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Will Tesla manage to stay ahead?

Tesla took a knock this week, with drops in stock and bond prices. The company’s bonds were downgraded on Tuesday to B3 (very high credit risk) and it’s been put on negative watch by Moody’s.

It’s pretty unusual for a company with junk-rated debt to have a market cap of $50bn. But this is a company which, while it’s managed to send a car on an orbit around mars, is facing some struggles. The credit rating agency justified its move with the electric car firm’s failure to meet production expectations (2,500 cars per week), and the fact it’s burning through cash and might soon have to raise over $2bn.

Is Tesla long for this earth? Bill Blain of Mint Capital partners (who does a fantastic market roundup each morning, if you’re interested), also points out that Tesla has taken numerous customer deposits for cars it hasn’t yet built, is worth a multiple of traditional car firms that are selling millions of vehicles, and hasn’t yet turned a profit and so hasn’t been taxed. He asks what will happen when the traditional carmakers go electric (Volvo is from next year). Will Tesla manage to stay ahead?

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