TSLAQ member (NASDAQ: TSLA) Lawrence Meyer’s predictions have been proven wrong in hindsight, leaving Tesla supporters laughing at his “laughably” wrong predictions. Some of the criticism surrounding Tesla goes beyond honest criticism. Some border on outright dislike or even hate for the beliefs Tesla stands behind.
Back in May, for example, Tesla stock seemed like it was at critical levels, falling below $200. As TSLA shorts smelled the blood in the water and celebrated the company’s imminent doom, Keris Lahiff of CNBC wrote a piece predicting that Tesla shares could rise up 90 percent before the end of the year.
Lahiff’s premise was simple: Tesla has faced similar trends in the past. TSLA surged 90 percent higher in the two months leading to April 2016, following a 50 percent sell-off in the previous 18 months. This conclusion was openly mocked by TSLA critic Lawrence Meyers, who dubbed the prediction as laughable.
In an article on CCN.com, Meyers stated that Tesla was in a much more “precarious” situation, despite Elon Musk’s efforts to distract investors by “pulling rabbits out of his hat.” He also claimed that the $35,000 Model 3 does not and will never exist, something that has been debunked considering that the vehicle is available for purchase today at that price.
Meyers then claimed that Tesla’s electric cars “spontaneously combust,” and that Autopilot regularly kills people. He also honed in on Tesla’s issues with customer service. Among these issues, only one has some validity, as Musk has admitted that Tesla needs to improve its service network, something that has become more challenging due to the fleet’s expansion with the Model 3 ramp. As for the argument about Teslas spontaneously catching fire or Autopilot regularly causing accidents, these can easily debunked with simple statistics and facts.
Last year, for example, National Transport Safety Board (NTSB) Survival Factors investigator Tom Barth stated that there is simply no indication that Teslas, or electric cars for that matter, are more fire-prone than other vehicles on the market.
“We do not have an indication that Teslas are any more prone than any other electric vehicles in these sorts of events. Any vehicle, whether it’s gas-powered or electric-powered has the potential to catch fire. And when you’re looking at these very severe events… You know, bad things can happen,” he said.
Autopilot’s safety features have also become undeniable at this point. In Q3 2019, Tesla registered one accident for every 4.34 million miles driven in which drivers had Autopilot engaged. In comparison, data from the NHTSA reflected one automobile crash every 498,000 miles. That’s a significant discrepancy.
So ultimately, Meyers’ bold prediction about TSLA stock and the company’s “survival” narrative did not hold water. Instead of falling, Tesla shares started a slow recovery after falling below US$200, rising sharply following its breakout earnings in the third quarter. As of December 13, 2019, Tesla stock has risen over 90 percent.
Somewhere in a newsroom, Keris Lahiff of CNBC is probably laughing. Meyers, who was certain of Tesla’s imminent downfall, probably not much.
Tesla Autopilot saves lifes and predicts accidents ! Top Tesla Autopilot Compilation video : pic.twitter.com/pNjVEvlq6x— Tesla_saves_lives (@SavedTesla) July 17, 2019
This is because like many Tesla critics, Meyer’s arguments were likely tainted by a dislike of Tesla and Elon Musk as a whole. Thus, when predicting Tesla’s downfall, the TSLA critic seemingly forgets that the next-gen automaker is delivering cars abroad and the Model 3 sales are remaining strong. The progress of Gigafactory 3 in China has also been largely ignored, a potentially fatal flaw that could ultimately crush the TSLAQ thesis even more.
Also, with Tesla seemingly becoming more cautious and less careless with its forecasts, the next few years could be very painful indeed for the all-electric car-maker's critics, particularly those who have skin in the game.
Tesla is not a perfect company. It’s a young automaker that functions like a Silicon Valley startup, making it prone to mistakes. One can remember several times in the past when Elon Musk would quite literally call himself an idiot for attempting some grand scheme that would end up only giving Tesla a hard time. A recent example of this is Musk’s plan of a hyper-automated Model 3 production line, a mistake that the CEO admitted to after months of delay.
Tesla has and will always be a polarizing company. A strange aftereffect of this is that there will always be a group of people who are incentivized to push the company down. CEO Elon Musk’s personality and style do not mix well with many people’s preconceived expectations either, adding to the negativity that will likely be surrounding the company for the foreseeable future.
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