As always, Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk can’t be expected to color within the same lines as your average Tom, Dick or Jane CEO. He marches to the beat of a different drum, and according to Automotive News, that quirky rhythm just cost him $481 million last Tuesday when he addressed a crowd of journalists and insiders a little too candidly.
To recap, at the 2015 Automotive News World Congress on Tuesday, Elon Musk spoke on many things, from his feelings on the Chevrolet Bolt concept, to how the carmaker plans to increase market share even while so many obstacles line the road. In the process, while refusing (as always) to discuss exact figures, the renegade CEO admitted that sales of the Model S sedan were less than anticipated in China.
It is in response to this admission, posits Automotive News, that Tesla’s stock price very readily dropped 7 percent, or $13.75 per share. For Musk, who owns roughly, say, $6.8 billion in shares, that resulted in a $481 million penalty.
But while we don’t doubt that the China sales admission had something or other to do with the decrease in share value, we personally believe that the sudden plummet might have been more closely tied to the following statement he made: “If [the Nevada Gigafactory] doesn’t drive down the cost of batteries, I should be fired.” That sort of talk doesn’t exactly inspire confidence in the grander Tesla Motors plan of action.
Happily, we can report that Mr. Elon Musk has a healthfully realistic view on stock market turbulence. He said on Tuesday: “Short-term stock fluctuations don’t matter. We feel about speculators like they feel about us.”