Nine Short Seller Predictions for Tesla in 2020: What Happened to It

In any case, the man who calls himself Montana Skceptic and was one of the most prominent Tesla critics on Twitter until CEO Elon Musk intervened, was spot on in one respect: You couldn’t make any predictions about how the share price would develop, wrote he at the beginning of 2020, unlike in the past, seemed to no longer want to act as a short seller. Otherwise, however, the skeptic presented nine specific predictions for the development of Tesla, most of them negative – and depending on the interpretation, the majority of them have proven to be correct.

Skepticism about Tesla products is confirmed

Tesla will report a profit for the fourth quarter of 2019, but not for the entire year, Montana Skceptic first and correctly predicted. In addition, the company will not run out of money in 2020. That, too, was obviously correct in view of Tesla’s cash reserves of around $ 20 billion at the end of the year.

Three other negative predictions related to Tesla products, the first of which related to the semi electric semi-trailer and the roadster super sports car: Montana Skceptic wrote that neither of them would come onto the market in 2020, and he was right. He also predicted that Tesla’s FSD (full self-driving) autonomy system would not come in 2020. One could argue about this point, because in October 2020 at least a few beta testers got a new software that bears the name FSD and actually almost deserves it. A million Teslas with the technical skills to drive around autonomously as robotic taxis, as announced by CEO Musk, did not exist at the end of the year.

The forecast that Tesla will not be able to rapidly increase production and sales of the solar roof photovoltaic product in 2020 cannot be clearly assessed either. Montana Skeptic wrote that it will not be installed on more than 100 roofs by the end of the year. Because Tesla reported in between that they had produced enough solar tiles for 1000 roofs in a week in a single week, this part can be considered refuted. But the assessment that the solar roof will remain a “niche product” for the time being could be let go.

Two other forecasts are beyond assessment because they were subject to one condition: If Tesla does not lower the prices for Model S and Model X, their sales will decline worldwide, wrote Montana Skeptic in January 2020. But this was followed by three price steps downwards two premium electric cars. For the Model 3, he predicted declining sales in the USA and Europe with the same caveat, but Tesla also lowered the price here.

Mixed balance sheet, shares up 740 percent

The next forecast is wrong: Tesla will spend little or nothing in 2020 on a factory or production facilities for the pickup Cybertruck, the skeptic believed – but in the summer of 2020 construction of the Tesla Gigafactory in Texas began, where the Cybertruck will also be built should. In addition, analysts should lower their profit forecasts for Tesla for the full year. Without professional stock exchange services, it is not possible to fully understand whether this happened. But at least in the past 30 days, there have only been upward revisions for Tesla, according to Yahoo Finance.

Twice wrong, three times correct and four times somewhere in between, so the forecast balance for Montana Skeptic is, which is not even bad. Tesla fans (with the exception of the positives on earnings and liquidity) would likely have denied any of these by the start of 2020. Nevertheless, for the time being, they can sit back and relax just as easily as the shareholders, because Tesla shares are known to have gained more than 700 percent in 2020, and an annual profit is expected this time. And whatever products are not yet available or only in rudimentary form may still come – especially since, unlike in the past, not even Montana Skeptic predicted a Tesla bankruptcy a year ago.


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