Tesla's "Nightmare" Year Off to a Horrible Start: "Only One Person Responsible For This"

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Fight Nightmare

Tesla has posted its first-quarter earnings — and the numbers are even worse than analysts predicted.

The Elon Musk-led company's "nightmare" year is off to a rough start, having delivered approximately 387,000 vehicles in Q1, a 20 percent drop over the last quarter. On average, as Quartz reports, analysts had predicted the company to deliver more than 457,000 units on average.

It's the first quarterly fall in deliveries in almost four years, highlighting the company's struggles in light of rising competition, slowing overall demand for EVs — and disillusionment over Tesla's polarizing CEO.

As a result, Tesla's stock dropped over five percent today, indicating investors are wary of what 2024 still has in store.

Longtime Tesla bull and Wedbush analyst Dan Ives called the company's impending first quarter a "nightmare" last week.

"For Musk this is a fork in the road time to get Tesla through this turbulent period, otherwise darker days could be ahead," he added at the time.

Blame Game

With disastrous numbers confirming Tesla is in deep trouble, the company has gone into damage control mode. In January, Tesla already warned investors of "notably lower" volume growth this year — and where there's smoke, there's fire.

In its financial results note this week, the company blamed the drop in sales on efforts to increase production of an updated Model 3 and the Red Sea conflict forcing diversions and "an arson attack at Gigafactory Berlin."

Investors, however, are far more concerned by other forces at play, including fierce competition from China forcing the company to cut prices to maintain its edge.

Tesla is a "growth company with no growth," Wells Fargo analyst Colin Langan wrote in a March 13 note.

Other experts have also voiced concern over Musk's deplorable behavior, which may be tarnishing the brand's reputation and causing customers to choose competing offerings instead.

Tesla investor Ross Gerber went as far as to call on Musk and his board of directors to resign.

"It’s time for shareholders to assess the blame where due," he tweeted. "The [T]esla BOD should be replaced immediately with independent directors as required by law."

"Basically Tesla can’t sell its cars due to Elon’s behavior," he added in a follow-up. "Let’s stop blaming the Houthi rebels or German environmental terrorists. Or a recession that never came. Or interest rates."

"Only one person responsible for this," he added.

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