Author Topic: Tesla Has Long Been a ‘Hope’ Stock. But What Are Investors Hoping for Now?  (Read 791 times)

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Offline Elderberry

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Wall Street journal By Tim Higgins 2/10/2024

Elon Musk’s changing personal priorities raise questions about where the automaker is heading

Tesla has long sold investors on the hope of a brighter future. But these days, what is that mission?

At first, the electric automaker, founded 20 years ago, was to many investors and fans the answer to climate change, especially as Elon Musk showed the world that a zero-emissions vehicle could be both cool and profitable. At one point, he said helping to reduce the risk of catastrophic climate change is why Tesla “exists.”

As time wore on and others began chasing the EV dream, Musk positioned Tesla as something else, a gateway for artificial intelligence to move from the digital world into the physical world through driverless cars and then humanoid robots.

Tesla, it seemed, was full of limitless potential.

But lately, Musk sounds less urgent about climate change. And last month, Musk threw investors a curveball. That bright AI future he has talked about for so long? Well, he doesn’t feel comfortable doing it at Tesla after all—unless he gets another giant payday that gives him more control.

Such threats immediately raise an existential question for Tesla investors: What makes the company special in a world where Musk doesn’t see climate change as a near-term risk and is wavering on his commitment to pursue AI at Tesla?

These days, Musk’s tone has changed. He has been advocating against corporate values such as ESG, or environmental, social and corporate governance, that aim to encourage investments in the kinds of goals he once touted. “ESG is the devil,” Musk has said.

And Musk appears to be distancing himself from some of the green movement that had so embraced him years ago. At a public event in December, Musk described the alarm over climate change as “somewhat overblown in the short term,” and called for a pragmatic approach to reducing carbon over the “next several decades.”

“Some of the environmentalist movement…is part of what is causing people to lose hope in the future,” Musk said. “So, I guess what I’m trying to say is that we should have hope in the future. We should be excited about the future, and we should build the future we want.”

« Last Edit: February 11, 2024, 02:21:02 pm by Elderberry »