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Tesla “Assessments every box for a tidy short sigh” Hedge fund

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Tesla “Assessments every box for a tidy short sigh” Hedge fund

Image Courtesy: Sheeraz Raza for ValueWalk, taken at Westfield Mall, London. Stanphyl Capital January 2020 hedge fund letter to investors on why Tesla Inc. (NASDAQ:TSLA) is still a good short and going to be crushed by competition from the Audi e tron. Full letter can be found in PDF at the bottom of this post.…

Tesla “Assessments every box for a tidy short sigh” Hedge fund

Tesla Model y audi e tronImage Courtesy: Sheeraz Raza for ValueWalk, taken at Westfield Mall, London.

Stanphyl Capital January 2020 hedge fund letter to traders on why Tesla Inc. (NASDAQ:TSLA) is quiet an proper short and going to be beaten by competition from the Audi e tron. Full letter may presumably also be designate in PDF at the backside of this submit.

Tesla Model y audi e tron

Image Courtesy: Sheeraz Raza for ValueWalk, taken at Westfield Mall, London.

Mates and Fellow Merchants:


Despite our greatly reduced (in December) Tesla short sigh, that stock damage us all yet again this month because it became as soon as up one other 56% in January, and roughly half of this month’s unfavourable performance became as soon as ensuing from a well-known hit we took on January 2021 TSLA $690 calls that I’d shorted in the $17s assist in 2018 when the stock became as soon as in the low $300s. Coming into this month they comprised factual below 5% of the hedge fund and had been priced at $14, and when the stock rocketed in early January I carried out them out at $25 to $35 (they carried out the month at $108!), and the majority of this month’s anguish became as soon as completed. Now our ultimate TSLA short sigh is straight equity that currently comprises round 5% of the fund.

I continuously search files from myself what I’ve realized from this disastrous Tesla expertise, and how I’d address it otherwise in the waste. Let me first utter that earlier than I opened this fund I made many avoidable mistakes in the stock market; if truth be told, it became as soon as learning from a lengthy litany of “the unprecedented investing mistake suspects” (must you’ve been in the markets lengthy ample, you’ve positively realized from moderately a great deal of them your self), that gave me the self perception to open this fund in 2011.

That acknowledged, Tesla, in inequity to any other company I’ve ever seen, tests every box for a tidy short sigh: a primarily frightful commerce in a capital intensive, vastly competitive commerce with a bubble-stock valuation and a pathologically mendacity CEO committing (and so a long way getting away with) a multitude of fraud in terrifying daylight. In other words, you give me 1000 TSLAs and for 999 of them a transient sigh will work superbly.

Stanphyl is a concentrated fund (that’s why I won’t address more than 10% of any outside worth investor’s portfolio, even supposing approximately 80% of my money is in the fund) that can as soon as in a while trudge as mighty as 1/3 of the portfolio in a single equity sigh. When I look something that I sigh would work 999 times out of 1000 I don’t dimension the sigh as if it has, utter, “a 70% probability of working.” As a exchange I dimension it as if it no longer working may presumably presumably be the equivalent of getting hit by “a stock market meteor” (which admittedly has decrease odds than getting hit by a proper meteor).

You give me 1000 companies with the profile of Tesla to short and collectively we’ll ranking the largest and most successful fund in the historic past of investing, however unfortunately (and even “luckily”) there aren’t 1000 short candidates with the profile of Tesla—if truth be told, there aren’t even two. From a excellent standpoint then, Tesla’s “rarity” capacity it’s extraordinarily no longer truly we’d ever all yet again dimension a transient sigh in a identical manner (our customary dimension for a transient sigh is 2% to 5%)—no longer ensuing from “this one didn’t work,” however ensuing from we’ll likely never all yet again look an organization as crazy as Tesla.

As for Tesla, I’ll now drag away it as a 5% sigh until I learn earlier than the market does (legally, unnecessary to suppose!) that the feds at final slapped a pair of cuffs on Musk. Forward of stumbling at some level of this company I had a lengthy file of distinctive outperformance, and I prefer that file assist.

