Tesla Shares Tumble 9% After Worrisome Elon Musk Interview

Tesla Model X 100d 1

Tesla shares capped their worst week since 2016, tumbling 8.9 per cent - the most in two years - to close at $US305.50, a far cry from Musk's $420 buyout proposal.

The company is under pressure to prove it can increase the production of Model 3, its lowest-priced vehicle, amid production challenges and cash burn, as it seeks to become a mass-market automaker. The slump took losses in the last eight trading sessions to almost 20pc or £10bn.

The tweet set off a firestorm and caused the stock to jump, with the remark about funding also exposing Mr Musk to legal risk.

He told investors: 'Tesla feels like it is entering the final stage of its life'.

"I thought the worst of it was over - I thought it was", said Musk. But I was not on weed, to be clear'. "Weed is not helpful for productivity", he told the Times. There's a reason for the word "stoned".

Recent developments put board members in a hard position because Musk, who entered Tesla as a major investor and built the company into a force that has changed the perception of electric cars, is the company's public identity. "They're not dumb guys, but they're not supersmart". 'They're OK. They're smartish'.

Elon Musk has given an extraordinary interview during which he burst out in tears, asked for someone to take his job as Tesla CEO and admitted he relies on Ambien to sleep.

"This past year has been the most hard and painful year of my career", he told The New York Times in a recent interview.

'It's not been great.

"If you have anyone who can do a better job, please let me know", is the Elon quote the interview ends with.

The Times cited people familiar with the situation as saying Tesla has been trying to find another top level executive to help relieve some of the pressure on Musk. They can have the reins right now'.

It is not clear if that investigation will be complemented by one into Mr Hansen's complaint, which alleges that the company - on Mr Musk's direction - surveilled its employees. He is human, however, and it is becoming increasingly apparent he is overstretched'.

"Am considering taking Tesla private at US$420".

Karl Hansen made the whistleblower complaint to the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), according to his lawyer Stuart Meissner.

Amid mounting questions about such a deal, Musk said that Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund had expressed interest in participating.

Musk, who envisions sending tourists to the Moon with his private firm SpaceX and has unveiled ambitious plans for high-speed trains and other projects, is recognized as one of the most influential innovators in the United States. The upcoming meeting with the SEC will reportedly be focused on how Musk announced and handled the aftermath of his tweet last week, when he stated that funding was "secured" for Tesla's possible privatization at $420 per share.

It is said to have issued writs to a parts supplier as part of its enquiries.

The delays in the ramp-up were attributed to a range of problems with production capacity and suppliers.

Analysts at UBS this week questioned the profitability the Model 3, in a report that said Tesla could lose $6,000 on every base model.

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