Tesla’s third-quarter earnings call was a bit of a weird one, at least compared to previous calls, which made analysts a bit worried about what’s going on behind the scenes at the Austin-based EV maker.
During the call, CEO Elon Musk uncharacteristically said that he wanted to temper expectations regarding the upcoming Cybertruck production ramp, adding that it will be insanely difficult to produce the pickup because it has a lot of new technology. He later joked, “We dug our own grave with Cybertruck.”
Another thing that mostly went under the radar was a statement regarding the progress on the so-called Full Self-Driving feature. “Obviously in the past, I’ve been overly optimistic about this,” said Musk, referring to the advancement of Tesla’s FSD. This is in contrast to the majority of the CEO’s statements about the advanced driver assistance system, who usually goes on record touting its ability to autonomously drive an EV, sometime in the future.
With all this in mind, financial analyst and YouTuber Kevin Paffrath, who runs the “Meet Kevin” channel (he’s also a Tesla investor), spoke to Yahoo! Finance about what happened during the Q3 earnings call and didn’t mince words, describing the whole thing as “terrible.”
“I mean, he was almost in tears. It showed a complete lack of leadership. Tesla's a leadership-less company right now and it's terrible,” said Paffrath during the interview. “And this is a slap in the face to everyone. It's not just the shareholders, but it's a slap in the face to the other managers who are still there and the over 100,000 employees at Tesla. For a leader to cry about the economy rather than funneling that and coming up with a plan is pathetic.”
With this being said, Tesla still has market-leading margins of over 16 percent, which the analyst mentions in his comments. “Out of every $100 they make, $16.30 going to gross profit beating every other American EV manufacturer and even a legacy auto manufacturer. They have so much going for them, but they should provide a clear formula,” Paffrath added.
On the same earnings call, Musk said that the upcoming Cybertruck, which has been delayed multiple times, has been reserved by over one million people and that a production rate of 250,000 units per year will be reached, but that won’t come until “sometime in 2025.” According to Tesla, deliveries of its first pickup truck will start on November 30.