The names of the car manufacturer Tesla Y Elon Musk they were not always hand in hand. It’s hardly ever mentioned, but this company wasn’t born under the eccentric tycoon who today seems too busy trying to keep his Twitter adventure from being a complete flop. Tesla was founded in 2003 by engineers Martin Eberhad and Marc Tarpenning who created a company that wanted to dedicate itself to doing something that nobody was doing at the time: electric cars.
Shortly after, Musk joined, providing abundant financing to a company that, from the beginning, was dedicated to innovative and disruptive projects. His first vehicle, the roadster, did not come out until five years later, in 2008, with a range of more than 300 kilometers (something unprecedented in the market) and luxury car features. With it, Tesla began to lead the way for others in the world of electric vehicles. But Tesla was much more than just electric cars, as he also pioneered the development of autonomous driving.
Over the years, Tesla’s innovative projects led by Elon Musk led the company to be the most valuable car company in the world, far from its competitors such as the Volkswagen group or Toyota, with a quote that exceeded one trillion dollars for the first time in 2021. Their numbers were more typical of big technology companies like Apple or Amazon, but that seems to be over.
Since it peaked in November 2021, when it reached $409.97 per share (1.23 trillion capitalization), it has lost almost three quarters of its value. Today, whoever wants to take Tesla must put something less than 335,000 million dollars. Despite the fact that it is still the most valued car in the world, this abrupt decline brings it much closer to the values of the rest of its motor competitors.
Twitter and other causes
One of the main reasons for this Tesla debacle is the eccentric adventure that Musk started when he said he wanted to take over the social network Twitter. After several twists and turns, the tycoon ended up acquiring Twitter last October for 44,000 million dollars, a company that, according to Musk himself, loses four million dollars a day. To finance said acquisition, the tycoon had to progressively sell a significant part of his stake in Tesla, some 40,000 million dollars. This produced falls in the value of the company because a large part of Tesla’s value on the stock market is due to the confidence that investors have in Elon Musk.
A sign that Tesla’s value is based on the figure of the tycoon and his innovative projects is that, today, the company is worth about 100,000 million more than the entire Volkswagen group (which if the value of its ordinary, preferred shares and that of the Porsche brand is added, is worth more than 234,000 million euros), an automobile company that has 122 production centers around the world against six for Tesla, and that registered the last year about 8.88 million cars in 2021, only behind the Japanese Toyota, which delivered 10.49 million vehicles. Tesla that year did not sell a million cars, although it comfortably led the sales of electric cars in the world.
But this, The one of the electric vehicles, is no longer a race in which Tesla is alone. All the big car companies in the world, such as VW, Toyota, Stellantis, General Motors, Ford and Chinese companies such as BYD or Geely, focus all their energies on making the costly transition to electric vehicles, a field in which their sales are increasing at a rapid pace. .
This will take market share away from Tesla, which In an important market like Europe, it is no longer a leader in the sale of electric. That place in the first half of 2022 went to the Volkswagen group. After him appears Stellantis, which relegated Tesla to third place, according to data from Dataforce cited by Automotive News Europe. These manufacturers, moreover, are not focusing only on the assembly of electric cars, but are expanding their roots to businesses such as battery manufacturing or software development.
Another of Tesla’s great promises is 100% autonomous driving, something that has not yet been achieved. The company had promised to deliver fully autonomous vehicles by the end of 2022, a goal it failed to meet. In turn, Musk stated last year that by 2023 there will be a million 100% autonomous Teslas circulating on the roads, a promise that he has already made several times and that until now he has never been able to keep.
Although the company has not yet achieved the full level of autonomy, its Autopilot system does have a certain degree of autonomy. This system has generated several fatal accidents in recent years. One of them happened in the US in 2019, when a man driving a Tesla with Autopilot mode crashed his vehicle into a Honda Civic, causing the death of its two occupants.
In October, Reuters reported that Tesla was being investigated by the US Department of Justice for claiming that its cars can drive themselves when this is not true. Said investigation was launched after more than a dozen accidents in which the Autopilot system was involved.