Elon Musk says he’s not stepping down and four other takeaways from Tesla shareholder meeting

Tesla Inc.’s eventful, nearly two-hour-long annual shareholder meeting late Tuesday seemingly had something for everyone: Tesla’s stock was up nearly 4% on Wednesday. Here are the takeaways from the meeting:

Succession: ‘It ain’t so’

That was Chief Executive Elon Musk’s answer when he was asked about rumors he’d be stepping down from his post. Wedbush analyst Dan Ives said he believes Elon Musk will stay on for another five years “as Tesla TSLA, -1.54% navigates this next phase of its EV growth which we still view in the early innings.”

Tesla: Cybertruck

Musk confirmed that the Cybertruck will be on sale this year, although he said the production rate would be slow at first. Musk conceded that the futuristic-looking all-electric pickup truck might not be to everyone’s taste but said “We will make as many as people want them.”


Musk surprised shareholders by saying Tesla would advertise its products, which it has categorically refused to do for as long as it has been around.

It wasn’t exactly a firm commitment from the famously mercurial Musk, who said that “we will try advertising and see how it goes,” but Wall Street ran with it.

That’s a “major positive,” Wedbush’s Ives wrote, as “many parts of the Tesla product portfolio are undervalued by the Street.”

No advertising was the right strategy for Tesla in the past, but not as competition increases across the EV landscape, he said.

‘Special attention to JB Straubel’s election

Under some shareholder criticism, Tesla’s former chief technology officer, JB Straubel, was elected to the board, replacing Hiro Mizuno, who didn’t seek re-election. Pay special attention to that, Baird analyst Ben Kallo said.

Straubel departed Tesla in 2019 and went on to found a battery-recycling startup, the privately held Redwood Materials. Redwood is a “leader in materials recycling technology,” Kallo said.

“We view Straubel’s nomination to the [Tesla board] as a strategic addition that will further enhance [Tesla’s] technology leadership and speculate that it may be indicative of a future partnership in materials recycling,” the analyst said.

‘Leading the race’ in autonomous vehicles

Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla, has reiterated his optimistic views on the advancements of Tesla’s self-driving technology, expressing his belief that the company will achieve full autonomy this year. Musk’s comments highlight his continued confidence in Tesla’s progress toward developing a fully autonomous driving system.

It is important to note that Elon Musk has made similar statements in the past regarding the timeline for achieving full autonomy, and these predictions have not materialized within the specified timeframes. Therefore, while Musk’s enthusiasm and vision are noteworthy, it is prudent to approach these statements with a degree of caution and skepticism.

Tesla has been at the forefront of autonomous driving technology, and their Autopilot system has made significant strides in enabling semi-autonomous driving capabilities.

However, achieving full autonomy, where a vehicle can navigate any road condition without human intervention, remains a complex challenge with various regulatory, technological, and safety considerations.

Tesla’s approach to autonomous driving heavily relies on machine learning and data collected from its vast fleet of vehicles. The company continuously improves its software through over-the-air updates and gathers real-world data to enhance its autonomous capabilities.

While Tesla has demonstrated impressive progress in autonomous driving, the industry as a whole is still working towards refining and perfecting the technology.

It is important for investors and the general public to consider the broader landscape of regulatory approvals, safety standards, and technical challenges that must be overcome before the widespread deployment of fully autonomous vehicles.

In summary, Elon Musk’s repeated bullish comments about Tesla achieving full autonomy this year should be taken with caution given his previous predictions. While Tesla has made notable advancements in autonomous driving, achieving full autonomy remains a complex task with several factors to consider.

It is advisable to monitor the progress of Tesla’s self-driving technology and the broader industry developments to assess the feasibility and timeline of achieving full autonomy.

CFRA analyst Garrett Nelson acknowledges that Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla, has a track record of making ambitious predictions that may not always come to fruition.

However, despite this, Nelson believes that Tesla is currently at the forefront of the autonomous driving race and considers the recent decline in the company’s stock price as a favorable opportunity for investors to purchase shares.

Elon Musk is known for his bold statements and ambitious goals, often setting high expectations for Tesla’s future achievements.

While some of his predictions have not materialized within the specified timelines, it is important to approach them with skepticism and caution. Musk’s visionary approach has contributed to Tesla’s success in advancing electric vehicle technology and pushing the boundaries of autonomous driving.

CFRA analyst Garrett Nelson highlights that despite the uncertainty surrounding Musk’s predictions, Tesla remains a leader in the autonomous driving sector.

The company has made significant strides in developing autonomous technology, with its Autopilot system being one of the most advanced in the industry. Tesla’s vast fleet of vehicles also provides a valuable source of data for machine learning and improving autonomous capabilities.

Moreover, Nelson perceives the recent pullback in Tesla’s stock price as an advantageous opportunity for investors. A stock pullback refers to a temporary decline in the price of a stock, often driven by market sentiment or short-term factors. Nelson believes that the current dip in Tesla’s stock price presents an attractive entry point for investors who have faith in the company’s long-term prospects and its ability to dominate the autonomous driving market.

In summary, Nelson acknowledges the cautious approach needed when considering Elon Musk’s predictions, but he maintains a positive outlook on Tesla’s position in the autonomous driving race and considers the stock’s recent decline as a favorable buying opportunity.

Tesla shares are outperforming the broader equity index this year, up 40% , compared with the S&P 500’s SPX, -0.73% gains of around 7%. In the past 12 months, however, Tesla has lost 32%, contrasting with gains of about 1% for the S&P 500.

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