many years, Elon Musk Paid $0 for traditional advertising while maintaining it mostly on my own Tesla — and himself — front and center. With a constant stream of tweets, TV and podcast appearances, and livestreams of product events, the electric car maker and his billionaire CEO ruled the news his cycle, occasionally going viral.
Musk is truly a hype machine, and his breakthrough knack meant that when Tesla succeeded in executing, its valuations skyrocketed into the stratosphere, something no automaker had ever been able to reach.
Last year, Musk was in the news like never before, and for some troubling reason. His Offer to Acquire Twitter, his attempt to retreat, and the sowing of chaos after he finally took over. All the while, Tesla underperformed one of his most important metrics, the number of electric vehicles delivered to customers, for three straight quarters.
To make matters worse, the hype machine that kept Tesla popular is collapsing. On the last earnings call, Musk predicted a “magnificent” year-end. Nothing dramatic about cutting prices and production in China or offering unprecedented discounts in the US, but thousands of vehicles still fell short of expected deliveries and production resumed. It far exceeded sales.
Tesla’s production outstrips deliveries The company built 34,423 more vehicles than it sold in the previous quarter
Musk may have been clearer about the challenges facing Tesla in October. Instead, he flagged a tougher macro environment only after making “magnificent” comments. He said he saw a path to becoming a worthy enterprise.
He then left it up to CFO Zachary Kirkhorn to effectively lower this year’s guidance by warning that Tesla expects to “slightly” increase deliveries by 50% in 2022. For the juice sale at the end of the year.