SpaceX, Tesla CEO Elon Musk Drops Bizarre Rap Remix 'RIP Harambe'

05 April, 2019, 06:00 | Author: Erin Carter
  • Getty Images  Getty Images  Kevork Djansezian

To support his arguments, Hueston cited an earlier exchange between the judge and Crumpton in which Nathan said she was "surprised" that the SEC left it up to Musk in so many instances to determine whether to run by his lawyers what he meant to put out publicly.

But the SEC is asking for the judge to drop the hammer on Musk after he tweeted on February 19 that his electric auto company expects to produce around 500,000 Model 3 electric vehicles in 2019 - only to update the tweet four hours later to explain that the 500,000 figure was actually an annualized production rate.

The hearing comes as Tesla shares slump after it disclosed that vehicle shipments have fallen 31 percent.

Tesla began constructing a factory in China to build the Model 3 and future Model Y compact-SUV for that market, and CEO Elon Musk has told reporters he intends on building an assembly plant in Europe.

Musk's lawyers say his tweet as in no way different to that outcast and that he was merely repeating public information. But Musk didn't have the funding secured.

That requirement is part of a $40 million settlement reached past year after Musk tweeted he lined up the financing needed to lead a buyout of a Tesla, a claim that the SEC asserted was a misleading statement that duped investors.

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Crumpton's comments to U.S. District Judge Alison Nathan in Manhattan lifted a possible drag on Tesla's share price.

Now the two parties - not to mention Tesla itself - have two weeks to resolve the dispute or else they may end up right back in court.

But others believe Nathan is not obligated to act severely, including the removal of Musk from Tesla's board or as chief executive, in part because regulators would not want to be seen to be responsible for impacting the company's future. The company's manufacturing process also slowed during a rocky start to the new year.

This quarter-to-quarter drop in sales at Tesla breaks an nearly two year growth streak and threatens Tesla's growth narrative, valuation and its ability to service its debt.

The SEC argued that Musk should be held in contempt because he "did not seek or receive pre-approval prior to publishing this tweet, which was inaccurate and disseminated to over 24 million people".

More than 10,000 vehicles were en route to customers at quarter's end, Tesla said.

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