Tesla CEO Elon Musk took to the stage at the company's latest Investor Day to announce his newest "Master Plan" for the electric-car company, but it left investors cold. Here's everything you need to know:
What is the plan?
Musk's master plan seems surprisingly short on car-related information. While the company did announce it would be building a new factory in Mexico and teased that there may be a new car on the horizon, Musk's "presentations failed to break much new ground," according to The Washington Post. Spectators were at least hoping for "major product updates, like with [Tesla's] long-awaited Cybertruck," NPR says.
Musk explained some advancements to Tesla's manufacturing process without offering many specifics. He plans to have the front and back of the car assembled separately, which will supposedly halve the production costs, NPR reports.
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The main focus of Musk's presentation, though, was moving the world away from fossil fuels and towards sustainable energy. "I really want today to be not only about investors who own Tesla stock but anyone who is an investor in Earth," Musk said. "Earth can move to a sustainable economy and will do so in your lifetime."
He emphasized how Tesla would play an active role in "re-powering the grid with renewable fuels," CNBC writes. Musk pushed his goal of a "fully sustainable Earth," but this "appeared to have little to do with Tesla directly," the Post adds.
Musk said new Tesla vehicles will not use rare earth materials. That's "good for a company that has always touted its green credentials," NPR says, "but Wall Street would have preferred a new car."
What was the reaction?
The plan didn't go over well with investors. Tesla's stock price dropped "markedly." "The markets were primed for a big announcement, perhaps on something like a more affordable new model," Russ Mould, investment director at AJ Bell, tells Reuters. Analyst at Wells Fargo Colin Langan adds: "The timeline and cost details were limited, and the event lacked a Tesla-like surprise."
Some viewed the presentation as a recruiting event rather than a pitch to investors. "It was all about efficiency, getting more for less," Vincent Pluvinage, chief executive of OneD Battery Sciences, tells The New York Times. While Musk's goal of a sustainable world is "admirable," Edmunds automotive journalist Jessica Caldwell tells MarketWatch, investors were looking for "a clear path toward sustainable profits in a high-growth market."
What's next for Tesla?
"Tesla had a very, very strong year," Vince Palomarez of S&P Global Mobility tells NPR. "They have produced a product that is attractive to a consumer ... They lowered their price. They're also getting access to the tax credit again."
The company and its products continue to be popular among consumers, with two-thirds sticking to the brand after purchasing it, NPR continues. However, The EV market is growing and many other companies are looking for a piece of Tesla's pie. Investors worry "Tesla has been too slow to introduce new vehicles and respond to carmakers," per the Times.
Chinese automaker BYD has overtaken Tesla sales in China, which is Tesla's largest market. BYD is also working to expand into a number of European countries. Musk holds that the demand for Tesla EVs is still strong, but analysts at Mizuho Securities noted that the newer electric vehicles being made by competitors could be "dilutive" to its market share.
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