Electric car maker Tesla is ending the year on a bump after its shares fell to the lowest in two years, beating Meta to become the worst-performing stock in 2022 of the most valuable tech companies.
It comes as Elon Musk sold off about $23 billion (€21 billion) worth of Tesla stock this year to finance his Twitter purchase and faces investor backlash for spending too much time on the social media company.
Shares in Tesla fell 11 per cent on Tuesday, which totals a drop of 73 per cent from their record high in November 2023.
Musk said on Twitter Spaces on December 22 that he would stop selling Tesla stock for 18 to 24 months.
In a debate with a Tesla shareholder, Musk blamed the company’s declining share price on Federal Reserve rate hikes, tweeting that “people will increasingly move their money out of stocks into cash, thus causing stocks to drop”.
Meanwhile, Tesla will run a reduced production schedule in Shanghai, according to an internal document seen by Reuters. The company did not say why it would slow down production.
It comes as Tesla suspended production at its Shanghai plant on Saturday, pulling forward an established plan to pause most work at the plant in the last week of December.
Tesla’s latest production cuts at Shanghai come amid a rising wave of infections after China stepped back from its zero-COVID policy earlier this month. That move has been welcomed by businesses, although it has disrupted manufacturing operations outside Tesla.
Like other automakers, Tesla has also faced downturned demand in China, the world’s largest auto market. Earlier this month, Tesla offered an additional incentive for buyers taking possession of vehicles in December.
The company has cut prices for Model 3 and Model Y cars by up to 9 per cent in China, in addition to a subsidy for insurance costs.