With short-buying interest in anything Elon surely up at record highs – and with headlines this week warning of imminent disaster (“Investors brace for worst Tesla result in 7 years”), it’s probs no shock the Tesla (TSLA) share price actually jumped by a goodly 13% overnight, following some of the EV maker’s quasi-upbeat after-market numbers.

Via Google

The results certainly weren’t the slow-mo autonomous driving crash Wall Street was waiting on.

Gross margins landed nearly 100bps ahead of some fairly dull hopes, although revenue and Earnings Per Share (EPS) drifted south away from expectations.

Tesla still sees a lower volume growth rate for 2024 and is looking to accelerate the launch of new tricks.

And with EV’s looking so 2023, Elon’s all about the autonomous automobile.

Tesla’ Q1 2024 earnings call followed the Q1 2024 Update Letter, released after the closing bell  on Wednesday in New York, (early this morning Sydenham time).

Tesla posted total revenues of US$21.3 billion, with automotive revenues at $17.3 billion for the first quarter of 2024.

The carmaker posted GAAP EPS of $0.34 for Q1 and $1.1 billion GAAP net income for the same period.

The company appears to running on auto.

And that may not be coincidence…

Edging toward fully automatic

When not writing tweets on X about how X is not for tweeting, Elon’s been pumping the need for cars with less drivers.


Why, here’s something which he had dropped directly on top of this morning’s results:

Bless his busy bosom, Elon’s also been conspiring at full tilt to foist Full Self-Driving demos on new customers.

It does bring the many internet moments like this one to mind – however unproven and unreliable the sources and their suggestions may be…

It’d at the least have to be a little unnverving surely considering their body count to date, no matter how tempting for Tesla afficionados the no-longer-in-beta “supervised” version of Full Self-Driving is s’posed to be.

Exactly what, how and why Musk’s unwaverable determination to make autonomous robot/cars central to Tesla’s future will hopefully form some kind of shape later this year, the big reveal, he’s said, is a mere four months hence, on August 8th, when he or Tesla or whoever’s really in charge reveals the long-teased robotaxi.

Musk reportedly canceled plans to produce a more affordable $25,000 “Model 2” vehicle in favour of grabbing the tool bag and his Hobbitses and betting it all on robotaxis.

Morgan Stanley is not enthused.

“While we are prepared to see evidence of improved system efficacy, we ultimately believe the path to commercialisation at scale for driverless cars is much further out than the market expects,” MS analyst Adam Jonas says.

Part 1 of Plan B is already being revised rather astonishingly.

The price for Tesla’s Full Self-Driving (FSD) software package was supposed to get more expensive over time — but instead, it’s getting cheaper.

This despite somewhere in middle-March, Musk rallied the faithful and remaining troops by announcing the “mind-blowing” roll out of the Beta v12 Full Self-Driving (FSD) to customers.

Tesla was supposed to release v12 last year, but it was delayed. The automaker started to push the update in January, but only to a few customers.

The FSD Beta v12 was among Elon’s more anticipated updates to TSLA’s ADAS level 2 system, which it hopes will eventually become level 4 or even 5.

The v12 software update features one of Musk’s more Trekkian claims – that it’s bristling with “end-to-end neural nets”.

Elon’s called the update a game-changer, but TBH, he’s done that with a few fav topics before, FSD Beta updates being one of them.

It could be the cocaine of course, but apparently the change is “mind-blowing”.

Cheap as (AI) chips

Long-marketed as ultimately the home and heart of TSLA’s real or fictional fully autonomous capabilities, (despite the feature’s current limited status as a Level 2 driver-assist system) Mr Elon’s just slashed the tyres on this baby.

Originally US$12,000, the feature can be yours in North America for just $8,000.

Tesla hasn’t shared the most recent numbers of FSD take rates, but after this kind of Elon-style slash and burn sale, (it’s a 30% drop in price), that number will soar.

Maybe he’s Elon smarter than we thought.



Pay as you go

A few weeks ago, Tesla also razored the FSD subscription price from US$199 to US$99 per month.

The advantage of a subscription for the customer is the flexibility in month-to-month flexibility. The downside of this is that you will be exposed to any future price changes in the subscription pricing.

Of course, even with the new subscription price, you’s have to own your Tesla for at least six years and nine months for your subscription to start saving you what the current, bargain FSD price is.

That said, those cunning price cuts have allowed Elon some wriggle room on margin growth expectations around that segment, despite Musk repeatedly telling shareholders, barmen that the software package would only grow in value.

Probably to be worth US$100K and beyond. Very Cathie Wood of you, Elon.

In all reality – or the reality we know – the FSD price peaked back in ’22 when it was happily hoisted to $15k before falling back to the original $12k.

Oh. And Musk’s also nixxed the Enhanced Autopilot, the Tesla (US$6k) advanced driver-assist system.

Customers already with Enhanced Autopilot can go to hell.

Nah. As Teslarati – “a multi-platform media company and leading lifestyle brand with a focus on Tesla, SpaceX, and ventures affiliated with Elon Musk”, says – they can actuallyjust upgrade to FSD for $2,000.

An attractive cul de sac.