Tesla has followed a similar trajectory to another Silicon Valley start-up: Uber. The taxi company has seen a decline in its stock price of almost 55% in the last year, even though Medallion Financial, a company that provides loans to purchase taxi medallions in the US, is only down around 19%. This shows that, like Tesla, the issue is the company, not the market.
These companies have a lot in common: both are experimental business models and neither one has proven itself to the market. Uber has been around for 13 years and has never turned a consistent profit, while Tesla has been around for 14; any profit the company makes is completely reliant on carbon credits — and occasionally on Bitcoin trading.
Uber, meanwhile, has serious problems with its business model. Hubert Horan, an analyst of the taxi industry, argues that “the widespread belief that it is a highly innovative and successful company has no basis in economic reality”. While I would not go quite that far in describing Tesla, I have laid out problems with its business model on this site before.
The two companies’ stock prices are falling in line with the broader tech stock market crash. Technology is where most of the entrepreneurship — and therefore risk — has been in the market this cycle. Markets basically think of companies like Uber and Tesla as tech companies and price them accordingly.