In that vein, as you may presumably presumably presumably capture from final month’s letter, in unhurried December I took the fund assist to its roots to focal level totally on discovering deep-worth microcap/nanocap lengthy positions and (as I won’t alter our definition of “worth stocks” to suit a global asset bubble) preserving more money if significant. I covered our nonTesla equity shorts for as lengthy as the Fed is printing money; when the money-printing stops we’ll short other stocks all yet again, however as I wrote final month, lawful now that’s like playing poker against a man with a chipmaking machine on his lap—he can name every bet a transient-vendor makes and I don’t have to “play against the house.”


And now for the fund’s positions…


As renowned above, we stay short Tesla Inc. (TSLA), which I quiet care for in mind to be the largest single stock bubble on this total bubble market. The core capabilities of our Tesla short thesis are:

  • Tesla has no “moat” of any style; i.e., nothing meaningfully proprietary by job of electrical car expertise, while present automakers—in inequity to Tesla—ranking a a protracted time-lengthy “expertise moat” of shimmering the vogue to mass-device, distribute and restore excessive-quality cars continuously and profitably, as well to the capacity to subsidize losses on electrical cars with earnings from their venerable cars.
  • By mid-to-unhurried 2020 Tesla and its abominable stability sheet will return to losing money.
  • Tesla is now a “busted insist story”; Q4 income became as soon as roughly flat 300 and sixty five days-over-300 and sixty five days while unit search files from for its cars is ultimate being maintained by device of continual brand reductions and expiring tax incentives.
  • Elon Musk is a securities fraud-committing pathological liar.

Tesla tax credit

In January Tesla reported $105 million in earnings for the fourth quarter of 2019 (entirely from the sale of regulatory emissions credit, no longer from a self-sustaining auto commerce), which became as soon as down 25% from Q4 2018, while income became as soon as up factual 2% and the burly-300 and sixty five days loss became as soon as $862 million. If we compare the 2d half of 2019 to the 2d half of 2018, Tesla income fell 3% and ranking earnings fell 45%. Yet somewhere available in the market’s a mass of idiots bidding this stock to the moon ensuing from they mediate it’s a “hypergrowth” company! Liam Denning at Bloomberg does a amazing job of pondering that absurdity.

Moreover, Tesla’s “earnings” are in overall inflated by at the least $200 million per quarter due its huge ongoing warranty fraud, so if truth be told the corporate likely lost money in Q4; right here’s my Twitter thread explaining about a of that and right here’s a amazing Seeking Alpha article explaining the remainder. Within the period in-between we’ll ranking to look at the 10-Ample in about a weeks to learn what other scammery Tesla pulled in the quarter; relaxation assured there became as soon as masses.

Fraud at Tesla?

Yet even with all that fraud, right here (courtesy of my buddy @Montana_Skeptic) is a big historic chart of Tesla’s earnings music file despite billions of bucks in public subsidies:

And courtesy of @TeslaCharts, right here’s a chart of Tesla’s income “hypergrowth”:

As for the nonsensical earnings conference name, this quote from Musk about when so-referred to as “Autopilot” will be “feature total” can ranking been the spotlight:

“feature total factual capacity prefer it has some likelihood of going from your property to work let’s utter without a interventions. So, that’s — it doesn’t mean the capabilities are working successfully, alternatively it capacity it has above zero likelihood. So I mediate that’s attempting like maybe it’s going to be a pair of months from now.” 

That insane assertion prefaces Fraud-Boy’s want to acknowledge approximately $500 million of non-money (it’s already on the stability sheet) deferred income from its fraudulently named “Full Self-Utilizing” (the capabilities of which provide nothing of the style), thereby turning a future money-losing quarter (likely Q2 2020) into one showing paper earnings. Within the period in-between, God ultimate knows what number of more of us this monstrosity unleashed on public roads will waste.

