Tesla is undergoing significant downsizing and financial losses. The company is selling fewer cars and generating less revenue with lower profit margins than its competitor, Volkswagen. However, during a recent earnings call discussing the dismal financial results for the first quarter of 2024, CEO Elon Musk employed a series of rhetorical strategies to persuade investors that Tesla was not only doing well but was also growing faster than before.

Comparisons with past statements reveal that the automaker has dramatically scaled back its ambitions in all areas. Announcements regarding Tesla’s new Masterplan 3.0 made just a year ago now seem obsolete.

The ambitions in battery production have also become a thing of the past. In the last 10 minutes of the earnings call, Musk described Tesla’s battery production as “not very important.” He explained that it had always been merely a hedge against high supplier prices and a way to learn more about battery supply chains.

This stands in stark contrast to the claims made during the 2020 Battery Day, where Tesla aimed to revolutionize battery manufacturing with the introduction of the 4680 battery cell and superior technology, intending to incorporate these batteries into all its vehicles.

It is therefore not surprising that Drew Baglino, the chief engineer of powertrain and battery development who stood alongside Musk on stage in 2020, has decided to step back from the company. His most significant and crucial project was abruptly scrapped as if it had never been of importance. At the end of the press conference, Martin Viecha, Tesla’s head of investor relations, also announced his decision to leave the company in the coming months.

Following in the footsteps of Rohan Spatel, the chief strategist, and many others, these departures suggest dissatisfaction with the company’s prospects rather than layoffs.

During the Q&A session, Musk was asked about his own motivation to continue working at Tesla. His response was emotionless and lacked any enthusiasm, stating that Tesla occupied the majority of his time and that he was ensuring the company’s prosperity, which he believed would continue into the future.

Among the features not expected in Tesla’s future is the much-anticipated $25,000 car. Despite attempts to give the impression that this new generation of vehicles was on the fast track, it now appears to be another discarded ambition.