Elon Musk Reportedly Would Accept Tesla's Bankruptcy If Competitors Build A Better Car

Elon Musk has insinuated that he wouldn't care if the company that is responsible for most of his net worth went bankrupt, according to a prominent board member. The former world's richest man owns around a quarter of Tesla, though a large portion of his stock has been tied up as loan collateral.

If Tesla disappeared, Musk's net worth would take a major hit, but he wouldn't be left totally destitute. Beyond his personal assets, he owns several other major businesses including SpaceX, The Boring Company, and his most recent high-profile acquisition of Twitter

Recently, Musk lost his title of "world's richest man" thanks in part to a significant downturn in Tesla stock. In late 2021, a share in the company was worth over $407. Less than a year ago in April 2022, it was worth $361 a share, and by January this year it had dipped to $101. It has since recovered slightly, and now sits at around $204 per share.

Musk has also predicted that bleak times are ahead for his flagship company. That prediction came with a warning about potential layoffs, with the fears of job cuts again surfacing at the end of last year. If mass layoffs do happen, it will see Tesla joining a number of high profile companies that are cutting jobs and restructuring as the economy cools from the post-pandemic boom. 

If things go even further, and Tesla does go off the deep end, Musk himself may not be too bothered — providing one key condition is fulfilled.

One condition where Musk would accept Tesla bankruptcy

As sensational as the claim may be, Musk won't be happy if the company that made him the richest man on earth goes bust, and nothing fills the void it will no doubt leave. The tech billionaire would, at the very least, need a product on par with the vehicles Tesla produces to replace it. This is according to Tesla board member Hiromichi Mizuno, who told CNBC: "I disagree whenever Elon says I don't mind Tesla getting into bankruptcy if somebody else comes up with a better car."

Musk has previously revealed the company has flirted with bankruptcy on several occasions, including once a decade ago which resulted in him almost selling the company to Apple. It nearly happened again during the coronavirus pandemic when the company's supply chain was strained to breaking point. 

There's also a large question mark over what the Tesla CEO would consider "a better car." Musk has a very long history of heaping praise on his own company's products, while dismissing the output of his rivals. The odds of another company producing a car that Musk openly acknowledges is "better" than anything Tesla has produced seems about as slim as a company the size of Tesla going pop in the first place.