Elon Musk hints Tesla stock is still too high at German awards ceremony
Billionaire Elon Musk has won one of Europe’s most prestigious business awards, previously won by some of the world’s best-known entrepreneurs, including Mark Zuckerberg and Jeff Bezos.
The founder of Tesla and SpaceX received the Axel Springer Prize on Monday evening in Berlin. Musk has been presented by German Health Minister Jens Spahn as someone who made “seemingly crazy ideas come true”.
However, never missing an opportunity to make his shareholders sweat, the third richest person in the world, in a conversation with Axel Springer CEO Mathias Döpfner, reiterated that he believed his manufacturer’s stock Tesla electric car was too high at $ 800 a share previously. it split 5 to 1 in August. Tesla closed at $ 584 a share on Tuesday.
Germany & Tesla
On Tesla’s rise to power over the past decade, Döpfner told Musk about a conversation he had in 2014 with a “very successful and famous” CEO of a German automaker (whose name is not revealed) about Musk’s potential to disrupt the German auto industry. Something that, at the time, very few people thought possible.
The CEO told Döpfner in 2014, don’t worry, “electric driving” was never going to be “the mass market” and “these guys from Silicon Valley – they have no clue about engineering, [no clue] about building really beautiful and awesome cars. So we don’t have to worry. “
Tesla’s market capitalization was $ 23 billion at the time, Döpfner noted. “Today it’s $ 536 billion,” he said. “You are, with Tesla, two and a half times bigger than BMW, VW and Daimler [Mercedes]. ”
A mischievous Musk couldn’t resist the opportunity to tease his shareholders. “I even said the stock was too high,” he complained. “What am I supposed to do? I said the stock was too high even though it was $ 800 before the split. No one listened to me.
This isn’t the first time Musk has courted controversy over the rapidly rising share price of his electric car startup. In May, Musk found himself in hot water after tweeting that “Tesla’s share price is too high imo.” When asked if he was joking, Musk responded in an email to the Wall Street Journal with one word: “No.” Since then, shares have risen almost 300%.
Musk, Mars and Axel Springer
The award is presented by the German publishing house Axel Springer to “outstanding personalities who demonstrate exceptional talent for innovation, create and transform markets, shape culture and also face their social responsibility”.
The theme of the night was one of Musk’s favorite subjects: life on Mars. When asked if he would like to be buried on the Red Planet, Musk said yes, “but not on impact.”
Axel Springer’s seat was ‘transformed’ for the event into a spaceship with fake astronauts, cabin crew voiceover plotting Musk’s career path, and computer-generated space travel graphics .
Regarding when humans might first reach the Red Planet, Musk stuck to the period of “about six years,” pointing out the window of “Earth-Mars synchronization” (alignment) that occurs every 26 months. Musk added that he hopes to send an “unmanned vehicle” there in two years, and if it’s successful and SpaceX “is lucky,” a human mission could take place in just four years.
Asked about his personal plans to reach orbit, Musk said “two or three years,” although he stressed that he was “primarily concerned with the development of technology that can allow many people to go. on Mars and make life multiplanetary. [And have] a base on the moon and we are working to have a self-sustaining city on Mars as soon as possible.
“I’m optimistic about the future on earth, but it’s important to have life insurance for life as a whole,” he added.
The conversation quickly shifted from the stars to cars, an important topic for a German audience for whom cars, including brands like Volkswagen, Mercedes, BMW and Porsche, are the backbone of their country’s export economy. .
In November 2019, Musk’s decision to build Tesla’s European Gigafactory in the Berlin area was celebrated in Germany, solidifying its position as a powerhouse in European engine manufacturing in the electric car era.
However, Musk’s decision came as a relief to the Germans who Döpfner said had not taken Musk and Tesla seriously.
“When we first unveiled the Roadster in 2007…“ Starting an auto business is crazy, you’re going to waste all your money. ”Instead, Musk is now the third richest person in the world. Fortune nearly quadrupled during the Covid-19 pandemic alone, from $ 24.6 billion in mid-March to $ 132 billion currently in Forbes’ estimates.
Musk also received a vinyl record of the song “Don’t Doubt Ur Vibe”, remixed by DJ Sven Väth. The song, originally written by Musk himself in February 2020, has only a few lyrics –Don’t doubt your vibe because it’s true; Don’t doubt your vibe because it’s youand can be found in the dark corners of Youtube, listenable to worshiping Musk fans on hour-long loops.
Musk follows in the footsteps of Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg (who won in 2016), World Wide Web inventor Tim Berners-Lee (2017) and Amazon founder Jeff Bezos (2018). American author and Harvard professor Shoshana Zuboff received the 2019 award for her book Surveillance capitalism.