Predominant competition from the Audi e-tron

For these of you shopping for a resumption of insist from Tesla’s upcoming Mannequin Y when it launches in March, that car will every vastly cannibalize sales of the Mannequin 3 sedan and (later this 300 and sixty five days and in 2021) face superior competition from the mighty nicer electrical Audi Q4 etron, BMW iX3, Mercedes EQB, Volvo XC40 and Volkswagen ID Crozz, while more brand efficient and readily available now are the excellent unique all-electrical Hyundai Kona and Kia Niro, extraordinarily successfully reviewed small crossovers with an EPA range of 258 miles for the Hyundai and 238 miles for the Kia, at prices of below $30,000 inclusive of the $7500 U.S. tax credit. Within the period in-between, the Mannequin 3 can ranking terrific verbalize “sedan competition” later this 300 and sixty five days from Volvo’s comely unique Polestar 2, the BMW i4 and the highest payment model of Volkswagen’s ID.3.

Chinese language cars

And must you sigh China is the secret to the resumption of Tesla’s insist, let’s effect that market in perspective: sooner than a contemporary 10% VAT exemption Tesla became as soon as selling round 30,000 Mannequin 3s a 300 and sixty five days there, and “the story” is that avoiding the 15% tariff and 10% VAT, plus a $3600 EV incentive that likely expires next 300 and sixty five days will allow it to promote rather more. Nonetheless, the rule of thumb for the flexibleness of vehicle pricing is that every 1% brand sever outcomes in a sales extend of up to 2.4%.

If we capture a 2.4x “elasticity multiplier,” domestically produced Mannequin 3s which may presumably presumably be 33% more cost effective would lead to annual sales of factual 54,000 (33% x 2.4 = 79% more than the outdated 30,000), meaning Tesla’s unique Chinese language manufacturing facility may presumably presumably be a huge money-loser by running at factual unprejudiced a itsy-bitsy more than 1/3 of its preliminary 150,000-unit annual skill and 1/10th of the skill it will ranking two years from now.

This ensures hugely missed insist targets and it is “insist” (or more accurately, the fantasy of insist) that drives Tesla’s stock brand. And right here’s a huge overview of what a dogfight the Chinese language EV market has change into.

Within the period in-between, sales of Tesla’s absolute best-margin cars (the Models S&X) will be down by roughly 50% worldwide this 300 and sixty five days vs. their 2018 peak, ensuing from cannibalization from the more brand efficient Mannequin 3 and verbalize highend competition (namely in Europe and China) from the Audi etron, Jaguar ITempo, Mercedes EQC and Porsche Taycan, with a number of extra electrical Audis, Mercedes and Porsches to apply, many at starting prices severely below these of the excessive-halt Teslas. (Thought the links below for more particulars.)

And oh, the joke of a “pickup truck” Tesla introduced in November won’t be any manufacture of “insist engine” either, namely as if it’s ever built it will enter a dogfight of a market.

Audi e-tron vs Tesla consumer reports

Within the period in-between, Tesla has the most executive departures I’ve ever seen from any company; right here’s the astonishing burly checklist of escapees. These of us aren’t leaving ensuing from things are going huge (and even passably) at Tesla; moderately, they’re likely leaving ensuing from Musk is either an outright criminal or the arena’s largest jerk to work for (or every). In January Aaron Greenspan of @PlainSite published a significant treatise on the lengthy historic past of Tesla fraud; please learn it!


In Also can Consumer Studies fully eviscerated the safety of Tesla’s so-referred to as “Autopilot” machine; if truth be told, Teslas ranking rather more pro rata (i.e., relative to the amount offered) lethal incidents than other associated unique luxurious cars; right here’s a link to those which ranking been made public. Within the period in-between Consumer Myth’s annual auto reliability view ranks Tesla 23rd out of 30 brands (and that’s with many stockholder/owners positively underreporting their problems—the proper quantity is quite no doubt mighty worse), and the amount of complaints of all kinds against the corporate continues to escalate– there for the time being are over 800 alongside side one proving blatant fraud by Musk in the SolarCity buyout (must you should have to be in actuality entertained, learn his deposition!), an allegation that unsafe door handles prompted a Tesla driver to burn to death in his car, and proof that the company secretly rolled assist battery performance without compensating owners.

