Elon Musk says Tesla will definitely take on Uber in ride-hailing market

25 Oct 2018

Tesla showroom. Image: ifeelstock/Depositphotos

During an investor call, Tesla CEO Elon Musk said the company will ‘obviously’ enter the ride-hailing market after ‘historic quarter’.

Just a few months after Tesla CEO Elon Musk decided to change his mind on taking the company private – after much scrutiny and criticism from the US government – the company posted a record profit for its Q3 earnings, at $312m.

It made a total of $6.8bn in revenue in the quarter, surpassing estimates that put it closer to $6.3bn and reaching more than double what was achieved at the same time last year.

Shareholder reaction was swift, according to CNBC, as Tesla’s shares soared by more than 12pc, leading to Musk describing this as a “truly historic quarter” in his letter to investors. In a follow-up call with the media and analysts, he also confirmed the company’s plan to hop on board the ride-hailing business in the near future.

“Tesla will operate its own ride-hailing services and compete directly with Uber and Lyft, obviously,” he said. He added that the platform will allow customers to “offer their car, add or subtract to the fleet at will”.

If there aren’t enough privately owned Tesla cars available at any given time, Musk said that the company would also have a fleet of company-owned cars to keep it populated.

Model 3 price drop promised

In the meantime, Musk said the company’s ability to ramp up its Model 3 production was instrumental in its ability to turn a profit this quarter, claiming that only 20pc of its 450,000 reservations had been cancelled.

Despite this, the car’s price point remains an ongoing issue as, while Musk had initially promised that its mainstream entry into the electric car market would cost $35,000, production costs have meant the real price hasn’t been anywhere near that. However, after saying last week that the car’s price will soon drop to $46,000, Musk now hopes to have it for sale at $35,000 in the next six months.

While things appear to be looking up for Musk from a business perspective, his Twitter activity continues to get him into trouble. In the latest incident, the social network temporarily blocked his account, believing it may have been hacked.

The decision came after Musk tweeted out: “Wanna buy some bitcoin?” Moderators were wary as there are a number of fake accounts purporting to be Musk in order to sell cryptocurrency. As it turned, out it was indeed Musk himself.

Tesla showroom. Image: ifeelstock/Depositphotos

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic