Why Tesla slipped Thursday

Elon utters the "F" word.

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This article was originally published on Fool.com. All figures quoted in US dollars unless otherwise stated.

What happened

Tesla (NASDAQ: TSLA) CEO Elon Musk is famous -- or notorious, depending on your point of view -- for his pronouncements. The electric vehicle (EV) maker's stock price can gyrate up or down depending on what Musk expresses on a particular day. Sure enough, the boss' comment about an upcoming product made for lively trading Thursday with the shares, the price of which ended the day marginally lower.

So what

The subject was the futuristic Cybertruck, Tesla's version of a pickup. In an exchange on Twitter, Musk wrote the following: "To be frank, there is always some chance that Cybertruck will flop, because it is so unlike anything else. I don't care. I love it so much even if others don't." Musk was only repeating the "F" word. His tweet was a reaction to a story published Thursday on niche website The Truth About Cars with the incendiary headline "Opinion: Tesla's Cybertruck Will Be Company's First Flop." In the story, writer Tim Healey took aim at the EV's looks, and opined that rival pickups -- including the high-profile Ford (NYSE: F) F-150 Lightning -- will likely be "more usable as trucks."

Now what

CEOs aren't supposed to admit that their products could be duds. But Musk has a high profile and a following largely because he isn't a CEO in the traditional mold. While some people undoubtedly turned bearish on his pronouncement about the Cybertruck, plenty of investors clearly still believe in the company's mission -- and in the actions of its colorful leader.

This article was originally published on Fool.com. All figures quoted in US dollars unless otherwise stated.

Eric Volkman has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia's parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. owns shares of and has recommended Tesla and Twitter. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.

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