So right here is Tesla’s competition in cars reminiscent of the Audi e-tron (allege: these links are steadily updated)…

Porsche Taycan

Taycan Unsuitable Turismo

Porsche Macan EV to get Taycan platform and tech

Audi etron: Electrical Has Gone Audi

2020 Audi ETron Sportback debuts slick unique roofline, a itsy-bitsy more range

AUDI ETRON GT FIRST DRIVE: LOOK OUT, TESLA (readily available 2020)

Audi’s Q4 etron previews entrydiploma EV for 2021

Audi etron compact hatch to lead worth’s electrification plans

TT location to morph into allelectrical crossover


Jaguar Land Rover readies electrical XJ and Differ Rover

Mercedes EQC electrical SUV readily available now in Europe & China and in 2021 in the U.S.

Mercedes EQV Electrical Minivan Printed On hand 2020

EQB Small SUV to boost worth’s electrical lineup

Mercedes EQS will be built as well to to the SClass on a brand unique dedicated electrical platform

Volvo Polestar 2 Arrives 2020

XC40 Recharge, a 408HP Electrical SUV comes in 2020

Volvo confirms electrical model of next XC90

Volkswagen unveils the ID.3, its first ‘electrical car for the masses’

VW’s EV crossover for U.S. will be referred to as ID4

VW Community to launch 70 pure electrical cars over the next decade

258Mile Hyundai Kona electrical is at as soon as available now for below $40,000

Genesis Electrical Luxury SUV Coming in 2022

239Mile Kia Niro EV is On hand Now For Underneath $40,000

Kia Soul (readily available mid2019) EV’s Differ Jumps to 243 Miles

Kia Europe to ranking six pure electrical items by 2022

AllElectrical Ford Mustang MachE Delivers Energy, Vogue and Freedom for Unusual Era

Electrical Ford F150 arrives in 2021

Ford to style two European EVs according to VW’s MEB platform

GM to Revive Hummer Title on Unusual Electrical Pickup Mannequin

Chevrolet Walk Now Offers 259 Miles of Differ

GM’s DetroitHamtramck plant anticipated to style electrical Escalade, Sierra

GM is remodeling Cadillac into an electrical worth

Nissan LEAF e+ with 226mile range is at as soon as available now

Nissan Ariya Electrical SUV Thought Is Destined for Production

BMW 1 Sequence Electrical Coming As Early As 2021

BMW iX3 electrical crossover goes on sale in 2020

2021 BMW i4 particulars revealed: 80kWh battery, 530 hp, 373mile range

BMW’s 2021 iNEXT Returns In Unusual Teasers Displaying Prototypes Production

Rivian electrical pickup truckfunded by Amazon, Ford, Cox & othersis on the vogue

Renault upgrades Zoe electrical car as competition intensifies

Peugeot 208 to impress Europe’s smallcar market

Peugeot to provide EV model of newest 2008 small crossover

Electrical Mini Arrives 2020

Toyota and Subaru Agree to Jointly Damage BEVdedicated Platform and BEV SUV

Mazda extends MX name to unique MX30 electrical crossover

SEAT will launch 6 electrical and hybrid items and impact a brand unique platform for electrical vehicles

Opel sees electrical Corsa as key EV entry

Opel/Vauxhall will launch electrical SUV and van in 2020

Skoda accepting deposits for electrical cars

Unusual Citroen C4 Cactus to be first electrified Citroen in 2020

FCA to make investments $788M to style unique 500 EV in Italy

Maserati to launch electrical sports actions car

Bentley Will Supply Hybrid Variations of Every Automobile It Makes and Add an EV by 2025

Lucid Motors closes $1 billion take care of Saudi Arabia to fund electrical car manufacturing

Meet the Canoo, a SubscriptionSupreme EV Pod Coming in 2021

Two unique electrical cars from Mahindra in India; Global Tesla rival ecar rapidly

Gentle Saab manufacturing facility gets unique life building solarpowered Sono Sion electrical cars

