Just 10 days ago, Elon Musk said delivering new vehicles to customers before month’s end was the “primary priority” of every Tesla Inc. employee.
So what was he doing touting a rap song and tweeting about emojis over the critical last weekend of the quarter?
On Saturday, Musk dropped his song on Soundcloud, a two-minute, heavily Autotuned ditty titled “RIP Harambe,” referencing a three-year old internet meme about a gorilla killed at the Cincinnati Zoo in 2016.
“RIP Harambe/Sipping on some Bombay/We on our way to heaven/Amen, Amen,” Musk sings. “RIP Harambe/Smoking on some strong (hey)/In the gorilla zoo/And we thinking about you.”
As of Sunday evening, the song had been played more than 527,000 times.
“I’m disappointed that my record label failed,” he said in a subsequent tweet. His “record label” was Emo G Records (sound it out), and he also tweeted extensively over the weekend about the quality of emojis.
But the oddly off-topic tweets may actually be a good sign about Tesla’s end-of-quarter delivery crunch, if one assumes Musk had time to goof off because he was no longer worried about last-minute deliveries.
“Amazing work by Tesla Delivery teams, especially in Europe & China!” Musk tweeted Saturday, perhaps hinting at that theory. “Most insane logistics challenge I’ve ever seen. Thanks also to many country & city officials for your help this weekend! Super appreciated.”
Of course, if Tesla’s deliveries come up shy of expectations, analysts may well wonder about Musk’s focus.
The first quarter ends Sunday, and Tesla is expected to announce its quarterly deliveries early this week. Analysts polled by FactSet expect the company to report 76,000 vehicle deliveries in the quarter.
The delivery crush has been well-documented. On March 21, Musk reportedly sent an all-hands email to Tesla employees calling on them to help clear “a massive wave of deliveries,” thanks to new Model 3 deliveries to Europe and China. “For the last ten days of the quarter, please consider your primary priority to be helping with vehicle deliveries,” Musk’s email reportedly said. “This applies to everyone.”
A week prior, another Tesla executive sent a similar email to Tesla workers, saying 30,000 vehicles needed to be delivered by the end of March.
But even as one production and delivery cycle was winding down, Musk had his eyes on a production cycle to come.
On Saturday, he tweeted a photo of a Tesla Semi delivering Model 3 sedans, adding: “We’ve been so mired in production & logistics for past 18 months. Really looking fwd to getting Semi into production.”
Musk’s more immediate focus will likely be in a Manhattan court hearing Thursday, in which he will square off with the Securities and Exchange Commission over whether he should be held in contempt of court over a February tweet.
ended down 13% in March, its worst monthly performance since March 2018. For the quarter, Tesla shares were down 16%, their worst quarterly performance since the third quarter of 2018. All three major stock indexes were up about 10% over the past quarter.