Elon Musk Teases ‘More Affordable Models’ to Bump Tesla’s Falling Stock

Musk doesn’t seem very interested in cheaper EVs, but Wall Street’s not biting on robotaxis and humanoid robots yet.

byNico DeMattia|
Tesla Model 3 Highland. Tesla
Tesla Model 3 Highland. Tesla. Tesla


A few weeks ago, Tesla's stock dipped a bit after Reuters reported that the entry-level, $25,000 Model 2 was being dropped in favor of autonomous robotaxis. CEO Elon Musk then fired back in a post on the social media platform he owns, claiming Reuters was lying, but failed to provide any further explanation. Then, earlier this week, Tesla reported that its first-quarter net profit plummeted to its lowest point in six years. In response to all this, Musk used an earnings call to once again push the idea of robotaxis—and, weirdly, humanoid robots—while tossing in a few throwaway lines about affordable cars, to give Wall Street a reason not to give up entirely.

"If somebody doesn’t believe Tesla is going to solve autonomy, I think they should not be an investor in the company," Musk told investors, according to the Wall Street Journal. While nothing is concrete just yet, Musk apparently threw out the name "Cybercab" for Tesla's supposedly upcoming robotaxi.

According to Musk, not only is Tesla focused on manufacturing robotaxis, but the company will also operate its own ride-hailing fleet. However, he didn't talk as deeply about progress on upcoming entry-level cars like the supposedly very much still real Model 2, or even reducing the prices of Tesla's existing volume sellers, like the Model 3 and Y. Instead, Musk only said that Tesla was in the process of developing new models.


"We’ve updated our future vehicle lineup to accelerate the launch of new models," he said, according to The Verge. However, he also stated that these vehicles would be built on existing, albeit updated platforms. And they probably won't be updated too drastically, because Musk said they'd be made in existing factories, using existing assembly lines.

"We read 'more affordable' as potentially de-contented Model Y/Model 3 versions with improvements in software and AI/hardware capability, but at lower prices," Morgan Stanley analyst Adam Jonas said, per Reuters.

Musk reportedly spoke about robotaxis, artificial intelligence, and even the aforementioned humanoid robot named Optimus more than affordable cars. He's like a teenager that just watched Ex Machina, thought Oscar Issac's character was the protagonist, and now wants to be him. Affordable cars just seem to be the stock bait he keeps throwing out to keep investors happy. Absurdly, it's working; Tesla's stock is 15 points higher today than it was yesterday, before Musk addressed the public.

Will we ever see a $25,000 Tesla Model 2, or any of the affordable models Musk has promised over the years? Supposedly, they're on track to arrive sometime before the end of 2025, if not later this year. But Musk predicts product timelines the same way I forecast when I'll finish house projects to my wife. "Sure, I can paint that room by spring..." Reader, I still haven't painted the room.

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