Home » Tesla Is No Longer One Of America’s 10 Biggest Companies

Tesla Is No Longer One Of America’s 10 Biggest Companies

Tesla Stock

Tesla’s market value plummets, Toyota’s production numbers soar, Lada’s dreams grow bigger, and the Brits lose their mind over the proper pronunciation of Hyundai.

Welcome to The Morning Dump, bite-sized stories corralled into a single article for your morning perusal. If your morning coffee’s working a little too well, pull up a throne and have a gander at the best of the rest of yesterday.

How Much Money Did Bill Gates (Allegedly) Make Shorting Tesla?

Screen Shot 2022 12 28 At 8.59.52 Am

Unsurprisingly, Tesla’s bad news morning turned into a bad news afternoon yesterday, with the stock dropping below $110 after Reuters reported that the company was going to extend its production slowdown in China longer than originally expected. For those keeping track at home, that’s a 25% loss in stock value in the past five (trading) days and a more than 10% drop in value in a day.

The result? According to Barrons, Tesla is no longer one of the 10 biggest companies in the United States by market cap:

Tesla dropped out of the 10 biggest public U.S. companies by market capitalization for the first time in more than two years. With a market cap of around $345 billion, it’s currently ranked the 16th largest U.S. company—Tesla was ranked 10th just on Friday.

Not great. In reading about the stock yesterday I was reminded of a little tiff between Bill Gates and Elon Musk that occurred earlier this year:

Musk confirmed the above was real and that he believed Gates was shorting the company’s stock. If Gates really was short on Tesla (and it seems probable) then he could have made billions on that bet alone. Already this year, short sellers have made about $15 billion betting against Tesla.

You should not take financial advice from a website run by someone who eats spaghetti in the shower, but the bears are starting to feel a tad overzealous. Sure, there’s bad news now, but Tesla is a profitable company with a strong brand. The exuberance that propelled the stock above what I thought was rational can work in the other direction.

The stock is ticking up a bit this morning and may hold there if Musk can avoid tweeting some nonsense. (Ed. note: “If” is doing a lot of heavy lifting in that sentence. -PG)

Toyota Made A Lot Of Cars In November

Toyota Production

Gather ye Rose-buds while ye may,
    Old Time is still a-flying:
And this same flower that smiles to day,
    To morrow will be dying.

– Robert Herrick

The world is not flat and COVID-19 has exposed just how round the world actually is, leading to delays because of: semiconductors, lack of truckers to move things, lack of people to make the things the truckers move, blocked shipping channels, et cetera. The supply chain snafus have hit most companies, though not equally. Toyota, for instance, had a great November. From Automotive News:

The world’s No. 1 automaker produced 833,104 vehicles last month, a 1.5-percent increase from a year earlier. Global sales rose 2.9 percent to 796,484 units, the company said in a statement on Monday.

There are numerous outstanding issues that could interfere in the future so it behooves Toyota to keep pumping out cars while they can.

Lada Wants To Make More Than 400,000 Cars In 2023

Lada Granta

Western companies began almost immediately divesting from Russian partnerships after the illegal and brutal invasion of Ukraine. One of the biggest was Renault, which sold its stake in AvtoVaz (its tie-up to produce cars under the Lada brand) for a single ruble. The catch was that, pending the resumption of normal relations, Renault could buy back its share for one ruble.

Lada kept making cars, but the lack of parts and western sanctions led to many of their vehicles being built without airbags, radios, anti-lock brakes, or emissions controls. That situation has eased a little, but Lada is still trying to figure out how to build cars without help from the west.

Now they’re looking to expand to over 400,000 cars in 2023, according to this Reuters report:

The board of directors of Russian top carmaker AvtoVAZ approved the firm’s 2023 investment programme for just under 40 billion roubles ($585 million), Russia’s state news agency RIA reported late on Monday.

“Yes, it has been approved,” RIA quoted AvtoVAZ president Maxim Sokolov as saying.

By comparison, they made about 200,000 cars in 2022.

How Do You Pronounce Hyundai?

I think most Americans pronounce Hyundai like Sunday, as proposed in the advertisement above. When a Super Bowl ad tells us to do something, we generally do it.

