Elon Musk Tesla Motors

SpaceX and Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) CEO Elon Musk spoke with FOX Business Network’s (FBN) Liz Claman about Tesla’s stock valuation and about testing the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket. When asked whether he will prove the short sellers wrong in the end on Tesla, Musk said, “In the past I said it’s really crazy to short Tesla. Is it so crazy to short Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) right now? I mean it’s not as crazy but I still think it’s probably not a good idea.” He discussed exceeding sales targets for the Model S, saying, “We always aspire to exceed our targets; we’ll see if that happens but I am cautiously optimistic that we’ll be able to do OK on that front.” Musk also talked about testing the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket today and said, “We’re going through that testing and I think we are almost done with that and then within about a week or two of that static fire we should be launching the next generation Falcon 9 rocket.”

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Excerpts from the interview are below.

On whether he will prove the short sellers wrong in the end on Tesla:

“Yeah, I think we’ve got a really good story in the long-term for Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA). Our valuation right now is, assuming a lot of good execution on our part in the future, we’re going to do our best to work hard and make sure that investors are not disappointed. I think we’ve got some very exciting products coming out. In the past I said it’s really crazy to short Tesla. Is it so crazy to short Tesla right now? I mean it’s not as crazy but I still think it’s probably not a good idea.”

On how the test went for the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket:

“As a test before launch we do something called a static fire where we hold down the rocket and we fire the engines and make sure everything is good. We’re going through that testing and I think we are almost done with that and then within about a week or two of that static fire we should be launching the next generation Falcon 9 rocket.”

On whether he will exceed his sales targets by year end of the Model S:

“We always aspire to exceed our targets; we’ll see if that happens but I am cautiously optimistic that we’ll be able to do OK on that front.”

On what the timeline is for the Model X SUV:

“We’re hoping to bring that to market at the end of next year and then achieve volume production in 2015 and the Model X will be an SUV version of the Model S so it’s still a premium vehicle and it’s really a third generation car that will be more of a mass market car. That’s the point at which I think we’ll be able to produce a long range car that is compelling and affordable and that’s the main breakthrough that we’ve been trying to achieve from the beginning of Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA). And something that I think is maybe worth noting is every dollar we make on selling a Model S, we pour that into R&D and into building up the factory and improving the technology towards producing an affordable compelling mass market car whereas if someone were to buy a BMW or Porsche or something like that the money that say Porsche makes on that is not going into producing affordable mass market cars.”

On what he would say to investors and shareholders who say he is stretched too thin:

“Actually that’s why I explicitly said when I unveiled the Hyperloop design that I am going to remain focused on Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) and SpaceX. It’s not because I don’t think the Hyperloop is good but I do have an obligation to do my best for Tesla and SpaceX and if I take on yet another thing it will be difficult to do so. I am hopeful that others will take up the Hyperloop project or something like it because I think it will be great to have something revolutionary on the mass transportation front.”