Tesla chief Elon Musk accuses worker of sabotage

Tesla chief Elon Musk accuses worker of sabotage

Tesla chief Elon Musk accuses worker of sabotage

Understandably, Musk suspects "there may be considerably more to this situation than meets the eye", considering that there are "a long list of organizations that want Tesla to die". "Then there are the oil & gas companies, the wealthiest industry in the world - they don't love the idea of Tesla advancing the progress of solar power & electric cars", he wrote.

CEO Elon Musk reportedly delivered the statement to Tesla employees via email after previously notifying the employees that production was shut down for a short time due to a possibly unrelated small factory fire. But Musk's latest wave of conspiracy thinking - coming within days of similar attacks on labor unions and journalists - has surprised even long-time Tesla watchers.

A 2018 Tesla Model 3 electric vehicle is shown in this photo illustration taken in Cardiff, California, U.S., June 1.

"He's always been combative", said Mike Ramsey, an automotive research director at Gartner, the advisory firm. "To me, they seem to reflect a level of anxiety or pressure that I haven't seen recently". The fire is the fourth in the Fremont factory's paint shop.

The Model 3 ramp-up is now priority number-one for Tesla, as thousands of pre-ordered cars have yet to be delivered and investors are increasingly anxious that Tesla may not be able to stay on course and that it may fall short of production targets again. A spate of accidents involving the autopilot feature have knocked confidence and a recent earnings report said Tesla has lost $710m in the first quarter of this year. The company declined to comment. In July, Tesla began producing its Model 3s. Those investigations are ongoing, the agency said Tuesday. At the company's annual meeting earlier this month, Musk said he expected to reach that target by the end of June.

The production line was halted for several hours, although a Tesla spokesperson told CNBC that smoldering was extinguished in a matter of seconds with no injuries or significant damage reported.

"The full extent of his actions are not yet clear, but what he has admitted to so far is pretty bad", Musk, who also runs SpaceX, wrote.

While the fire may have been an accident, Musk cautioned vigilance in the building. While Musk expressed relief that no workers were injured in the incident, he ratcheted up the fear factor in a follow-up email to employees.

"The machines can only do so much", said Bill Selesky, a Tesla analyst at Argus Research.

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