Tesla CEO Elon Musk arrived in Shanghai on January 7 to handover a batch of Made-in-China Model 3 to non-employee Chinese customers. Musk was his classic, lighthearted self on stage during the event as he showed off his dance moves in front of Tesla enthusiasts who were in attendance.
Musk was unashamedly open, goofy and comedic — traits that he has been known for since his emergence as a public figure. He shook hands with new owners, high-fived others, and encouraged Gigafactory 3 workers to have fun and be “quirky” while working for the company.
Starting his dance with some classic hand moving and bouncing, he then handed his microphone off to Tesla executive Grace Tao before removing his jacket in a way that can only be described as “smooth as butter.” Tossing his blazer to the side with a wide-eyed grin and continuing his dance moves, Musk then broke out moves that are sure to rival 2020’s most talked-about dances, like DaBaby’s “BOP” choreography.
This is classic, old-school Elon, and it shows a behavior that’s a far cry from 2018’s intense, stressed “Funding Secured” Elon, and 2019’s almost-dark “Autonomy Day” Elon. Over the past couple of years and as Tesla worked on ramping the Model 3, the man responsible for the success of Tesla has been more reserved and almost understated. Simply put, this open display of humor in China is the happiest we have seen Musk in a long time.
This is bad news for the company’s critics and shorts. TSLAQ loves to claim that the downfall of Tesla is just around the corner. Last year, the narrative surrounding the company almost made it feel like Tesla’s failure was indeed imminent, with several Wall St. analysts embracing the “no demand” narrative. TSLA stock fell to over two-year lows as a result. Autonomy Day was practically dismissed by Wall St. Few took Tesla’s Robotaxi concept seriously. And Elon, who appears to be super passionate about the companies that he runs, turned serious.
Tesla turned its fate around after Q3 2019, with the stock climbing to record highs and giving shorts a painful blow worth over $2 billion. TSLA stock ultimately ended 2019 on a powerful note, showing that Elon Musk’s serious change of tone seemed to have worked.
Now we have fun, confident, and lighthearted Elon back again. Considering how emotionally attached Elon is to his companies, this level of confidence is reassuring. This shows that Elon is feeling welcomed in China, where the Made-in-China Model 3 is poised to be a big hit. This also shows that he is confident that Gigafactory 3 is up to the task of bringing the Model 3, and later, the Model Y, to market. If Gigafactory 3 can ramp its Model Y program quickly, then the pain that Tesla critics have felt in 2019 may be just a taste of what’s to come.
The Tesla bears’ narrative is crumbling with sustainable demand seemingly being established by the company’s Model 3 numbers quarter after quarter. Sales continue to rise and Tesla is in the process of opening its second foreign production plant in Brandenburg, Germany. With the Model Y coming in Gigafactory 3, Elon Musk may have literally just danced on TSLAQ’s proverbial grave.