Elon Musk says coronavirus lockdown is ‘forcibly imprisoning people’ as Tesla posts a profit

Electric vehicle manufacturer Tesla posted a profit in the first three months of the year despite the disruption caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

Revenues for the quarter were up 30 per cent from last year to $5.9bn (£4.7bn), which resulted in a profit of $16m (£12.8m).

However, outspoken boss Elon Musk warned about the future of the company, and the wider economy, if coronavirus lockdown procedures continue.

He told investors: “Frankly I would call it forcibly imprisoning people in their homes against all their constitutional rights…that’s my opinion.

“It will cause great harm, not just to Tesla but to many firms. While Tesla will weather the storm, there are many small companies that will not.

“Everything [people have] worked for their whole lives has been destroyed in real time.

“We’re going to have, and have many suppliers that are on super hard times, especially the small ones, and it’s causing a lot of strife to a lot of people.”

Musk added that he didn’t mind if people wanted to stay home but voiced his concern that people were being forced to risk their jobs.

Tesla has withdrawn near-term guidance, stating that the ‘wide range of potential outcomes’ would make it likely to be inaccurate.

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