Tesla CEO Musk's upbeat tweets about China boost stock

Mon Mar 30, 2015 2:50pm EDT
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By Paul Lienert

DETROIT (Reuters) - Elon Musk, the widely followed chief executive of electric car maker Tesla Motors Inc, tweeted several optimistic statements about the company's sagging China operations on Monday, sparking a sharp rebound the company's stock.

On his Twitter feed around midday, Musk said that he was "very optimistic about Tesla's long-term future in China, despite our earlier mistakes."

He also tweeted that he visited Chinese President Xi Jinping and other government officials and expressed "great faith" in Tesla's embattled team in China.

Tesla shares rose 3 percent to $190.60 after trading earlier in the day as low as $181.80, near its 52-week low of $177.22.

In one of his tweets, Musk said the company plans to unveil "a major new Tesla product line -- not a car" on April 30 at its southern California design studio.

The announcement will involve a Tesla-branded storage battery for the home, according to a source familiar with the plan. Musk previously announced the battery in February during a year-end earnings briefing.

The company's stock has been battered this year by investors concerned about the automaker's failure to hit sales targets in China and the departures last year of two top Tesla executives in that country.

In February, Reuters disclosed that Musk was prepared to fire overseas executives after weak Chinese sales cast doubt on his ambitious global expansion plans, according to people with knowledge of the matter.   Continued...

Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk is part of The Giving Pledge. REUTERS/Rebecca Cook