Elon Musk could lose Richest Man in the World status because of Tesla, here’s how

Lorenzo Bagnato

7 December 2022 - 20:04

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On Wednesday, Elon Musk was not the richest man in the world for a short time. How long will he retain his title? The answer depends on Tesla.

Elon Musk could lose Richest Man in the World status because of Tesla, here's how

A new “richest man in the world” could soon arise, taking the place of tech entrepreneur Elon Musk. It’s Bernard Arnault, a French businessman that operates far from the technology sector, which seems to be losing ground in recent months.

Arnault is the CEO of the luxury giant LVMH, the parent company of Louis Vuitton and the champagne brand Moet & Chandon. His net worth surpassed briefly that of Elon Musk on Wednesday, dropping again in second place shortly after.

According to Forbes, Arnault’s fortune amounted to $185,8 billion dollars, while Musk had fallen at $185,4 billion. Musk’s wealth took a serious hit after his acquisition of Twitter last month, a personal deal that cost him $44 billion.

But Twitter is far from Musk’s only “problems”. The platform, which Musk is trying to reshape, seems now to be holding just fine despite the initial turbulence. When he fired thousands of employees and many others just decided to leave, it truly looked like the end for Twitter. Now, however, the platform is operating normally

It’s also another one of Musk’s companies that is giving him headaches. Tesla, the car manufacturer that was supposed to be a safe haven for investors, has severely dropped in value in recent months.

Why is Tesla doing badly

Tesla has lost 47% in value in a bit over a month. That’s about a $70 billion loss in net worth for Tesla’s CEO, Elon Musk. That plus the $44 billion acquisition of Twitter meant a significant toll to his fortune.

Indeed, the reason why Tesla is currently underperforming is closely linked to the Twitter acquisition. Top executives and investors in the car manufacturer are afraid Musk will give more attention to the social network platform.

And their fears are justified when taking into account Tesla’s business model. They are not a serial car manufacturer, meaning they usually do not release several new models every year. They are supposed to hook their consumers with flashy new, special products that require a lot of research and development to be made.

But currently Tesla seems to focus purely on restyling old models and keeping the customers they already have. The Cybertruck, announced three years ago, is not yet available and no exact details on its release are known. Meanwhile, customers can still pre-order the Cybertrucks with a refundable $100 deposit.

But how many of these customers are losing trust in Tesla? Does Musk really have time to run both Twitter and Tesla (not including all his other companies) successfully?

In the meantime, it should not come as a surprise if Bernard Arnault, the French businessman, becomes the new richest man in the world.

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