Update: Following the headlines below, and confirmation from Loup Ventures' Gene Munster that Tesla will miss Q1 Model 3 production numbers (not a huge surprise to most), TSLA shares are rolling over quickly in the pre-market..
And shares have plenty of downside to reconnect to bonds' version of reality...
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Submitted by Quoth The Raven
After two days of trading turmoil for Tesla, catalyzed by reports of an NTSB investigation into the company involving a fatal Model X accident, more details have emerged that are anything but reassuring for the company. An ABC News report that got very little media visibility, reported that the Apple engineer who died from crashing his Model X had previously complained about Tesla's autopilot feature.
The report goes on to say:
Walter Huang's family tells Dan Noyes he took his Tesla to the dealer, complaining that -- on multiple occasions -- the auto-pilot veered toward that same barrier -- the one his Model X hit on Friday when he died.
Involving the crash, Tesla has only made limited commentary, still not confirming as to whether or not auto-pilot was definitely engaged at the time of the crash. Instead, the company has come out in a blog post and blamed the lack of a highway safety barrier as the reason the crash was as severe as it was. From a March 27 Tesla blog post:
The reason this crash was so severe is that the crash attenuator, a highway safety barrier which is designed to reduce the impact into a concrete lane divider, had either been removed or crushed in a prior accident without being replaced. The following image shows what the barrier looked like when the crash attenuator was in proper condition, and what it looked like the day prior to the crash, based on dash cam footage from a witness of the accident who commutes daily past this location.
Regardless, shares of Tesla are down almost 50 handles in the last two days and the company's bond yields spiked significantly yesterday, indicating a seriously increased concern with the company‘s ability to generate cash or earnings with any type of consistency. Even CNBC had harsh words for the company yesterday, stating it could be an "easy move" for the stock to push under $200.
Finally, Moody’s had downgraded the company's credit rating on Tuesday afternoon of this week, which was a point of discussion during Quoth the Raven's most recent podcast covering Tesla's recent stock price decline, this fatal crash and the executive turnover at the company.
In addition, it also comes days after a 73% approval by shareholders of Elon Musk's insane new potential $55 billion compensation package, which has milestones based on metrics like market cap and revenue - data points that can grow and meet targets without the company ever technically needing to be profitable or cash flow positive.
This Tesla report comes just one day after a self-driving vehicle in San Francisco was ticketed for getting "too close to a pedestrian":
A self-driving car was slapped with a ticket after police said it got too close to a pedestrian on a San Francisco street.
The self-driving car owned by San Francisco-based Cruise was pulled over for not yielding to a pedestrian in a crosswalk. Cruise says its data shows the person was far away enough from the vehicle and the car did nothing wrong.
As for right now the future of Tesla - and autonomous driving - both look shaky.