Tesla (TSLA:US) CEO Elon Musk expressed concern about the impact of high-interest rates on car buyers and indicated hesitancy regarding the company's plans for a factory in Mexico.
This, coupled with soft Q3 results, sent Tesla shares about 7% lower on Thursday. The stock already fell 4.8% on Wednesday.
Tesla missed Wall Street expectations for the third quarter in terms of gross margin, profit, and revenue. Adjusted earnings per share came in at $0.66, missing the Street’s target of $0.73.
Revenue was $23.35 billion while analysts were looking for as much as $24.1 billion.
Speaking on the earnings call, Musk mentioned that Tesla is cautious about going "full tilt" on the Mexico factory as it assesses the economic outlook. He emphasized that macroeconomic conditions and rising interest rates could make cars unaffordable for potential buyers.
Moreover, he offered disappointing comments about Cybertruck despite Tesla sticking to its earlier production goals.
“It is going to require immense work to reach volume production and be cashflow positive at a price that people can afford,” with the Cybertruck.
“I just want to temper expectations for Cybertruck. It’s a great product, but financially, it will take a year to 18 months before it is a significant positive cash flow contributor.”
Tesla's gross margin dropped to 17.9% in the third quarter, down from 25.1% a year earlier when the company had not yet started cutting prices.
Musk's concerns about expansion and affordability represent a shift in tone from a year ago when he described Tesla as "recession resilient."
The EV company has been managing demand through a series of price cuts but is now facing uncertainties about the economic environment and interest rates.
Senator Sheldon Whitehouse recently reported that he invested up to $15,000 in TSLA stock back on September 20. Concurrently, Congressman Josh Gottheimer reported buying shares of the EV manufacturer in the same range.