Summary List PlacementElon Musk has a new metaphor for Tesla’s high-flying stock price: french pastry.
In an company-wide email sent Tuesday and seen by Business Insider, the chief executive told staff that investors had put a high price on future profit predictions. “If, at any point, they conclude that’s not going to happen,” Musk said, “our stock will immediately get crushed like a soufflé under a sledgehammer!”
Tesla did not respond to a request for comment about the email.
Tesla in October reported its most profitable quarter ever, its fourth consecutive reporting period in the green. Those results put the automaker on track for its first annual profit in a more than a decade of existence and helped it nab a spot in the prestigious S&P 500 index, which it will join next month.
Its stock price, meanwhile, has risen more than 579% this year, easily outpacing the broader market and making Tesla more valuable than traditional automakers.
Despite the optimism and growing profits — most of which are attributable to sales of carbon credits, not cars — Musk warned employees that discretion is still key.
“At a time like this, when our stock is reaching new heights, it may seem as though spending carefully is not as important,” he said. “This is definitely not true!”
“In order to make our cars affordable, we have to get smarter about how we spend money,” he continued. “This is a tough Game of Pennies, requiring thousands of good ideas to improve part cost, a factory process or simplify the design, while increasing quality and capabilities.”
Tesla will officially join the S&P 500 in December, and is expected to report its full-year financials in early 2021.
Read the full email below:

At a time like this, when our stock is reaching new heights, it may seem as though spending carefully is not as important. This is definitely not true!
When looking at our actual profitability, it is very low at around 1% for the past year. Investors are giving us a lot of credit for future profitability, but if, at any point, they conclude that’s not going to happen, our stock will immediately get crushed like a soufflé under a sledgehammer!
Much more important, in order to make our cars affordable, we have to get smarter about how we spend money. This is a tough Game of Pennies, requiring thousands of good ideas to improve part cost, a factory process or simplify the design, while increasing quality and capabilities. A great idea would be one that saves $5, but the vast majority are $0.50 here or $0.20 there.
In order to make the electric revolution happen, we must make electric cars, stationary batteries and solar affordable to all.
Thanks and great working with you as always,
Elon
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