Elon Musk Dumps $4 Billion in Tesla Stock After Twitter Acquisition

Tim Healey
by Tim Healey

Tesla boss Elon Musk has sold 19.5 million Tesla shares worth almost $4 billion since he took over Twitter, according to regulatory filings.

He'd already sold about $20 billion since his stake in Twitter became known in April, and the automaker's stock is down 52 percent for the year.

Musk finalized the deal to buy Twitter on October 27, and he sold the shares between November 4 and 8.

It's difficult, if not impossible, to tell, at least this early, if Musk's ownership of Twitter is negatively impacting Tesla. In fact, it may be his ownership of Tesla that is hurting Twitter, as automotive brands pull out of advertising on the platform, perhaps because they don't want to advertise on a social-media site owned by a competitor.

Tesla, of course, has its own problems. Quality issues have plagued the company for years, Cybertruck production is continually delayed, the company's products are still mostly accessible only to luxury shoppers, and on and on.

That's not to say we're bringing back a Tesla Death Watch or anything -- only that Musk and his Tesla employees have their hands full.

[Image: Sergei Elagin/Shutterstock.com]

Become a TTAC insider. Get the latest news, features, TTAC takes, and everything else that gets to the truth about cars first by  subscribing to our newsletter.

Tim Healey
Tim Healey

Tim Healey grew up around the auto-parts business and has always had a love for cars — his parents joke his first word was “‘Vette”. Despite this, he wanted to pursue a career in sports writing but he ended up falling semi-accidentally into the automotive-journalism industry, first at Consumer Guide Automotive and later at Web2Carz.com. He also worked as an industry analyst at Mintel Group and freelanced for About.com, CarFax, Vehix.com, High Gear Media, Torque News, FutureCar.com, Cars.com, among others, and of course Vertical Scope sites such as AutoGuide.com, Off-Road.com, and HybridCars.com. He’s an urbanite and as such, doesn’t need a daily driver, but if he had one, it would be compact, sporty, and have a manual transmission.

More by Tim Healey

Join the conversation
11 of 27 comments
  • FreedMike FreedMike on Nov 10, 2022

    The irony here is that Elon Musk is arguably the most successful auto executive since Lee Iacocca - he basically willed Tesla into the position it's in right now, and the company performs when his eye's on the ball. But now we have this "chief twit" thing, which takes his focus off Tesla at a critical time for the company.

    People can debate the whole "is Twitter bad or good" thing until they're blue in the face, but at the end of the day, Musk's fortune was made off cars, and he needs to focus on that core business.

    • See 2 previous
    • Jeff S Jeff S on Nov 13, 2022

      See my comment below. Agree Musk is taking his eye of the ball with the Chinese planning in the near future to compete globally with Musk on EVs. The Cyber Truck and the Tesla EV Semi are mere pipe dreams. Is Twitter more important than Tesla when it comes to which will yield a better financial return. Musk like Trump lets narcissism get in the way of rationalism.

  • FreedMike FreedMike on Nov 10, 2022

    By the way, in case anyone's wondering how Musk's "free speech extremism" experiment is going, feast your eyes:

    Kathy Griffin suspended from Twitter for impersonating Elon Musk | CNN Business

    Shocking, no?

    Musk needs to focus on the stuff he's good at - like making electric cars - and put his shiny new Twitter toy aside for a moment.

    • See 2 previous
    • FreedMike FreedMike on Nov 11, 2022

      "Identity fraud"? LOL...she did an impersonation of the guy. Griffin is a troll and Musk's skin is too thin to deal with it.

      But we know where Musk's commitment to "free speech" ends - it ends where he wants it to.

  • Ajla Ajla on Nov 11, 2022

    I'm not especially familiar with Twitter but it looks like he changed the verification system from a nebulous back-patting system into a paid program. Which probably sounded good in theory but now people are buying verified accounts to spoof on corporations. I'm not sure advertisers are going to have much stomach for this.


    • FreedMike FreedMike on Nov 11, 2022

      Advertisers will have none of this...correct. They're advertising to make money, not play in Musk's little free speech ego trip.

  • Jeff S Jeff S on Nov 12, 2022

    Musk's purchase of Twitter is less about free speech and more about his own narcissism. Musk might be a smart guy but this was not a smart acquisition and he apparently did not have a workable business plan. Better Musk concentrate on the business that is making him money which is Tesla which needs to prepare for increased global competition. What are Tesla's plans to compete with the Chinese when they start competing with their own EVs globally? A weird looking Cyber Truck which has been promised over the last few years and has yet to come to fruition. An EV semi truck that is a pipe dream and not reality. Tesla might have most of the EV market today but what will that market look like in 10 or more years? Just because Tesla is on top now does not mean they will stay on top. Might be time to unload Twitter and take the losses now instead of throwing additional money down a dark hole.