Tesla surprised Wall Street on Wednesday after revealing a $312 million profit and Model 3 margins of more than 20% for the third quarter. Amidst another earnings call that featured a controlled, calm Elon Musk, the market’s optimism with Tesla was palpable, as shown by TSLA shares’ rise in Wednesday’s after-hours and Thursday’s pre-market trading.
Musk was in light spirits on Twitter after the earnings call. Before he signed off, Musk expressed his sincere thanks to Tesla’s supporters, particularly electric car owners who pitched in to help the company deliver as many vehicles as possible before Q3 ended. In his Twitter post, Musk stated that Tesla would not be around if it weren’t for the support of its community.
Massive thanks to Tesla owners & supporters. We wouldn’t be here without you.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) October 25, 2018
Musk’s Twitter announcement came just hours after the CEO highlighted the help Tesla received from owners and supporters in the recent earnings call. As Tesla was facing what Elon Musk described as “delivery logistics hell” in September, owners volunteered to offer their help in delivering vehicles to reservation holders. While volunteers were unable to help with paperwork, they did conduct orientations so newcomers can familiarize themselves with the features and functions of their electric cars. All the way until the end of the month, Tesla’s volunteer-augmented delivery initiative was in full throttle, allowing the company to deliver a total of 83,500 vehicles, comprised of 55,840 Model 3, 14,470 Model S, and 13,190 Model X.
During his opening remarks in the recent earnings call, Elon Musk stated that Tesla’s impressive performance and figures were the results of efforts from employees across the board, as well as members of the Tesla community who paid it forward. His voice slightly breaking in the call, Musk admitted that the dedication of Tesla’s owners and supporters “chokes (him) up.”
“This quarter was made possible by the incredible execution of our employees across the Board from sales, production, delivery, service, energy engineering finance and all of our G&A teams, really every part of the business executing incredibly well. And when I think I want to gain probably incredibly hard work, especially I want to thank customers who helped — it’s like many of you haven’t heard of this, maybe this has happened before, but I’ve never heard of it a case where a company’s customers actually cared about the future of the company so much that they volunteered their time to help the company succeed. I think that’s amazing, just don’t see that anywhere. So, yeah, like really it chokes me up, actually.”
Tesla has only been in the auto business for 15 years, and as such, it is still a newcomer compared to automotive veterans like Ford and GM. Despite its short tenure, Tesla has developed a following that is almost comparable to some of the tech industry’s most iconic brands such as Apple, thanks to products that incite a certain level of dedication practically unheard of in the auto industry. As shown in its volunteer-boosted delivery weekends in September, Tesla had all but transformed itself into a movement, a company that inspires optimism and loyalty among its supporters.
Ultimately, Musk’s statements, both in the third quarter earnings call and on Twitter, show a CEO who, instead of doing an arguably well-deserved victory lap, opted instead to give credit where it is due. And that, at the end of the day, shows a great deal of maturity on the part of the visionary CEO.