Also, I was with the North American CEO of Hyundai at a dinner last month and he pronounced it like Sunday so I assume that’s correct (inasmuch as any pronunciation can be correct).

The British, I’ve noticed, pronounce it differently. That’s fine. The Brits can pronounce things however they want, although it sounds like Hyundai wants them to adopt the day in Hy-un-Dai:

For once, the Brits are voting to stay with something, at least in Rory’s unscientific poll. The “hy” sound used by Korean speakers is not a common one in English and so the American pronunciation seems to come as close to the original Korean pronunciation as possible without forcing new sounds on the speaker. The British version is just made-up nonsense as far as I can tell. If you want to hear what it sounds like in Korean here’s an ad:

The Flush

At what price would you buy Tesla stock?

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Photos: Tesla, AvtoVaz, Toyota

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42 Responses

  1. I think Hyundai’s janky pronunciation in the UK is the result of having been sold there since 1982 – back then, the world was much larger and there were probably barely any Korean speakers involved with the British sales, while the mother company couldn’t care less how Britons referred to their company. Thus, it just ended up being pronounced how the first guy said it when he read the badge.

    1. Same I’ll worry in 2050 but until then I’ll just continue investing how I’ve been investing and not overextending myself in one thing and see what happens.

  2. Flush: I had Teslas stock a number of years ago, back when the S was still the new kid on the block. Sold it long before things went crazy (oops), but the only way I would buy back in is if Musk is out, not just as CEO, but completely divested from the company. The man is an undisputed genius, but he is also a terrible human being, with incredibly thin skin, and I want nothing to do with him. However, from a purely fiscal point of view, I do think it is pretty darn low now and would be a relatively safe investment.

    1. I think the fact that he is a “genius” is up to a LOT of dispute.

      As far as I know he’s not come up with a single thing on his own, other than to occasionally muse “wouldn’t it be cool if…” and then thrown a bunch of money at it.

    2. Even if he was a genius at one point – he did used to have a pretty keen eye for investments and future growth markets – he isn’t anymore.

      He’s got what I’ll call “billionaire brain mush syndrome.” Basically, he’s rich enough, and surrounded by enough sycophants, that he believes his every thought is genius and he can do nothing wrong. Thus, he never critically examines his own thoughts and perspective – he thinks he’s right the first time, every time, unquestionably. And he thinks everyone agrees with him too – he was genuinely thrown by the boos at the Dave Chappelle show because he didn’t imagine that someone didn’t think he was the best.

      I genuinely think Tesla wouldn’t have got off the ground if 2022 Musk was the one in charge. He’s just go so, so much less intelligent as he got bigger and more influential.

    3. “Undisputed genius” is a weird way of saying “guy who was born into incompressible wealth and used said incomprehensible wealth to buy other peoples’ ideas and pass them off as his own”. Musk had a good eye for where to invest his apartheid emerald mine blood money. That much I’ll give him.

      But genius? Lmao. Have the Tesla stans found there way to The Autopian? Elon Musk is Tech Trump…a doofus lucky sperm who turned generational wealth into current mega wealth mainly through luck and a few decent investment decisions along the way. He’s an empty suit who simple minded people worship because wealth rules their worldviews and they wish they too could be “brash selfish wealthy man who never has to deal with consequences”.

      GTFOH calling Musk a genius. In 3-4 years he’s going to be a no body who’s desperately clinging to relevance by doing reality TV and showing up on daytime TV and whatever the popular social media platform is then saying COOL EDGY STUFF TO TRIGGER THE SNOWFLAKES!

      1. Genius is a broad description that gets thrown around too frequently. I wouldn’t call what he has “genius” but people like him and Trump seem to have an uncanny ability to identify their supporters and give them whatever presentation of themselves those people desire. Pandering to a crowd instinctually, off the cuff or on it, is some type of skill I suppose. Both of them are pretty good at it. Not so much actually doing the things they tell the crowd but that’s a problem for later.

        1. I have to disagree that Musk is like Trump. Trump’s skill is branding and selling his image. While he has made some money in real estate, he has made most of his money by selling himself and his name. It is hard to say Musk has been successful by pandering to a crowd when he has made his money by creating companies and selling millions of vehicles.

