All the ways that Tesla could go bankrupt in the next year

All the ways that Tesla could go bankrupt in the next year
elon muskTesla CEO Elon Musk.Noah Berger / AP Photo
  • For the first time in ten years, a Tesla bankruptcy is being seriously discussed.
  • Tesla is currently under enormous financial stress.
  • There are several ways that Tesla could end up in Chapter 11.

Bob Lutz watched General Motors go into bankruptcy in 2009, and for several years, he has been deeply critical of Tesla and CEO Elon Musk.

“I’ve been totally consistent on this,” he told CNBC last week, following Tesla’s first-quarter earnings and after a surreal Muskian performance on a conference call with analysts. Lutz then did what he often does, praising Musk as a visionary before pointing out that his “costs are way higher than his revenues” and that he’s been keeping Tesla going by returning to the capital markets for funding. 

“That may work one more time, and then he’s going to run out of money again, and then he’s cooked,” Lutz said. “At this rate, Chapter 11 [bankruptcy] is a certainty.”

Lutz could be right, and Lutz could be wrong, but he’s been around the car business long enough to know when the endgames are afoot.

I’ve been covering Tesla for a decade, starting at about the same time the company evaded its previous brush with Chapter 11 in 2008. Lutz is right. Tesla is close to the edge. Investors need to start thinking not just about the stock tanking from its current height, nearly 1,000% of the 2010 IPO price — they need to start thinking about being how they could get wiped out.




This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of Business Insider.

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