Tesla supporters are making 5 crucial mistakes
- Tesla is heading into 2019 in better shape than it ever has been in the past.
- But that doesn't mean it's time to let Tesla bullishness run free.
- Many of Tesla's ambitious supporters are making big mistakes about the company.
Tesla turned an important corner a few weeks back when it reported its first quarterly profit since 2016. Coming after easily the most surreal and strange summer in the company's 15-year history, this was good news - and a fulfillment of CEO Elon Musk's prediction that the carmaker would swing from red to black by the end of 2018.
Don't be fooled: Tesla's balance sheet remains debt-laden, and its future cash needs are likely to be a drag on future profits.But don't overlook the most salient aspect of the company's finances - its revenue. Tesla topline was almost $7 billion for the Q3. Tack on another $3 billion, not a stretch given Tesla's growth in vehicle deliveries, and you have a quarter to one-third of what GM or Ford does every three months, with a global manufacturing footprint and dozens of cars and trucks sold.
All the money that Tesla has coming in the front door is an inconvenient truth for the company's naysayers, who would rather fixate on quality control, Musk's shenanigans, or on the competition that is set to arrive - even though the global electric-vehicle market is currently so small that nobody really wants to compete yet.
That doesn't mean Tesla's latest results should overly embolden its boosters. We're not talking about Toyota here; Tesla is a small carmaker that captures an outsized share of media attention, and that can often mask its shortcomings.
The inconvenient truth for this group is that Tesla's isn't actually going to take over the world and become the Apple of cars - or match GM's prodigious achievement, over 50 years ago, of capturing half the US auto market. As with most things when it come to Tesla's biggest fans, that hasn't stopped them from making huge mistakes. Here's a rundown of the five worst.
Get the latest Tesla stock price here.