          While Trump and Musk aren’t alike in their accomplishments, Musk is similar to Trump in that his personality is polarizing. I don’t meet a lot of people who are neutral on Musk. Some people worship the guy and others hate him. Personally, I think he is a such an epic douche that I have a negative opinion of him despite admiring what he has done (I like Teslas, but I would never buy one because I can’t stand the guy). While his personality gets him a lot of attention, I wonder if he could be more successful if he were less of an ass.

          1. Trump made most of his claimed value by assigning $5 to $10 billion dollars of value to the Trump name itself.

            I am so curious to see the tax returns. It’s going to be like reading the business plan for an NFT startup.

      2. Your take isn’t terrible, but it is terribly naive.

        The “smart money” was on traditional banking, and that even if electronic transfers did become common, traditional banking firms would dominate them just as they dominated checking accounts and credit cards.

        Musk’s money was all-in on PayPal.

        The “smart money” said electric cars weren’t viable, and if they were, they were too early, and that even if now was the time, NiMH batteries were the only viable solution and we’d have to wait for the patents to expire before getting started.

        Musk’s money was all-in on Tesla.

        The “smart money” said private space travel was a fool’s errand, and reusable rockets would never work. Any reusable spacecraft would have to be developed by NASA in partnership with existing aerospace firms.

        Musk’s money was huge on SpaceX.

        At least three separate times he saw things about the future that few others could. And all three times, he saw them clearly and brightly enough to place huge bets on his vision. There is a degree of genius in that, and to dismiss it casually because we hate the true personality that has been revealed is to dismiss the notion of genius itself.

        Sure, he wouldn’t have been begging in the streets had he failed, but you can’t pretend he didn’t risk huge financial changes in his potential lifestyle on at least four different occasions, three of which have been successful so far.

        I don’t think the fourth huge risk, Twitter, is going to work out he way he envisions.

        Retroactively claiming that PayPal, Tesla and SpaceX were all obvious good bets to everyone who lived through those years is the real “COOL EDGY STUFF”.

        1. Musk was a small obstacle to Paypal. He was bought by paypal to avoid them having to deal with him otherwise. He did not invent Paypal. He was discarded by Paypal for being a giant micromanaging pain in the ass.

          He bought Tesla when the engineers were already on their way to a functional vehicle. He was such a glory hog pain in the ass with such bad ideas for a production car that the original Tesla guys bailed. If not for Musk’s meddling, Tesla cars would have arrived much earlier and with door handles that work in the ice and aren’t $1k to replace when they don’t. Musk money helped Tesla. Musk himself has been an almost constant obstacle – continuing to today when he’s spending all his time on Twitter yet still tanked Tesla stock from a distance. Without his meddling in design and production, Tesla could have been in a much better position today. As it stands, real actual car makers are about to make his poorly built vehicles irrelevant.

          Space-X wasn’t really genius. It’s just someone coming into an established industry that was about to go from public to private. NASA has been putting rockets, satellites and people in space for a very long time. Now they pay contractors to do it.

    4. Musk is as much a genius as Thomas Edison was. I believe genius is best measured by accomplishment. Both above geniuses leveraged others ideas and labor to achieve great things that would not have happened at the same pace without them. Raw intelligence, aptitude or manic hustle without accomplishment are not genius, that’s wasted potential.

  3. I have always pronounced it “hun-die”, and so does nearly everyone I converse with in my area. Even the guys from the dealer who sometimes call for parts will say “hun-die”. Before the “Hyundai like Sunday” commercial came out I had never heard it pronounced a different way.

    1. My least favorite is “Han-die”, with the first syllable matching the first syllable of Honda. We had a great video for the Hyundai dealer I work at where a customer who flew in from a few states away to pick up an IONIQ 5 talked about his experience shopping elsewhere then finding us… and the entire time he was pronouncing it wrong v.v “I don’t want people to think you were coaching me or anything, I’m just really excited!” Bro if I coached you I’d make sure you pronounced the name right.

  4. It’s odd Gates didnt point out Musk’s wrong thinking.
    It’s perfectly possible to short tesla’s overpriced stock and still believe in the company’s eco values. They are separate things!

