Currently reading: Tesla boss Musk considers taking firm private
Elon Musk says move could allow electric car firm to focus on long-term goals rather than pleasing investors

Tesla boss Elon Musk says he is considering taking the company private, a move he claims will allow the electric car firm to focus on its “long-term mission”.

Tesla Inc is currently listed on the American Nasdaq stock exchange, but its stock price has varied dramatically in recent months, with the firm under pressure to achieve production targets for the new Model 3

Musk, who owns around 20% of the shares in Tesla, made the surprise announcement on Twitter. He said that he was considering taking the company private at $420 (£325) a share, roughly a fifth higher than the current market price.

Musk followed his tweet by releasing an email he sent to Tesla employees, saying that while no decision has been made, the possible move was about “creating the environment for Tesla to operate best”.

Tesla Model 3 review

He added: “As a public company, we are subject to wild swings in our stock price that can be a major distraction for everyone working at Tesla, all of whom are shareholders. Being public also subjects us to the quarterly earnings cycle that puts enormous pressure on Tesla to make decisions that may be right for a given quarter, but not necessarily right for the long-term.”

The 47-year-old added the move would protect Tesla from short sellers, who have effectively bet on the firm’s share price falling and, in Musk’s words, “have the incentive to attack the company”.

Musk's frustrations with analysts and short sellers have been evident in recent months, notably with a terse exchange on a conference call when he hit out at "boring, bonehead questions".

Musk said all current shareholders would have the choice to remain as investors in the private company, and that employees would remain shareholders. He added that in the future, when Tesla reached a “phase of slower, more predictable growth”, the firm could go public again.

Analysis: will the Model 3 make or break Tesla?

The proposal will have to be voted on by Tesla shareholders before it goes ahead. Following Musk’s initial tweet, trading in Tesla Inc was briefly suspended but ended at $380 (£296) a share, which was close to a record high.

Musk’s announcement came shortly the Financial Times reported that Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund had bought a $2 billion (£1.5 billion) stake in the firm.

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James Attwood

James Attwood, digital editor
Title: Acting magazine editor

James is Autocar's acting magazine editor. Having served in that role since June 2023, he is in charge of the day-to-day running of the world's oldest car magazine, and regularly interviews some of the biggest names in the industry to secure news and features, such as his world exclusive look into production of Volkswagen currywurst. Really.

Before first joining Autocar in 2017, James spent more than a decade in motorsport journalist, working on Autosport,, F1 Racing and Motorsport News, covering everything from club rallying to top-level international events. He also spent 18 months running Move Electric, Haymarket's e-mobility title, where he developed knowledge of the e-bike and e-scooter markets. 

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Mo 9 August 2018

I rememer that Bob Lutz (the

I rememer that Bob Lutz (the ex car executive) said last year that he did not expect Tesla to survive the rest of 2018 because of cash flow problems, and that Tesla would have to be bought by another company before the end of 2018. Other major car companies are on their way to surpass the technological edge that Tesla once had with battery cars.

275not599 8 August 2018

I hate the short termism that

I hate the short termism that focussing on quarterly results produces, but analysts are not lovers/haters of the sort you find on Autocar threads, they are professionals desperate to get it right; Musk's view of them is Trumpian.  I am not a pro or anti blowhard, but it is just possible that Musks worries that upcoming debt payments will generate even worse cash flow problems.  So, rather than embarrass himself seeking protection from creditors under Chapter 11, he effectively wants to sell the company and its debts to an outfit with deep pockets.  Outcome: he moves on after a brilliant creative phase, like PayPal, lets go of the drudgery of manufacturing, and moves on to the next great adventure, rescuing Martians trapped in caves or whatever.

mpls 8 August 2018

SpaceX model is continously

SpaceX model is continously taking government money., the guy is a big fraud..