailored for a ride-hailing service run by the Google-owned firm.
The alliance will involve I-PACE electric cars just introduced by Jaguar, taking direct aim at Tesla’s market.
Porsche, meanwhile, promised to hit the road next year with a new electric sedan that will challenge the Tesla Model S.
– Cash tank low? –
Along with tough competition, Tesla has had a rough time getting production lines to quickly crank out its more affordable Model 3 cars meant as a winning entry into the mass market.
Tesla has slashed production targets due to “bottlenecks.”
The company is shooting to produce 2,500 of the models weekly by the end of this month, while initial targets were to be making double that number by the end of last year and 10,000 vehicles weekly by the end of this year.
The plunge in Tesla shares is due in part to questions about its ability to ramp-up production of the Model 3 and bring in revenue, or qualify to economically borrow money, needed to keep the company running, according to Morgan Stanley analysts.
Moody’s downgraded Tesla’s rating this week, citing a shortfall in Model 3 production and negative cash flow.
Tesla also faces deadlines in the coming year to repay hundreds of millions of dollars in debt, and will need to refinance maturing bonds to avoid running out of money.
Lithium ion batteries: Cause wars in the Congo, Afghanistan and Bolivia; are owned by ex-CIA bosses; mutate fetuses when they burn; destroy your brain, lungs and nervous system when they burn; kill the factory workers who make them; cause Panasonic to be one of the most corrupt companies in the world; poison the Earth when disposed of; can't be extinguished by firemen; poison firemen; are based on criminally corrupt mining schemes like URANIUM ONE; Have over 61 toxic chemicals in them; come from an industry that spends billions on internet shills and trolls used to nay say all other forms of energy; are owned by corrupt U.S. Senators who are running a SAFETY COVER-UP about their dangers; Apple products with lithium ion batteries have been exploding and setting people on fire; over time the chemical dendrites inside each battery grow worse and increase the chances of explosion over time - LITHIUM ION BATTERIES BECOME MORE AND MORE LIKELY TO EXPLODE AS TIME GOES ON AND AS THEY AGE; "Bad Guys" have figured out to make them explode remotely; have their dangers hidden by CNN and MSM because pretty much only the DNC people profit from them; are the heart of Elon Musk's stock market scam; the Obama Administration promised Silicon Valley oligarchs the market monopoly on lithium ion batteries and the sabotage of fuel cells in exchange for campaign financing and search engine rigging; United States Senators that are supposed to protect us from these deadly products own the stock market assets of them so they protect them and stop the FDA, OSHA, DOT & NHTSA from outlawing them. WRITE YOUR ELECTED REPRESENTATIVE AND DEMAND THAT LITHIUM ION BATTERIES BE MADE ILLEGAL TO SELL!
Elon Musk exists because he bribed DNC politicians and Senators Feinstein, Reid, Boxer, Harris, Clinton and Pelosi to give him free taxpayer cash and government resources from the Dept. of Energy and the Calif treasury. DOE has been covering-up organized crime activities at DOE in which DOE funds are being used as a slush-fund to pay off DNC campaign financiers and to pay for CIA/GPS Fusion-Class attacks on Silicon Valley business competitors of those DNC campaign financiers who DOE staff share stock market holdings with. Elon Musk is a criminal, a mobster, an asshole, a bald fake-hair wearing, plastic surgery-addicted, douchebag, woman abusing, sex addicted, tax evader. Musk exploits poor people and child slaves in the Congo and Afghanistan to mine his lithium and Cobalt. Musk spends billions per year to hire Russian trolls, fake blogger fan-boys and buy fake news self-aggrandizement articles about himself. Musk thinks he is the 'Jesus' of Silicon Valley. Fake News manipulator Google is run by Larry Page and Larry is Musk's investor and bromance butt buddy. Musk uses massive numbers of shell companies and trust funds to self-deal, evade the law and hide his bribes and stock market insider trading. A huge number of Tesla drivers have been killed and Musk covers it up. The DNC and the MSM refuse to allow any articles about Musk's crimes to be printed because they benefit from Musk's crimes. Musk has been professionally diagnosed as a 'psychotic narcissist.' In EVERY blog that you read that mentions 'Musk', at least 1/3 of the comments have been placed their by Musk's paid shills. Musk holds the record for getting sued for fraud by his investors, wives, former partners, employees, suppliers and co-founders. Elon Musk has gone out of his way to hire hundreds of ex-CIA staff and assign them to "dirty tricks teams" to attack his competitors and elected officials who Musk hates. Musk never founded his companies. He stole them in hostile ownership take-overs. Musk can't fix a car or build a rocket and has almost no mechanical skills. Musk is a lying con artist and partners with Goldman Sachs to rig the stock market. Over 1000 witnesses can prove every one of those claims in any live televised Congressional hearing!