  5. A Korean friend from when I was in high school said it was pronounced “H-youn- die.” It didn’t seem terribly difficult to pronounce and I was genuinely surprised when Hyundai North America told us that it rhymes with Sunday.

  6. I will buy Tesla stock at $1. That is assuming that Douchenheimer has absolutely no involvement with the company. If Douchenheimer is still involved he will have to pay me $100 per share to own it.

  7. “You should not take financial advice from a website run by someone who eats spaghetti in the shower”

    I haven’t read David’s article about his move yet so I fully expected the link to take me to a Tweet of Elon’s explaining how he eats while he shits, showers and shaves because efficiency or some other excuse for being a weirdo. Glad it led me to Tracy, who is indeed a weirdo but of the lovable kind. If he was eating in the shower I’m sure he had his reasons. Probably the only place in the house clean enough to prepare food, lol. I kid, kind of. I was a bachelor of similar tastes at one point so I know how dire things can get.

  8. I see these headlines at many other of my automotive news feeds, but none bring the combination of depth and hilarious commentary as yours. Many thanks!

  9. “Tesla Is No Longer One Of America’s 10 Biggest Companies”

    Insert “Never Fucking Was” meme here.
    Because it wasn’t. TSLA wasn’t making products, or posting hundreds of billions in revenue. They were hiding the cash hemorrhaging by selling emissions credits to FCAtlantis for billions of dollars. When their revenue was $6.8B, more than half of that was selling emissions credits to actual 10 biggest companies.

    “Elon asked if he still had a half billion dollar short position on $TSLA.”

    Because this has to be said over and over and over again: if you believe anything Elmo says, then you are as deeply unintelligent as he is.
    There is no ‘half billion dollar short position’ on TSLA. There is no illuminati cabal shorting TSLA because they want to see it fail. Less than 3% of TSLA’s shares – that’s it – are shorted. That’s public data. For comparison? 3.75% of F (Ford) shares are shorted.
    There is no fucking conspiracy, there are no ‘massive short sellers,’ and anybody with more than 50 uncontested IQ points would be shorting any stock at a P/E of more than 25, forget 200.

    Musk needs to pull a Lowtax.

    “Now they’re looking to expand to over 400,000 cars in 2023”

    Good luck finding workers or buyers when your genocidal dictator-for-life sends everyone to die for the Nazi cause.
    Permanent blockade of the terrorist state of ruzzia now.

    “Hyundai wants them to adopt the day in Hy-un-Dai:”

    … wait, I’ve been pronouncing it wrong this whole time? Well shit. At least I got Kia right. Right? Right!?

    “At what price would you buy Tesla stock?”

    Not at any price. They have no future.
    They had first mover advantage, and rested on their laurels, because they’re micromanaged by a narcissistic, racist maniac who is now claiming he designed the Model 3. More than 50% of their revenue comes from selling emissions credits to established manufacturers. 2021 was their best year ever, with 302,000 cars sold in the US – a number that Toyota does every 5 weeks.
    And in Europe? VAG outsold Tesla 2:1 counting only BEVs. Like for like, apples for apples, it was not even close. And VAG’s EVs have 10 year newer technology across the board, don’t insist that you need to control wipers and open your glovebox from a glued-on iPad, and cost orders of magnitude less – meaning average consumers can actually buy them.

    1. Regarding Tesla emissions credits… On their most recent statements, the cash they make off of emissions credits makes up for less than 5% of their revenue and profits.

      Regarding dictators, Nazis and hiring staff… If Henry Ford (an actual Nazi sympathizer) could do it, I’m sure the people at Tesla can as well.

      Regarding VAG outselling Tesla 2:1 in the EU… For now. VAG has been protected by EU tariffs and also by Tesla not having enough production capacity. Those two realities are coming to an end as the Berlin plant ramps up.

      But globally speaking, Tesla is way ahead of VAG. But in terms of BEV units sold (and excluding plug-in hybrids), Tesla is #1 by a wide margin. Scroll to the bottom of this link:
      https://cleantechnica.com/2022/12/05/top-selling-auto-brands-auto-groups-for-ev-sales-globally/

      … and you’ll see that for *Tesla* outsells VAG globally by a ratio of 2-to-1.

