On 8 January 2020 – less than two months ago – shares in the electric vehicle manufacturer were valued at an all-time high of US$880.02 (AU$1108). However, by February 23 that price had fallen 20.68 per cent to US$698.84 (AU$879.88).
This week alone Tesla experienced a retraction of 12.5 per cent, wiping approximately US$70 billion (AU$88 billion) from its market capitalisation. The company is now valued at AU$670.78 billion (AU$845 billion), still the most of any automotive manufacturer.
Forbes now estimates Mr Musk’s personal net worth at US$182.2 billion (AU$229 billion). Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos has returned to the top spot with an estimated US$189.3 billion in assets.
Dan Ives – a financial analyst at Wedbush Securities – told the BBC overnight Tesla’s significant investment in (and promotion of) Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies in recent weeks had contributed to the downturn.
"By Musk and Tesla aggressively embracing Bitcoin... investors are starting to tie Bitcoin and Tesla at the hip," he said. "The recent 48-hour sell-off in Bitcoin and added volatility has driven some investors to the exits on this name in the near-term."
All new models Down Under are expected to be sourced from the manufacturer’s recently-completed Shanghai Gigafactory, with the first significant batch having arrived locally last weekend.