Musk ‘pedo’ allegations. Still CEO material?

 

Unsub hero: How Elon Musk managed to call a brave Thai rescuer a “pedo” after being told his minisub wouldn’t help. Amazing CEO conduct…

 
 
 
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Most recently, he’s being sued for defamation by 63-year-old Vernon Unsworth - the cave-diving rescue dude who was one of the responders rescuing those young boys and their soccer coach from that flooded cave in Thailand in July.

Executive summary: Musk, who appears to think he really is Tony Stark, flies his bullshit minisub to Thailand during the crisis, notionally to assist but (I think it’s pretty clear) really as more of a PR stunt.

That’s what Mr Unsworth alleged, adding that the bullshit sub had (quote) “absolutely no chance of working” and thus he invited Mr Musk to take his Tesla minisub and insert it (quote) “where the sun doesn’t shine”.

I’m likin’ Mr Unsworth. Pretty clearly a straight shooter.

Musk then inflicted the following tweet on his 22 million followers:

“Sorry pedo guy, you really did ask for it.”

Read more at Popular Mechanics >>

Musk - of friggin’ course - goes off the reservation and taunts Mr Unsworth, some time later, with words to the effect of: ‘Well, if my allegations were untrue, why haven’t you sued me yet?’

He also went on to call Mr Unsworth a (quote) “child rapist” in a rambing e-mail to Buzzfeed, and accused him of travelling to Asia so he could procure a child bride (quote) “about 12 years old”.

See also:

Apparently this came as something of a surprise to Mr Unsworth’s 40-year-old girlfriend. The pair have been together for about seven years. She checked the whole house, even the basement:

No child bride.

This is the CEO of a publicly listed company, in difficulty - the company, not the CEO. The CEO is a billionaire whose main gig is getting the public to entrust him with their own money so he can keep burning it, trying and failing to build electric cars, badly.

Tesla made 100,000 cars in 2017 and lost US$2 billion - and the share price is out of control. It’s one of the biggest bubbles in existence. It also owes more money in the short term than it has in the bank - and some of its funds are customer deposits that might need to be refunded.

Read more at Business Insider >>

To Tesla can’t even spend all the money it has in the bank, because of the refund scenario that it needs to budget for, and its costs are spiralling out of control even though production is up.

That’s not an ‘economies of scale’ proposition. It’s a ‘go bankrupt like GM did in the GFC’ proposition. They’re in about the same shape, according to analysts.

Then there’s this bullshit claim that actually props up the share price: unlimited demand. If you believe Tesla, buyers are queued up over the horizon. It’s an open-ended arrangement of demand without end.

However, Tesla’s recent behaviour suggests this is not actually the case.

The company recently held a sales event at its factory in Freemont, California, inviting deposit holders to browse among unsold vehicles and choose which one to buy.

There are reports that hundreds of Teslas have been parked for weeks at lots in Burbank and Lathrop, in California.

Read more at Business Insider >>

Tesla recently sent a bulk e-mail to current customers and those with deposits in play, inviting them to test drive a Model S or Model X overnight.

None of these behaviours is suggestive of a carmaker struggling to meet demand. All of these behaviours are marketing initiatives designed to sell excess inventory. You know what a fluffer does, right? This is that.

There’s a disconnect here between what Tesla says about demand, and what they’re actually doing about demand.

Here’s what I think will happen: Chapter 11 bankruptcy and bailout. And, by ‘bailout’ I can see Daimler, Volkswagen or maybe even Toyota swooping in and picking up the badge for eight cents on the dollar.

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