      1. How much does Elon pay you? I remember you from the old site and your awful Tesla/Elon takes and it pains me to see them here as well. I just hope the pay is good.

        1. Yes, it’s very concerning to see that the management here is attempting to walk the Spamfeller line of “well we welcome everyone, especially people who repeatedly spout nonsense and people who believe people should be killed for the color of their skin. Cars aren’t political! Stick to sporps!”

      2. No matter how much you carry Muskwater, he will not notice you and you will never be more than another dipshit holding the bag.

        Nothing you said, have to say, or about your life as a whole is valid, or has any worth.

  10. “At what price would you buy Tesla stock?”

    Hard to say, as I’ve never owned stock in anything. My financial speculation runs more towards gambling on the future desirability of early-’80s Austin Rover Group products, so pretty clearly I shouldn’t be allowed to go anywhere near the stock market.

  11. Alienating a good number of customers right as a bunch of compelling offerings from competitors are due out is a bold move, Cotton. We’ll see if it works out for him.

  12. I’d say Tesla stock will drop to under $100 per share before the end of January and will struggle to get above that level for the next year or two. (Even though that is still overvalued) It had been priced by irrational investors who seemed to think that Tesla was a tech company, not an automaker, and that they were going to put all the automakers out of business by 2025. The fact that they are walking back a large portion of those price increases that made them profitable is something that many are now finding hard to ignore.

  13. Somewhere I read that for Tesla to be sensibly priced relative to other car manufacturer stocks, it would have to be in the $12 – $16 range. Anything higher is exuberance and hype.

  14. Tesla’s market cap never made financial sense. I didn’t do the numbers but I suspect that if value was calculated as it is with other automotive OEMs, it is still overvalued.
    As far as the pronunciation of Hyundai, I have never understood the arrogance and lack of respect of people not to make the effort to properly pronounce names in other languages. I understand it can difficult (I have severe hearing loss which doesn’t ease learning pronunciation) but I do make an effort to learn the proper pronunciation of names.

    1. Well, maybe “Arrogance and lack of respect” is a bit too much, mate. Language is a complicated thing, and you can’t really force one foreign pronunciation if the rest of the language around it is incompatible – it is like trying to sing a song where everything is one rhythm save for one word – breaks the flow and you end up not doing it.
      Have you ever noticed that when you say your name in a second language, you kind of say it with the accent of that language? And the more fluent you are on it, the more difficult it becomes not to do it. That genuinely caught me off guard when I emigrated.
      Worse still, there are cases where people cannot really say some sounds, unless they learn the whole rhythm first. Happens (again) with my name – people here genuinely cannot make the sounds. Why would I chalk that to disrespect or arrogance, when there is a perfectly genuine reason, linguistically, for that to happen? Not everything in the world is malice 🙂

      1. If you read my comment I didn’t say “succeed” or “pronounce properly”. I said “make the effort”. I have run into many people who don’t make any effort but Anglicize everything. Over 50% of my co-workers were either not born in North America so I understand that some names are difficult (also note my comment about my hearing loss making this harder).

        1. Point taken. However, what I was trying to say is that what we might perceive as “not even trying” could be a case of them not even realizing something is of.

    2. I usually try to make the effort, but I don’t feel too guilty about mispronouncing a massive corporation’s name. Gonna get a person’s name right if I can, though.

      In college, we had a lot of Japanese students. They tried to pronounce my name, but the D R sound was not something they could hit. To them, my name came out “Deroo” or “Delebu” which was more than enough effort.

      On the other side of things, I had a roommate named Yosuke, but the RA had written Yusuke. It was months before he let on that we were all pronouncing his name wrong. He thought Americans had trouble with it like our Japanese students had trouble with my name.

    3. Some people really can’t drop their accent or whatever you want to call their accustomed pronunciation. I can and my natural accent is pretty strong but not everyone can. I think some people just don’t have fine control over their tongue and throat or haven’t taken the time to develop that control. Like how some people can never do fine work with their hands. I generally assume people are doing the best they can to pronounce things unless it’s clear they’re being insulting or I can’t understand what they’re saying. Then I just ask respectfully.

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