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The Many Forces Fueling Tesla’s $860 Billion Tumble

Investors in Elon Musk’s day job are feeling a lot less excited about the future.
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Photo Illustration: 731; Photo: Courtesy Tesla

Until fairly recently, higher-end Tesla cars had a setting called “ludicrous mode,” which used their high-torque electric engines to achieve superfast acceleration. In the past year, ludicrous mode has also been an apt description of Tesla Inc.’s share price—except it’s been running in reverse.

From about $1.2 trillion at the start of 2022, the company’s market value has fallen more than 70%, to $340 billion. That still makes it by far the most valuable automaker in the world. Ford Motor, General Motors, Stellantis and Toyota Motor are worth about the same amount combined. But another way to put it is that Tesla’s fall has wiped out the equivalent of the value of four major car companies, more than twice over. And Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk has made history by losing more money in his personal fortune than anyone ever.