Tesla Inc (TSLA) stock has again gotten so high that CEO Elon Musk thinks it’s overvalued, and he told the media about it… again. This time he made the comments in an interview with The Guardian in which he also defended the working conditions at their Fremont, Calif. factory.
Is this the “factory of the future”?
The Guardian spoke to several workers at the factory who said the working conditions at the factory leave much to be desired, despite the futuristic appearance of the factory floor and the robots that help assemble the company’s vehicles. One worker said he has seen co-workers collapse while working, and the newspaper adds that on more than 100 different occasions, an ambulance has been called to the Tesla factory for various reasons since 2014, citing incident reports.
Other workers also recounted their stories to the newspaper, and some said they felt compelled to hide their injuries because some managers belittled their injuries and told them to work through the pain. Others said reporting an injury resulted in “light duty” work with an accompanying pay cut and supplemental benefits from workers’ compensation insurance.
Earlier this year, another employee, Jose Moran, wrote a blog post alleging mandatory overtime, dangerous working conditions, and low pay. Not long after that post, Elon Musk said that they were investigating. According to data and incident reports reviewed by The Guardian, Tesla Inc (TSLA)’s safety record appears to have improved this year, and some changes have been made, like adding a third shift. The newspaper also said that complaints about working conditions weren’t universal, as some employees said they enjoyed their work and the benefits.
Elon Musk explains why Tesla (TSLA) stock is overvalued
In defense of the working conditions at the factory, Musk emphasized that the company shouldn’t be compared to other major automakers in the U.S., as it produces only 1% of the total output of General Motors. He said that Tesla’s market capitalization is now “higher than we have any right to deserve.”
He also called Tesla Inc (TSLA) “a money-losing company,” adding that the working conditions are “not some situation where, for example, we are just greedy capitalists who decided to skimp on safety in order to have more profits and dividends and that kind of thing.”
Elon Musk has also said that Tesla Inc (TSLA) stock was overvalued on at least two other conditions when there were reporters around to hear it. One time was in October 2013 when he made comments very similar to what he said today as far as them not really deserving the stock price investors have given them. The other was in November 2014 when he said that Tesla stock was beginning to get “kind of high.” In 2014, the shares were heading toward $300, but now almost three years later, they’re over the $300 mark.
Tesla Inc (TSLA) stock rallied on Thursday, climbing by as much as 2.27% to $313.06.