Elon Musk has again lost his title of “richest man in the world” just 48 hours after retaking the crown – dropping to second place after Tesla’s “failed” Investor Day.
At the end of Wednesday, Musk’s net worth was down $1.91 billion to $184 billion. This puts him below the $186 billion fortune of French luxury goods magnate Bernard Arnault, according to the Bloomberg Billionaire Index.
Musk, who has topped the global wealth list for much of 2022, was surpassed by Arnault in December but had recaptured the title on Monday as Tesla shares recovered from last year’s sell-off.
Tesla shares fell 1.7% at the end of Wednesday’s session and fell another 6% Thursday morning after the company’s first Investor Day failed to impress investors.
The four-hour event unveiled the company’s $10 trillion “Master Plan 3” to eliminate fossil fuels, but had few details about the timeline or new Tesla products.
Investors and superfans were expecting new EV prototypes on the stage of the event, but instead were shown a slideshow of disguised future vehicles to be revealed later.
Elon Musk has again lost his title of ‘richest man in the world’ just 48 hours after retaking the crown
French luxury goods magnate Bernard Arnault, the founder and chairman of Louis Vuitton maker LVMH, is again ranked as the world’s richest person
Tesla shares fell 1.7% at the end of the Wednesday session and fell another 6% Thursday morning
“The markets were ready for a big announcement, maybe about something like a more affordable new model,” said Russ Mould, director of investment at AJ Bell. “Maybe it was just a matter of not living up to the hype.”
Speaking at the Texas Gigafactory on Wednesday night, Musk and his team outlined areas that need work to make the plan a reality, including renewable energy, electric vehicles, switching to heat pumps and renewable fuel for aircraft.
Rockets aren’t included, though, because it’s “a bit clunky,” said Musk, who also runs SpaceX.
Investors had expected new electric vehicles to be unveiled, but they got a “massive tease”: a slide showing two future vehicles in disguise.
“I really wanted today to be not just about Tesla investors who own shares, but everyone who is an investor in the Earth,” Musk said.
Tesla engineering and design executives presented examples of how the company can build cars for less than its competitors and how it is trying to extend that lead.
Chief engineer Lars Moravy said the company expects to build its next-generation vehicles for half the current cost of the Model 3 or Model Y.
Moravy described a manufacturing process for future EVs that he called an “unboxed” model that would lower costs by snapping sub-assemblies together and reducing assembly complexity and time.
Musk showed a graph of Tesla’s projection of the future electric vehicle fleet.
The slide showed the EV maker’s existing models, including the semi-truck, as part of a market estimated at 440 million vehicles.
It also highlighted the Cybertruck and a shrouded future model as part of a 300 million vehicle market. An additional smaller encased model was shown as part of the largest market in its projection: 700 million vehicles.
High-profile Tesla investor Ross Gerber tweeted that the presentation amounted to a “massive tease” about the next-generation vehicle. ‘It’s coming. They explained it all. 50% less cost to build. Would you get a $25-$30,000 EV!”
Investors had expected new electric vehicles to be unveiled on Wednesday, but they got a ‘massive tease’ – a slide featuring two repulsive future vehicles
The slide showed off the EV maker’s existing models and two shrouded future models
Elon Musk hosted Tesla’s first Investor Day, at which details about the company’s operation will be shared
Investor Day’s main focus was an Earth without fossil fuels.
“Earth can and will move to a renewable energy economy and will do so in your lifetime,” Musk said.
Tesla has become the most valuable car company in the world.
Musk has the ambition to crack the mass market and turn the EV maker into a company that can create a more climate-friendly world.
Tesla has been outperforming the industry lately, rapidly ramping up deliveries despite the pandemic and supply chain disruptions.
But the company cut prices in recent months to boost sales, which have been squeezed by a weak economy and growing threats from rivals in the US and China.
The automaker has just four models, all priced toward the higher end of the market.
Tesla had promised to discuss expansion and investment plans, with various projects from batteries to self-driving technology to new factories, but the focus remained on building a sustainable future.
News broke on Tuesday that Tesla will be breaking ground in Mexico on a new assembly plant worth more than $5 billion.
A Mexican official said the factory would be a Tesla “Gigafactory” that could produce the semi-truck, the Roadster sports car and possibly other vehicles.
Another official said the plant could produce some kind of sport utility vehicle (SUV).
While the event was streamed online, it was also held in person at the company’s Texas Gigafactory (pictured)
Musk unveiled the idea of his Master Plan 3 last March, noting that it would cover topics such as “scaling up (production) to extremes, what it takes to move humanity away from fossil fuels, and AI.”
Tesla has car factories in the US states of California and Texas, as well as in Berlin and Shanghai.
News about the factory in Mexico follows that Tesla will get its own lane at the Mexican border crossing in 2022.
The exclusive border patrol track will be located between Texas and Nuevo León, Mexico, to reduce travel time for its suppliers.
With the automaker’s exclusive access to the border, the journey for its suppliers is reduced to just 10 minutes – during peak hours this can be more than 25 minutes for normal traffic.
Tesla has six suppliers in Nuevo León, including APG Mexico and Taiwan-based companies EnFlex Corp. and Quanta Computer.
Tesla chief designer Franz von Holzhausen also spoke at the event to discuss the Cybertruck, which he says is “coming this year.” Musk had previously said volume production would not begin until 2024.
The futuristic-looking vehicle has suffered several delays, leaving millions of reservations unfilled.
Check-in for the event was at 2pm and some attendees shared videos and images of the Cybertruck Beta prototype on Twitter.
Capturing the mass market is critical to Tesla’s goal of increasing shipments 15-fold to 20 million vehicles by 2030.
It was revealed that the Cybertruck is coming this year
Check-in for the event was at 2pm and some attendees shared videos and images of the Cybertruck Beta prototype on Twitter
To do that, Tesla will need to improve its battery technology, which Musk has called the “fundamental limiting factor” for the transition to renewable energy, making it a likely topic for Wednesday’s speech.
Plans for a more affordable car could attract the most interest.
In 2020, Musk unveiled a plan to develop batteries in-house, which he said would make self-driving electric cars priced at $25,000 feasible by 2023, but Tesla has struggled to scale production of the so-called 4680 batteries .
Some investors are concerned that Musk is spending too much time on his latest major acquisition, Twitter.
After an ugly 2022, Tesla stock has surged in early 2023 and is up about 67 percent this year, an increase that has once again made Musk the richest person in the world.
“Investors are focused on what can change the narrative to continue the stock’s recent rally,” Morgan Stanley analyst Adam Jonas said in a note.
Musk previously revealed the first phase of his “Master Plan” in 2006, which aimed to produce a luxury sports car before more affordable cars.
The second phase included ambitious targets for solar panels, autonomous driving and the production of a fleet of Tesla vehicles in major vehicle categories.
Musk is credited with catalyzing a revolution in the global auto industry toward EVs, though he still hasn’t achieved the important goal he set for Tesla.