In a sea of bad news for Elon Musk, there was good news: Tesla is starting to make its own electric bread.
The Cybertruck, as it is called, is a futuristic-looking pickup truck that was first announced in November 2019.
The Tesla CEO’s unveiling of it showed what has now become a meme when he was trying to show how hard a car’s windshield is. A steel cannonball was thrown at the window, which instantly shattered, and Musk, “God damn it,” burst into ghastly laughter.
Getting the first model off the production line is an important step, but it’s not likely to be a production-ready model. It is most likely a car called a “production target” that is used to test whether or not a production line is ready.
Musk said at a shareholder meeting in May that the Cybertrucks will be ready by September.
“We will start production later this year and we will start delivering cars later this year,” he said of the electric vehicle, which was set to cost $40,000.
“I would say a quarter of a million a year is a reasonable guess and it could be 500,000, I don’t know,” Musk said, warning that his price could go up.
“We’re going to make what people want and can afford. It’s going to be hard to make it affordable because it’s a new car, a new manufacturing method, so in the grand scheme of things relative to the production rate of all the other cars we make, it’s going to be small. But still pretty cool.”
It comes as Tesla directors will return $735 million in bonuses after a US court ruled this week to settle a shareholder dispute that was filed in 2020. This affects Musk, his brother Kimball, Oracle co-founder Larry Ellison and other directors who will not receive compensation for their presence on the board for three years ending in 2023.
According to the lawsuit, “Musk installed his family and friends on the company’s board of directors and through them controls and exercises control over Tesla and can avoid independent oversight of the manner in which he operates the company.”
“In contrast, with Musk’s blessing and vote as a director, Defendant Directors have consistently paid themselves unfair and generous damages every year from 2017 through 2020. Their treacherous and self-interest damages awards have deprived the company of tens — if not hundreds — of millions of dollars.”
This ruling — in which the board members deny any and all claims of wrongdoing, error, liability or harm of any kind — does not affect Musk’s extraordinarily generous $56 billion bonus deal. This is also the subject of another shareholder lawsuit that began last year and is expected to be concluded soon.
Musk sold $15 billion in Tesla stock and used more as collateral for his $44 billion purchase of Twitter, which he admitted is now worth half of that.
Like US advertising revenue crashed by 60% In five weeks this year, one investor has reduced his stake by 47%.
“We take fair evaluation very seriously and definitely should have written that down [Twitter] ARK Investment Management CEO Cathy Wood told The New York Times Wall Street Journal.
Tesla shares are down 65% from the time he announced his plans on Twitter through December. That’s a whopping $705 billion, according to Forbes. It also cost Musk his title as the richest person in the world, though I’m sure it’s not heartbreaking to be number two.
But he now has at least one e-truck on the road, and that buckeye could have a lot to do with Tesla’s stock rebound — if Musk can carry out his optimistic forecast. See Twitter for details. DM