Reality begins to collide with Musk’s vision
Tesla shares rallied last week but pressure is building on its visionary and unconventional CEO to face reality
Elon Musk — tech visionary, showman, fixture of the gossip columns — knows how to mount a charm offensive. As the Tesla boss opened his annual shareholder meeting he declared: "This is going to sound a little cheesy, but at Tesla we build our cars with love." A disarming admission about his own habitual overoptimism followed. But that did not stop him declaring, straight-faced, that Tesla was likely to hit a production target in June that has come to be seen as a make-or-break moment for the electric car company. The Musk pixie dust has lost none of its potency. His performance touched off a rally that has added 23% to Tesla’s flagging shares, putting them back within reach of their high. After a bruising spring, Musk is back on top — at least, for this week. For other chiefs, the share price might be a mark of pride or personal vindication. But for Musk it is so much more. It has turned into Tesla’s key weapon, making it possible for the perennially loss-making company to keep retu...