Tesla stocks fall amid layoffs and Cybertruck production issues

   Tesla has had their hardest quarter since the onset of COVID-19 four years ago, thousands of recalled Cybertrucks, falling stock prices crossing through the $150 range, and large price cuts to multiple models across their product lineup and software offerings (excluding sticker price for the Model 3 and Cybertruck.)

     These issues are an important part of the context surrounding recent layoffs of over 10,000 jobs, totalling nearly 10% of their workforce. With Tesla falling to meet expectations of investors, the price per share has fallen to $147.05 as of April 19, 2024, its lowest point since January 2023. This discrepancy in stock prices coincides with the problematic release of the long awaited Tesla Cybertruck.

A Tesla Cybertruck is on display at the Tesla showroom in Buena Park, Calif. on Sunday Dec. 3, 2023. Tesla is recalling 3,878 of its 2024 Cybertrucks after it discovered that the accelerator pedal can become stuck, potentially causing the vehicle to accelerate unintentionally and increasing the risk of a crash. (ASSOCIATED PRESS/RICHARD VOGEL)

     First teased in 2019, the Cybertruck has suffered from repeated delays since its debut. These issues have persisted into its official release, with sticking accelerator pedals that can cause uncontrollable acceleration prompting a recall of over 4000 Cybertrucks. Along with this, Tesla postponed all deliveries of Cybertrucks from April 16, 2024 until April 20, 2024 with no explanation as to why deliveries were postponed. There have also been reports of Cybertrucks being vulnerable to chassis rust, however these are anecdotes and no formal studies have been conducted.

     Price cuts come after months of falling sales as competition stiffens and consumer interest in EV technology shifts towards smaller, cheaper, and more practical vehicles. Tesla has reduced the cost on three models of vehicle, the small crossover Model Y, the sport sedan Model S, and the midsize crossover Model X. Each vehicle had its MSRP reduced by $2000, but the company’s stock price has yet to stabilize.

     These pricecuts come along with a 33% discount to the “Full Self Driving” feature set to a new low of $8000, which does not provide full self driving but instead allows for some automation in the driving process if closely monitored by the human “driver” at all times with both hands on the wheel. The “Full Self Driving” feature set has been touted as completely autonomous in social posts by Tesla CEO Elon Musk since before the pandemic, most of which come on his own platform X (formerly known as Twitter.) The majority of these claims have failed to come to fruition.

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