- A hemorrhaging of cash.
- Manufacturing-execution problems.
- Credit markets that smell blood (Tesla's bonds have been plummeting).
And as I wrote in my initial, less-than-enthusiastic thesis on Tesla in 2015:
-- The company's balance sheet is weakening. ...
-- Subsidies for electric cars are to be eliminated, and oil-price weakness diminishes interest in electric cars, especially low-end new cars on which the whole Tesla story rests. ...
-- Competition is increasing as 1) all major car companies are coming out with electric cars, and 2) Chinese battery companies are expanding and forming joint ventures. ...
I suppose, to keep the plates spinning, Elon 'P.T. Barnum' Musk is soon to announce that driving a Tesla will cure impotence and cancer.
The possibility of Beijing imposing additional tariffs on U.S. cars imported into China could deliver the last blow. After all, such tariffs could be a killer to U.S.-made electrical vehicles like Teslas.
According to my notes, Tesla sold about 90,000 vehicles in 2017, including around 14,850 autos in China. That's a lot of production that's at risk.
Overall, the U.S. imports only about $1.4 billion of Chinese autos, but exports some $9.7 billion of American cars to the Asian nation.
I recently covered my Tesla short for a profit, but then re-shorted the name last Wednesday at $286.50. (Tesla finished at $289.66 on Monday, down more than 3.2% on the day.)
(This column has been updated with TSLA's closing stock price.)