**Elon Musk’s Uncertainty about the Economy**
Whether it is predicting the rise of cybernetically-enhanced humans, an army of robot butlers, or a new era of interplanetary travel, Elon Musk has earned a reputation for seeing what the future holds. But when it comes to the near-term outlook for the economy, the Tesla and SpaceX CEO is just as lost as the rest of us.
**Elon Musk’s Conviction on the Economy**
Elon Musk, known for his strong convictions, rarely shies away from voicing his opinions, especially when it comes to the economy. Last summer, he trimmed salaried staff over a “super bad feeling” he had about the demand outlook. He also criticized Federal Reserve chair Jay Powell for hiking rates in March, calling him “foolish” and arguing that an A.I. chatbot couldn’t be any worse at managing risk. In May, Musk blamed the turbulence in the banking sector and the resulting withdrawal of consumer credit as a threat to his car business.
**Record Quarter for Tesla, but Worrying Signs**
Thanks to multiple price cuts, Tesla was able to achieve another record quarter in terms of vehicle sales, generating quarterly revenue that nearly hit the $25 billion mark for the first time ever. However, there are a few worrying signs on the horizon, even for Tesla.
**Musk’s Change of Heart on Full Self-Driving (FSD)**
Tesla’s operating income shrank slightly, and its operating margin narrowed due to a price war Musk started to undercut rivals. Musk also predicted that third-quarter production would be slightly down due to more factory upgrades. When pressed for specifics, he changed subjects, possibly indicating that the highly anticipated refresh of the Model 3 sedan, known as Project Highland, is just around the corner. Additionally, Musk unexpectedly announced a “one-time amnesty” for customers to transfer their Full Self-Driving software feature to a new car if they order one in the third quarter. This move aims to address the long-standing demand from customers who have been waiting for a car that can drive itself without human supervision.
**Market Performance and Musk’s Outlook**
Despite the uncertainties in the global economy, Tesla’s stock has been performing exceptionally well, soaring 40% since the start of June. Musk reaffirmed his commitment to delivering 1.8 million Tesla vehicles to customers this year, emphasizing the persistent macro uncertainty. He humorously requested a crystal ball for the global economy on Twitter.
Elon Musk’s perspective on the economy may be uncertain, but his drive to push the boundaries of technology and innovation remains steadfast. Despite potential challenges, Tesla continues to strive for success in the electric vehicle market, and Musk’s ambitious goals demonstrate how his determination propels him forward.