Why Elon Musk is willing to bet Tesla’s profits on driverless cars

Elon Musk is years behind on his ambition to render Tesla’s cars fully autonomous. He is now saying in no uncertain terms that he is willing to bet the company’s profit margins on making it happen.

Mr Musk said on a conference call that Tesla has the wherewithal to sell cars at “zero profit” and then earn immense sums later off driverless software.

The trouble with that for investors? His predictions since at least 2019 that autonomous Teslas are just around the corner have not panned out…

The challenge Mr Musk has had turning driverless visions into reality isn’t stopping him from going forward with markdowns that threaten to set off a price war.

The Austin, Texas-based company has lowered the cost of its top-selling Model Y by 29 per cent in the span of just a few months. That has dented the company’s margins and worried investors who are concerned about deteriorating profits.