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Auto: Tesla set to set course after decline in deliveries

Auto: Tesla set to set course after decline in deliveries

What will Tesla build next: a cheap electric car or a self-driving robotaxi? Company boss Musk seems to be putting everything on the robotaxi card. Quarterly figures could provide more clarity.

Until recently, Tesla seemed hard to stop, but now the electric car pioneer is under pressure. Deliveries fell in the last quarter for the first time in years, sales and profits are likely to follow, and cheaper competition from China is on the rise. How does company boss Elon Musk react? More clarity about the future strategy is expected today when fresh quarterly figures are presented.

The past few weeks have been turbulent for Tesla. After the decline in deliveries, Musk announced the reduction of more than one in ten jobs. This means that at least 14,000 jobs will be lost – according to media reports, it could also be around 20,000. A recall of the new “Cybertruck” pickup truck revealed that just under 4,000 vehicles of the model were built from November to April. Over the weekend, Tesla once again lowered the prices for some variants of its models.

All of this has an effect on the share price, with which Musk’s fortune also fluctuates. The share fell on Monday to its lowest level since January 2023. It has lost more than 40 percent of its value since the beginning of the year. However, Tesla was still worth a good $450 billion – around nine times more than the car giants Ford and General Motors, which each weigh around $50 billion.

Musk: Tesla only “between two waves of growth”

A few months ago, Musk insisted that Tesla was only “between two waves of growth.” A new vehicle platform should therefore play a crucial role, with which future Tesla cars could be produced much more efficiently.

On this platform, Musk promised a significantly cheaper model – as well as a self-driving robotaxi without a steering wheel or pedals. He recently announced the launch of the robotaxis at the beginning of August – but said nothing about the cheaper car with people behind the wheel, which some market observers consider to be the most important product in competition with electric cars from China.

At the same time, Tesla usually takes several years between the presentation of a new model and the start of production. And with the current state of the art in the “Autopilot” assistance system, it seems questionable how quickly Tesla could put a truly autonomous car on the road.

“Autopilot” yes, but only as an assistance system

Tesla drivers in the USA can currently test use an advanced “Autopilot” version called “Full Self-Driving” (FSD). Contrary to what the name suggests, FSD does not make a Tesla a self-driving car, but is still just an assistance system in which the driver must be ready to intervene at any time to take control. Tesla lowered the price of the FSD software from $12,000 to $8,000 over the weekend.

The financial service Bloomberg reported at the weekend that Tesla could also use the innovations from the new production methods to produce cheaper versions of the current bestsellers Model 3 and Model Y. Analysts are likely to drill down on Musk in the usual conference call after the quarterly figures are presented.

Source: Stern

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