Seriously, is Musk okay? Has anyone checked on him?
Generally speaking, and with all due respect, automotive CEOs don't tend to be all that interesting. Ford's Jim Hackett and GM's Mary Barra are about as controversial as white bread, their every word vetted by teams of PR professionals to avoid any potential missteps - like, say, the sort of comments that attract lawsuits from the Securities and Exchange Commission.
But if there's one US auto exec who consistently manages to deliver tremendous entertainment value, it's Tesla CEO Elon Musk, and this past week, shortly after delivering a report on the EV manufacturer's Q1 financials, the 48-year-old billionaire appeared to have a full on Twitter meltdown in full view of everyone - one that sent his company's stock tumbling by more than ten percent.
Here's what happened: at just after 11 am on Friday, completely unprompted, Musk tweeted that he was "selling almost all physical possessions," and "[w]ill own no house." He followed up with the one stipulation: that late actor Gene Wilder's old house, which Musk owns, "cannot be torn down or lose any its [sic] soul."
It only got more bizarre from there, as Musk tweeted: "My gf @Grimezsz is mad at me." He also found the time to fire off a tweet simply reading "Tesla stock price is too high imo," which prompted a sell-off from investors and caused Tesla's share value to plummet ten percent, to $701.32 at market close.
So what, exactly, is going on here? Is Musk's girlfriend, 32-year-old recording artist Grimes, "mad" at him for pledging to rid himself of his houses and other earthly possessions? Or is she upset with something else - like his recent railing against US stay-at-home orders - and his newfound unmaterialism is an attempt to get back in her good graces?
Or, as many have speculated, has the Tesla CEO's Twitter simply been hacked?
We don't care to guess. But it's worth noting that Musk's comments come just after Tesla, carried mostly by Model 3 deliveries, posted a surprise profit for the first quarter - albeit a modest one due to the global coronavirus pandemic. The company reported a gross profit margin of 25.5 percent across the lineup, even including a small margin on the brand new Tesla Model Y, whose production ramp-up was interrupted by the US health emergency.