Elon Musk is no longer the richest man in the world after Tesla hit a rough patch

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With Elon Musk trying to extricate Twitter from stagnant revenues across the board amid an escalating squabble with advertisers, Tesla is going through one of its toughest periods in 2022, as it has to deal with slumping demand and problems with autopilot, throughout Musk’s tenure. The tarnished personality in the wake of Twitter’s freedom of speech controversy remains a major handicap for the Tesla brand.

In late October, Tesla cut the prices of its electric vehicles by as much as 9.4% in China. At the time, the decision was justified as a shrewd attempt to take advantage of China’s soon-to-expire 12,000 yuan ($1,720) subsidy on electric vehicles. The price cut allowed the standard Tesla Model Y range to qualify for subsidies by lowering the model’s price to 288,900 yuan — down from 300,000 yuan.

However, this temporary spike in demand did not materialize in China. Of course, the Asian giant’s no-COVID policies have put the macroeconomy dampened. However, demand concerns remain. For starters, Reuters reported earlier this week that Tesla was preparing to cut its production in China by 20 percent, only to be met with deep denial from the EV giant. Interestingly, Tesla didn’t point out the wrong side of the Reuters report.

Then, earlier in the day, SCMP reported that Tesla was offering discounts of up to $859 to entice Chinese buyers, which dented demand.

As if things weren’t risky enough, Tesla now appears to have abandoned its approach of using only a vision-based autopilot system, consisting of eight high-resolution cameras and a high-tech neural network, to interpret visual signals. Instead, the EV giant is now working on re-integrating the HD Radar as well.

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The development comes amid a series of worrying autopilot-related incidents over the past few years that have now galvanized regulatory authorities. In August, the California DMV accused Tesla of misleading customers regarding the capability of its Autopilot system. A customer also sued the company that same month for “deceptive marketing”. Then, in October, reports emerged that the US Department of Justice, as well as the Securities and Exchange Commission, were maintaining ongoing investigations into Tesla’s Autopilot allegations. Against this backdrop, the radar incorporation now only vindicates Tesla critics who have criticized the EV giant’s Advanced Driver Assistance System (ADAS) supposed safety.

Meanwhile, because Tesla’s automated robots are still a distant dream, Uber officially launched such a service in cooperation with Motional in Las Vegas today.

Tesla shares have fallen more than 12 percent in the past five trading days. Putting all this together, it’s not surprising that Elon Musk now misses out on the title of the richest person in the world, according to a Forbes report. According to the new compositions on the Leadership Council, this title is now held by Bernard Arnault of LVMH. Of course, this isn’t the first time Musk has conceded this title to Arnault. After all, this transition also happened in May 2021.

Finally, there are inaccurate reports out of China that the country’s CEO may become the electric car giant’s global CEO, effectively replacing Musk.

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Do you think Elon Musk will be able to reclaim the title of the richest person in the world amidst a steady stream of Twitter? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.

Update: Elon Musk is back

Due to the constant fluctuations in Tesla’s stock price, the real-time tabulation of net worth is also changing every minute. Reuters is now reporting that Elon Musk is back at the helm of the Billionaires Club. We expect these fluctuations to continue as long as Musk and Arnault’s fortunes remain close.

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