And in China the Audi e-tron, Volkswagen and others…

VW ramps up China electrical car factories, taking unbiased at Tesla

SAIC Volkswagen to roll out 3 MEBbased fully EV items in 2020/2021

JACVolkswagen Open SOL E20X, The first EV from the Joint Mission

Audi Q2L etron debuts at Auto Shanghai

Audi will style Q4 etron in China

FAWVolkswagen’s Foshan plant acknowledged to device etron Sportback

Hongqi begins selling electrical SUV with 400km range for $32,000

FAW (Hongqi) to roll out 15 electrical items by 2025

China’s BYD launches six unique electrified vehicles

Daimler & BYD launch unique DENZA electrical automobile for the Chinese language market

Geely, MercedesBenz launch $780 million JV to device electrical wisebranded cars

Mercedes styled Denza X 7seat electrical SUV to hit market

Mercedes ‘makes worth’ with Chinabuilt EQC

Daimler and BMW to cooperate on more cost-effective electrical car in China

BMW, Massive Wall to style unique China plant for electrical cars

BAIC Goes Electrical, & Establishes Itself as a Power in China’s Unusual Energy Automobile Future

BAIC BJEV, Magna ready to pour RMB2 bln in allelectrical PV manufacturing JV

Toyota, BYD will jointly impact electrical vehicles for China

Lexus to launch EV in China taking on VW and Tesla

GAC Toyota to ramp up annual skill by 400,000 NEVs

And GAC Aion

GAC unveils unique NEV offshoot dubbed HYCAN

Chevrolet’s unique Chinaultimate EV is named the Menlo and it looks appropriate

Buick Rolls Out First Electrical Automobile for China

Long-established Motors’ Chinese language Mission to Sink $4.3 Billion Into Electrical Automobiles by 2024

Nissan & Dongfeng to make investments $9.5 billion in China to boost electrical vehicles

PSA to scurry up rollout of electrified vehicles in China

Fiat Chrysler, Foxconn Group Up for Electrical Automobiles

Hyundai Motor Remodeling Chongqing Factory into Electrical Automobile Plant


Jaguar Land Rover’s Chinese language arm invests £800m in EV manufacturing

Renault unearths collection urban eSUV AmpleZE for China

Brilliance & Renault detail electrical van lineup for China

Renault kinds China electrical automobile project with JMCG

Honda Debuts Unusual Everus VE1 AllElectrical SUV, But Supreme For China

Honda to roll out over 20 electrical items in China by 2025

Geely launches unique electrical car worth ‘Geometry’ will launch 10 EVs by 2025

Mazda to roll out Chinaultimate electrical vehicles by 2020

Xpeng Motors sells a number of EV items

Changan Unusual Energy

WM Motors/Weltmeister





China’s adorable Ora R1 electrical hatch provides a huge range for lower than US$9,000


JAC Motors releases unique product planning, alongside side many NEVs

Seat to device purely electrical cars with JAC VW in China

Iconiq Motors


EV maker Bordrin skips flash, keeps propercar focal level


NEVS launches electricalcar output with Saab 93 platform in China


CHJ Automobile begins to unprejudiced receive orders of Leading Wonderful ONE

Infiniti to launch Chinese languagebuilt EV in 2022

Zotye Auto to roll out 10 plus NEV items by 2020

Skywell makes inroads into China’s NEV arena

Advise Energy


Continental, Didi brand deal on organising EVs for China

Mine Mobility (Thailand)


So in summary, Tesla is set to face a huge onslaught of competition with a market cap higher than Volkswagen’s or Ford’s and GM’s blended, despite selling round 400,000 cars a 300 and sixty five days while VW sells 10.5 million and Ford and GM promote 6 million and eight million vehicles respectively, producing billions of bucks in annual profit.

Thus, this money-burning Musk arrogance challenge is worth vastly lower than its roughly $124 billion enterprise worth and—ensuing from over $30 billion in debt, purchase and rent duties— may presumably at final be worth “zero.”

Thanks and regards,

Designate Spiegel

Full letter in PDF manufacture

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