Tesla Turns Back Rare Challenge From Shareholders

Tesla Turns Back Rare Challenge From Shareholders

As the company has used up cash, analysts warned that it may have to turn to investors for additional capital. And earlier this year, Moody’s Investors Service downgraded Tesla’s credit ratings, citing the Model 3 and the company’s high expenses. But there have also been difficulties beyond the balance sheet: Federal safety regulators are investigating its Autopilot technology after a series of crashes, including a fatal accident in March in California, that occurred while the driver-assistance system was engaged.

Still, many investors remain wildly supportive of Mr. Musk and Tesla — the company’s stock has rallied in recent weeks after tumbling sharply in late March and early April after news of the California accident, and was up about 1 percent in aftermarket trading on Tuesday. And the shareholder challenges were quickly disposed of at the start of the meeting, but not before dissident voices were heard.

“Usually it’s like a cult meeting because of the way so many shareholders are such fans of Elon,” said David Whiston, an analyst at Morningstar.

CtW Investment Group, which advises pension funds controlled by labor unions, opposed the re-election of the three directors. The United Auto Workers union is trying to organize workers at the company’s car factory in Fremont, Calif. Tesla workers who support the U.A.W. have spoken out recently about safety concerns at the plant. Mr. Musk has fired back at the union, including suggesting that the U.A.W. provides little benefit for workers.

The investment group wanted to remove directors Kimbal Musk, who is Mr. Musk’s brother and a food entrepreneur; James Murdoch, chief executive of 21st Century Fox; and Antonio Gracias, a venture capital investor who is Tesla’s lead outside director.

CtW said Kimbal Musk and Mr. Gracias were too close to Elon Musk to be independent voices on the board, and asserted that Mr. Murdoch did not have any business experience relevant to the auto industry.

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