For those in the investment world, the term “bear” represents those who expect a stock’s value to go down, or as it often plays out, those who are against a particular stock and company. Taking bearish sentiment a step further, short sellers are bears who bet on a stock’s value going down.
Those who have been bearish on Tesla for a few years (or several years), and especially those who have been shorting the stock, have been seeing a very tough time. Tesla’s stock price has gone up enormously in the past year, and while bears/shorts were hopeful during a recent drop that it would deflate at a similar scale, it just bounced back again in the past 5 days from about $601 to nearly $700. (Disclosure: I own a small share of Tesla stock.)
Nasdaq writer Martin Tillier shared his thoughts on this and mentioned that he has been consistently bullish on Tesla’s stock (TSLA) for a couple of years at least.
“I know and understand that that gives me a subconscious bias no matter how hard I try to be impartial, which is why I declare my interest. I sometimes wonder, though, what excuse the Tesla permabears have.
“After all, every reason they have given over the last few years not to buy TSLA, or to short it, has been shown to be wrong (and in the case of shorting the stock, disastrous). Yet they still keep coming up with new reasons for being bearish against TSLA.”
Tillier noted that in the beginning, he had some sympathy toward the bears and even agreed with them at the time on some of their arguments. He’d even written bearish articles, because, for a while, Tesla was just an idea — not an actual business.
He acknowledged that they made great cars but that the production during the early stages was very limited and the “path to profitability looked more like a mountain trail than a path — steep and difficult, with a good chance that it would lead to a fatal fall. Founder and CEO Elon Musk was unorthodox, abrasive, goofy, and arrogant — all at the same time. There were scary headlines about cars catching fire and going out of control etc., etc.”
However, he began to realize that as time passed, Tesla’s products and its drive to succeed spoke for themselves. That drive was born from Elon Musk’s leadership.
“They navigated that steep path with the help of investors, and the negative headlines were shown to be sensationalism at its worst. Those stories pointed out the remarkably few safety glitches in cars that had a much better safety record than their counterparts. After all, a ‘One Tesla Catches Fire!’ story every six months or so will draw eyeballs, if only because of its scarcity, while a ‘519 Gas-Powered Vehicles Catch Fire Today’ story would get boring after a while if reported daily.”
Tillier noted that, recently, the production numbers began to ramp up, and as this happened, the bear thesis started changing. In one instance, it was that margins would be squeezed as other automakers started making EVs. The usual “the competition is coming” or “Tesla killer” mantras reworked. Then the thesis dictated that Tesla could never penetrate the Chinese market — the local competition wouldn’t allow for this. Again, wrong. Tillier speculated that the next reason not to buy Tesla would focus on “value.”
Tillier’s piece about the Tesla bears losing the war they waged on Tesla and its stock follows several other news pieces. Barrons reported last week that all of Tesla’s short sellers had vanished and cited the “endless battle” between bulls (those optimistic about or invested in the stock) and bears — “the bears don’t have much fight anymore, despite a nice dip in the share price, and the short-sellers have all but surrendered.”
Following that, Teslarati shared that Tesla bears are becoming an endangered species. In that piece, it was pointed out that former Goldman Sachs Asset Management CIO, Gary Black, noted that the declining number of Tesla bears may be due to the debunking of critical bearish arguments against Tesla.
Having been following Elon Musk and Tesla since 2018 and writing for CleanTechnica since 2019, I was witness to these battles and often participated in them. Debunking the lies and the FUD (fear, uncertainty, and doubt) was something that I felt compelled to do. I didn’t like the outright lies against Elon Musk and I did what I was able to do — I wrote about it. I, along with several others, was the target of some of the more hardcore bears, who often labeled tweets with “TSLAQ” (which stands for Tesla going bankrupt, in stock market style).
It’s a great feeling to see some of the viciousness die down. Although, not all of it.
I want to build upon what Tillier said. Tesla’s products speak for themselves. However, Tesla’s success also speaks for Tesla. The one thing that has been consistent during this entire war was Tesla’s focus on its products and customers despite the constant noise made from the press, short sellers, and trolls. Observing this has helped me to grow in areas of my own life and I’m grateful to gain the knowledge I’ve gained since following Elon Musk and Tesla in 2018.
With all of this said, it’s important to remember that Tesla is the loudest voice for sustainability and clean energy in the world. If it wasn’t for Tesla, EVs would still be the butts of jokes, and other automakers wouldn’t even attempt to make good ones. Tesla has changed the industry, as it set out to do, and it continues to leave its fingerprint on the auto market day after day.