As Tesla plummets, four experts weigh in on what comes next

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Tesla was in a tailspin on Thursday.

Its shares were down more than 8 percent, digging it deeper into negative territory for the year. Investors were spooked following disappointing deliveries numbers overnight and as CEO Elon Musk went up against the Securities and Exchange Commission in a Manhattan courtroom for alleged contempt.

Gene Munster, founder of Loup Ventures, says the delivery numbers don’t add up and it’s a cause for concern:

“The key factor here is what’s going to happen with demand. The company did reiterate this expectation of 360,000 to 400,000 deliveries in 2019 … 63,000 in the most recent quarter. I think what that sets this up for is they probably are going to miss that number — that 360,000 to 400,000 number — and as someone who believes in this story I’m bracing myself for difficult delivery numbers for this year.”

Jeffrey Sonnenfeld, senior associate dean for leadership studies at Yale, says a change is needed on the board:

The board is “throwing their trust behind Elon Musk and not exercising their diligence, so I think the judge will have to find some sort of sanctions against the company and the board as well against Elon Musk. They need a super majority to make any dramatic changes on this board, so if it was left to the board’s own devices you’d have to have roughly 90 percent of the non-Musk owners agree to make a change. This is not going to come from the board, apparently. This board is completely captured by Musk, loaded with friends and cronies.”

Jim Cramer of CNBC says Tesla no longer holds a monopoly in the electric-vehicle market:

“This is the first time you have a question about whether there is real competition. The competition is from very high-end cars made well…. I was in a BMW electric. It was fantastic.”

Bill George, former CEO of Medtronic and senior fellow at Harvard Business School, says it’s time for Musk to exit his role as CEO:

“I think Elon is arguably the greatest living inventor on the planet but he hasn’t shown he can run a publicly held automobile company. I think the mistake was made a few months ago. He should have been stepped up to chairman and brought in an auto CEO — he still ought to do that — to run it on a day-to-day basis and let him design cars and be inventive.”

Tesla has fallen 20 percent in 2019, tracking for its worst yearly performance ever. It has fallen 31 percent from its 52-week high.

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