Tesla's future hinges on believers in Elon Musk's vision

Elon Musk
Elon Musk fans believe in his vision for the future, and they're betting he will turn things around for Tesla. Christian Marquardt - Pool/Getty Images
  • Tesla had a tough first quarter, reporting a drop in revenue during a Tuesday earnings call.

  • But Tesla's woes are unlikely to deter its fervent fans from continuing to support the company.

  • Tesla customers are among the strongest brand loyalists out there.

Tesla had a rough Tuesday.

The company reported a drop in revenue during its first-quarter earnings call, falling short of expectations and ushering in a dimmer outlook for the electric vehicle manufacturer.

But luckily for Tesla, the company's fans are a fervent bunch, unlikely to be deterred by one bad quarter.

During the Tuesday earnings call, Tesla reported a net income of $1.1 billion from January to March, which is down about 55% from last year. Stock in the company climbed more than 10% as a result of volatile late trading shortly after the call.


"This ultimately comes down to: Do you believe?" Gene Munster, a managing partner at investment company Deepwater Asset Management, told CNBC shortly after the earnings call, describing Tesla's dilemma.

"If you believe the future is going to be hybrid cars and it's going to take a long time — 20 years — to get to full electrification, the stock's not going anywhere," Munster said Tuesday.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk, for his part, hand-waved concerns about the low numbers during the call, instead doubling down on vague promises of the future of artificial intelligence at the company and a fully autonomous car.

Musk's mid-call musings seemed to satisfy investors enough, The Washington Post reported. The Tesla chief said the company was speeding up its production timeline on a much-anticipated more affordable car and fully committing to the autonomous "Cybercab."

"If you believe electrification — despite all of its troubles now — is going to accelerate," Munster told CNBC, Tesla is the "best-positioned company to deliver on that future around autonomy and electrification."

And Tesla customers tend to be devout believers in the promise of electrification. The company's brand loyalists have been described as "cult-like" in their dedication to the manufacturer and its vehicles.

"Ultimately, this company is going to survive to see the next generation vehicle…and see the rising tide of electrification," Munster said. "I'm still a shareholder. I'm still optimistic."

Tesla is no stranger to staging a successful comeback. The company was among the first few car manufacturers to reopen after the pandemic, marking several quarters in a row of growth and revenue rebound.

The company, however, is facing a slew of struggles in recent months including recent regulatory attention, a car recall, and multiple lawsuits.

But industry probes and factory recalls are hardly deterrents to the majority of Tesla zealots.

"I just believe in what they're doing from an innovation standpoint," Munster said.

Read the original article on Business Insider