Elon Musk's Tesla is finally delivering the first of its Model 3 cars — the mass-market all-electric vehicle, priced as low as $35,000 before tax credits, that will go a long way toward showing whether Tesla will ever live up to its stock market hype.
Yet Musk and his company remain dogged by skeptics, who point to Tesla's losses, debt load and shaky record of delivering on near-term promises about shipments and manufacturing as reasons to sell the shares short. Even as Tesla's stock has risen more than 50 percent this year, short interest has reached nearly 30 percent of shares that don't belong to insiders, as other investors bet on a big drop. Tesla stock is down 13 percent in the past month.
Even Musk thinks the stock is a little bit crazy, and helped to spark more selling on July 17 with comments that shares are "higher than we deserve right now."
What should Musk do to justify the hype while also meeting the legitimate issues that skeptics identify? We came up with suggestions based on Wall Street research and analysis from market pundits.