No less than two years ago, Tesla was facing what many considered to be a make-or-break moment.
The verdict is in: Tesla made it.
The electric vehicle maker turned a surprising profit in the third quarter of 2019, beginning a streak of four straight periods in the black and inspiring confidence in investors that the company’s future is bright.
Less than a year after Tesla’s stock hit a low of $211 in August 2019, the company’s shares have soared to stunning new heights, hitting a peak of $1,675 on July 20.
Gone are the days of 2018 when Tesla was struggling to produce the Model 3 compact car, burning cash rapidly and prompting serious questions about its ability to survive.
The meteoric rise in Tesla’s stock price since then has come as the company managed to speed up Model 3 output, launch production of the Model Y crossover, cut unnecessary costs and shake off questions over the leadership of CEO Elon Musk. It has also come despite the COVID-19 pandemic, which temporarily shut down Tesla production and undermined the finances of prospective buyers.
With the company’s short-term survival no longer in question – today it is the most valuable automaker in the world, according to the stock market – it can now turn its attention to charting a long-term path of success.
Here are six key storylines to watch that will help determine the company’s future.
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1. Will people actually buy the Cybertruck?
When Tesla initially revealed the futuristic-looking, stainless-steel bodied Cybertruck pickup in November, reactions ranged from “eccentric” to “eye-popping” to “weird” to a “piece of junk.”
Boasting strong technical specifications,…