With Tesla underperforming this year, it’s getting harder for Musk to convince investors
Elon Musk has a selling target of 20 million cars a year by the end of the decade, twice as much as the current global leader Toyota Motors sold in 2019.
Tesla’s operating margin is at around 15%, and if it remains the same it would make around $125 billion of pre-tax profit.
And that’s taking into consideration an average selling price of $45,000 for a unit, $10,000 lower than its price today.
That’s a safe bet since competition is expected to heat things up and introduce cheaper models in the next ten years.
Unfortunately, all these figures are only true on paper, for the electric-vehicle leader’s market capitalization has tumbled from $1 trillion in late 2021 to half that in 2022.
What was once seen as a tech revolution is starting to resemble more to a tech utopia, suggesting that investors are more motivated by how many cars can Musk deliver. Which was less than 1 million units last year.
So no wonder that Tesla’s shares dropped 55% this year, with an even wider slide recently, underperforming its peers General Motors and Ford.
Of course, Tesla’s valuation always seemed hard to square with its core business of delivering cars.
And since money become more expensive with higher interest rates, investors have lost their taste for tech, and started looking for safer bets.
Google-owner Alphabet’s shares, for example, have fallen 34% this year so far, twice the drop in the S&P 500 Index, according to Reuters.
If Musk meets its selling target, in ten years time Tesla’s shares could be worth roughly twice what they are today.
But the market is saying that Musk will deliver only half as many cars as he hopes, so his business plans resemble more and more to a fantasy.