It’s rare enough to be underlined: with Elon Musk’s still surprising mastery over Tesla’s communication, the electric car brand has long managed to maintain its appeal, even in the most difficult times. Luckily, now that the company is profitable, its CEO has decided to address two of the worst times for Tesla, when the brand came close to disaster.

With its American, Asian and soon European production lines, its four models marketed and its quarters without financial losses, Tesla is profitable and solid. But that did not prevent him earlier from talking about bankruptcy.

An essential Christmas present

The first blow, which should have been heavy enough to destroy the future of the electric car brand, dates back to 2008 according to Elon Musk. While the time has come for the thermal car – often diesel moreover – investors are failing and the South African entrepreneur is forced to spend everything he had previously earned with PayPal ($ 180 million in 2002) to get by.

The risks of bankruptcy are numerous and the project can permanently stop. On Twitter, he says that he was three days away from going out of business, until a real Christmas gift occurred on the evening of December 24, at 6 p.m., with the validation of an investment of 40 million dollars by an investor late enough that night not to have left for his home.

Elon Musk remembers it by evoking “A difficult period”, he must have come to the point of asking his friends for money in order to pay his rent. A strange situation for a man who had just created a few years before one of the fintechs that would become a giant in payments, capable of competing with banks, and even more so today.

Model 3, a risk over three years

Inspired, Tuesday, November 3, to speak in more detail about the behind the scenes of Tesla in recent years, Elon Musk also told us on Twitter the marketing of the Model 3. Of all the years of Tesla’s history, that of marketing the model at $ 35,000 is certainly the richest in twists and turns. In 2017, there was as much good news (number of car reservations for example) as there was less good, and the economic risks for Tesla were already mentioned.

Elon Musk returned to the subject to speak again of bankruptcy. After 2008, then 2012 and the Model S, the stakes were no longer the same, but the production of the Model 3 and its delay seriously hurt the brand and the confidence of its investors. To this question, the president of Tesla replied that “The closest we have had [avant la faillite] was about a month. The production of the Model 3 has long been stressful and painful – from mid-2017 to mid-2019 ”.

Confidences that his fans will certainly be reassured to learn that now, although Tesla’s health can only be guaranteed by further increasing sales: at present, a large part of its profit is possible thanks to the resale of its carbon credits to other manufacturers.