Could Tesla's stock value plummet to zero?
On paper Tesla Motors is currently worth more than Ford, but a well-known Wall Street veteran says the company is actually "worthless."
That valuation comes from Kynikos Associates founder Jim Chanos, who's made a career out of short-selling stocks. According to Chanos, Tesla doesn't have a viable path to producing its recently unveiled Semi and Roadster on the timelines given, casting serious doubt on the company's current valuation. Tesla CEO Elon Musk said "the Semi would be available in 2019 and the roadster in 2020. Where is he producing those? Those production lines have to be up and approved years before we get into production," he said during an interview with CNBC.
Chanos also pointed to Tesla's lagging autonomous tech as a reason to doubt the company. While Tesla is currently offering Level 2 autonomous technology in its vehicles, Chanos notes that Audi has already moved on to Level 3 and Google's Waymo division is operating at Level 4.
Tesla's stock price is up significantly this year, but Chanos says it will eventually go to zero. "We think the equity is worthless," he said.
Chanos isn't the only one to recently cast doubt on Tesla's future. Last month former General Motors executive Bob Lutz predicted Tesla would go out of business sometime in 2018, citing the company's tremendous cash burn and lack of a "secret sauce." Shortly after Lutz's statement a new report estimated that Tesla is burning through $11.5 million per day, meaning the company would be out of cash by August 2018.