Tesla shares are down 28% since Elon Musk acquired Twitter, lagging behind other automakers.

Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk speaks at the grand opening of the Tesla Giga Texas “Cyber ​​Rodeo” manufacturing event in Austin, Texas, on April 7, 2022.

Susan Cordero | AFP | Getty Images

Shares in the electric car industry Tesla It’s down 28% since Oct. 27, when CEO Elon Musk bought it Twitter He appointed himself the “Chairman of Twit” or CEO of the social media company.

By comparison, like other major automakers strongholdAnd the GM And the Volkswagen Slightly higher since Oct 27, as is BYD, a Chinese company that makes electric cars and batteries. American electric truck maker Rivian has fallen by 27% over that period.

On Tuesday, Tesla shares closed at $160.95, down more than 4% for the day. It was a rare exception among growth-oriented tech stocks, which mostly rose after lower-than-expected early morning inflation data.

The decline in Tesla’s share price prompted the company’s largest retail shareholder Leo Koguan, a billionaire and founder of IT services company SHI International, to To call the company’s board of directors “to carry out shock therapy to revive share prices”, i.e. by buying back shares.

Musk sold billions of dollars worth of his Tesla holdings to fund the Twitter acquisition. Since taking over the company, Musk has regularly posted incendiary tweets, specifically targeting people with center-to-left political values, whom Musk often paints as enemies with the “awakened mind virus.”

For example, Musk took aim at National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director Dr. Anthony Fauci and transgender people, tweeting over the weekend: “Our pronouns are on trial / Fauci.”

The offensive tweet drew more than a million “likes” on Twitter, where Musk has more than 120 million followers listed, as well as criticism from the White House and from former CIA director John O. Brennan. White House press secretary Karen Jean-Pierre called Musk’s tweets about Fauci’s personal attacks “extremely dangerous.”

Christine Hall, founder of Nia Impact Capital and Tesla shareholder, wrote on Twitter Then: “There are a lot of issues with the Tesla brand, when the board of directors can’t rein in the CEO.”

Economic conditions and an aging product lineup also put pressure on Tesla’s share price. Tesla has delayed mass production of its sci-fi-inspired, trapezoidal pickup truck, the Cybertruck. Tesla originally showed off the design of the Cybertruck in 2019, at which time the company expected it to begin production in 2021.

The company held an event at its battery plant in Nevada to mark the start of deliveries of its all-electric semi-trailer last month. At the event, Tesla executives, including Elon Musk, made no mention of the previously touted self-driving technology, a million-mile warranty they had previously mocked, a price for the Semi, or any projected production numbers.

Tesla is also facing backlash over years of delays in offering self-driving technology through software updates to its customers’ cars. Customers are increasingly suing Tesla in the US to achieve refunds for self-driving systems they have already paid for and expected to be delivered.

Tesla markets its driver assistance systems such as Autopilot, Enhanced Autopilot, and full self-driving in the United States.

The California DMV is investigating Tesla and has officially complained that it has engaged in false advertising about these systems.

Some Tesla fans see the stock price drop as a buying opportunity, despite Musk’s newfound distraction with Twitter.

The company is ramping up production at a new auto assembly plant in Austin, Texas, and another plant outside Berlin. The company brought Shanghai manufacturing leader Tom Chu to the states to help mature the Austin process.

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