Musk Tesla Share Sale Surpasses $10bn

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Elon Musk’s Tesla share sell-off surpasses $10 billion as it reaches into fourth consecutive week, while Cybertruck gets ‘insane’ four-motor variant

Tesla chief executive Elon Musk has sold more than $10 billion (£7.6bn) in the company’s shares as his selling spree moves into the fourth consecutive week.

Separately, Musk gave more information on Tesla’s upcoming Cybertruck, saying it would include a high-end four-motor variant.

Musk’s latest market transaction was the sale of more than 934,000 shares worth about $1.01bn late last week, according to regulatory filings.

The billionaire is selling the shares to offset taxes on the exercise of about 2.1 million options.

tesla cybertruck
Tesla’s Cybertruck. Image credit: Tesla

Tax bill

Including the most recent sale, Musk has now sold some 10.1 million shares, worth about $10.9bn, since a 6 November Twitter poll in which he asked users whether he should sell 10 percent of his Tesla stake to help pay taxes.

It’s unclear whether the poll had any real bearing on Musk’s plans, since he had previously said he was likely to exercise a large block of stock options toward the end of the year, and had set up a trading plan to sell shares before the poll. Musk said he would abide by the results of the poll.

To sell 10 percent of his stake Musk would need to sell another roughly 7 million to 12 million more shares, depending on how his stake in Tesla is calculated.

Tesla’s shares have slumped 11 percent since the poll.

Cybertruck

Meanwhile, Musk said the upcoming Cybertruck, which brought in hundreds of thousands of pre-orders after its announcement in 2019, would include a four-motor variant allowing it to drive diagonally.

“Initial production will be four-motor variant, with independent, ultra fast response torque control of each wheel,” Musk wrote on Twitter.

He said the truck would include both front- and rear-wheel steering that would allow it to turn “like a tank” and  to “drive diagonally like a crab”.

He described the pickup truck as “insane technology bandwagon”.

The vehicle is to compete with an expanding range of truck-style electric vehicles, including GMC’s Hummer EV, Ford’s F-150 Lightning and Rivian’s R1T.

Competition

The R1T is driven by four individual motors powering all four wheels, while the Hummer can drive diagonally.

Musk said he would give updates on the Cybertruck roadmap in the next earnings call. Production of the vehicle is expected to begin next year, with volume production in 2023.

Amazon- and Ford-backed Rivian staged a successful Nasdaq IPO last month that instantly made it one of the world’s most valuable carmakers, in spite of the fact that it has only recently begun delivering its first vehicles.

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