Elon Musk's promise to ramp up Tesla Model 3 production to 5,000 cars a week by the end of June - a promise he made at Tesla shareholders at the company's annual meeting earlier this month - is clearly weighing on the CEO. A few days ago, Musk bought $25 million in Tesla shares seemingly with the intention of punching shorts in the nose (case in point: he sent the order in pre-market trading, where it would have the biggest impact on Tesla's price).
He's been beset by downgrades as Vertical Group's Gordon Johnson downgraded Tesla shares to a street-low $93 (to back up his target, Johnson calculated that the Tesla Model 3 cancellation rate has risen to a disastrous 66%). As more investors worry about Tesla's cash flow problem, Musk was forced to slash 9% of the company's staff (though the cuts reportedly didn't touch Model 3 production and won't affect targets), helping feed bears' suspicions.
And just when Musk had seemingly managed to reassure shareholders that he's finally on track to keep one of his lofty production promises (for once), CNBC published an email sent by Musk to Tesla's employees congratulating them on the company's progress - but assuring them that "radical change" is still needed.