Tough times for Tesla: Stock prices drop, protests in China and self-driving car crashes

After a triumphant purchase of Twitter, Elon Musk had a pretty poor end to the year. While being hammered on the social media site he owns, Tesla, perhaps Musk’s most famous endeavour, haemorraged its stock value. Over the course of the year, Tesla stock fell by around 70%. Tesla won the dubious prize of the worst performing stock of 2022 for a major tech company.

Despite the general woes of the markets, Tesla stock is down nearly 30 percent since its CEO acquired the social media platform. In that same period, other major car manufacturers have seen their stock rise slightly. Stock isn’t the be all and end all of a companies strengths however, but investors who have committed a lot of money to what has been one of Wall Street’s safest investments will want a return.

“I think he really needs to focus on operations, focus on giving us great cars,” said Roth Capital analyst Craig Irwin.

Dan Ives, Wedbush Securities writes, “At the same time that Tesla is cutting prices and inventory is starting to build globally in face of a likely global recession, Musk is viewed as ‘asleep at the wheel’ from a leadership perspective.”

With Musk stepping down as Twitter CEO, at least that’s his claim, investors will be hoping for a return to some quiet management.

Self-driving car continues to be safety nightmares

While stocks in the company have been falling rapidly another pressing problem, especially for the public, has been the wealth of crashs that can be attributed to Tesla’s self-driving software. While Musk was lauding the self-driving beta being rolled-out on 24 November, 2022, a family was involved in a crash apparently caused by the abrupt stop of their self-driving Tesla, causing nine injuries.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, or NHTSA, has said that it is launching an investigation into the incident. Tesla vehicles using its “Autopilot” driver assistance system were involved in 273 known crashes from July 2021 to June of last year, according to NHTSA data.

At present there are no federal restrictions on the testing of self-driving cars making the proliferation of such tests a danger for the public.