The electric car maker founded by engineer guru, Elon Musk, has been the darling of Wall Street, but the pot-smoking and bad boy Musk is now seeing reality catch up to his company. Sure, there was a strong end to 2018 for Tesla, as it seemed somewhat immune to the carnage of Wall Street – note that some tech stocks were down 20 to 40 percent from their highs in September and October of 2018. December was one of the worst months in stock history with the Dow, S&P 500 and Nasdaq all falling hard before Christmas.
Mr Musk even taunted the Securities and Exchange Commission with tweets regarding his investigation on misconduct. Remember when he tweeted out that he might take the company private in August 2018? That is a dangerous statement for a person who owns stock in a company – it can be illegal in some cases. Sure, he was investigated.
But the key is that Tesla delivered fewer vehicles in the final 3 months of 2018 than analysts forecast. Tesla delivered 90,700 vehicles which was three times the number delivered in the same period a year earlier but less than the 92,000 that was forecast.
Mr Musk does have his work cut out for him in 2019, but he has pulled out winners in the past. The trick this time will be if he can make his magic work in a US and global economy that is slowing down. And the slowdown could come in mid to late-2019. More on this developing story in the coming weeks and months.