Tesla CEO Elon Musk taunted his electric car company rival Rivian’s high-flying initial public offering Thursday — as it was revealed the eccentric billionaire sold more than $680 million worth of stock in his company.
“There have been hundreds of automotive startups, both electric and combustion, but Tesla is [the] only American carmaker to reach high volume production & positive cash flow in past 100 years,” Musk said in a tweet Thursday.
“I hope they’re able to achieve high production & breakeven cash flow. That is the true test,” he added, responding to a tweet about Rivian’s blockbuster IPO, which has seen its valuation soar to more than $110 billion in its first week of trading.
That means investors are already valuing Rivian, which is backed by Amazon and Ford, more than auto giants Ford and General Motors even though Rivian has just recently started selling its cars and booked a whopping net loss of almost $1 billion in the first half of this year.
The company says it has 55,400 preorders for its R1S SUV and R1T pickup truck in addition to a contract to build 100,000 electric vans for Amazon by 2030.
But Rivian hasn’t yet proven that it will be able to scale operations and produce cars at the necessary pace while breaking even or turning a profit.
When Tesla IPO’ed in 2010, it scored a market valuation of just over $2 billion even though at that point it was already further along than where Rivian is now. By its IPO, Tesla had already been selling its Roadster model and was preparing to roll out its Model S.
But Tesla has since paved the way, showing the market that there’s a route for electric car startups to successfully scale up and become cash-flow positive. The company is now churning out hundreds of thousands of cars every quarter and is valued by the market at more than $1 trillion.
However, Musk’s recent stock sales could put some pressure on the share price, which some believe cannot be justified for a car company. Tesla is currently valued at more than the Big Three automakers in Detroit — combined.
While Musk — the world’s wealthiest man — taunted Rivian’s IPO, he continued to trim his holdings in Tesla.
The chief executive sold more than 600,000 shares of Tesla, worth some $687 million, on Thursday, according to disclosures made public Friday morning. That comes after he sold more than $5 billion worth of Tesla stock earlier this week.
Musk over the weekend asked his Twitter followers to decide whether he ought to sell 10 percent of his Tesla stock in order to pay a tax on the capital gains. The Twitter crowd voted in favor of selling, but Musk has already started selling shares before he asked the question, disclosures reveal.
To make good on his Twitter promise, he’ll still need to sell more than 12 million more shares in the company.
Representatives for Rivian did not immediately return The Post’s request for comment.
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