Elon Musk Sees Major Inflation Risks at Tesla, SpaceX


Musk retweeted an article saying the Ukraine-Russia conflict had sent commodity prices to their highest levels since 2008, and said his companies “are not alone”

 

Tesla chief executive Elon Musk said on Sunday the US electric carmaker and his rocket company SpaceX are facing significant inflationary pressure in raw materials and logistics.

Musk in a tweet also asked about inflation rate outlook and said his companies “are not alone”, retweeting an article saying the Ukraine-Russia conflict sent commodity prices to their highest levels since 2008.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has been ramping up the prices of metals used in cars, from aluminium in the bodywork to palladium in catalytic converters to the high-grade nickel in electric vehicle batteries, and drivers are likely to foot the bill.

While metals have not been the target of Western sanctions as yet, some shippers and auto-parts suppliers are steering clear of Russian goods, putting more pressure on carmakers already reeling from a chip shortage and higher energy prices.

Escalated by housing, food, and gas prices, US consumer inflation saw its steepest spike in the last four decades, likely cementing the case for an interest rate hike by the Federal Reserve.

Tesla’s shares, which closed 5% lower at $795.35 on Friday, have lost about 25% year-to-date.

The electric-car maker last week raised prices of its US Model Y SUVs and Model 3 Long Range sedans by $1,000 each and some China-made Model 3 and Model Y vehicles by 10,000 yuan ($1,582.40).

US electric vehicle maker Rivian Automotive said last week supply-chain issues could cut its planned production in half, citing soaring raw material prices and supply chain constraints.

Japan’s Toyota Motor said it would scale back domestic production by up to 20% for April-June to ease the strain on suppliers struggling with shortages of chips and other parts.

Tesla and SpaceX did not immediately respond to requests for comment late on Sunday.

 

  • Reuters with additional editing by Jim Pollard

 

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Jim Pollard

Jim Pollard is an Australian journalist based in Thailand since 1999. He worked for News Ltd papers in Sydney, Perth, London and Melbourne before travelling through SE Asia in the late 90s. He was a senior editor at The Nation for 17+ years and has a family in Bangkok.