For the past week, as the electric-car maker Tesla has been buffeted by a barrage of negative news, Elon Musk, its chief executive, has offered no public comments on the company’s shaky finances, its slumping stock price or the increasing questions about the safety of its self-driving technology.
He finally responded on Sunday — with an April Fool’s joke that the company was going bankrupt.
“Despite intense efforts to raise money, including a last-ditch mass sale of Easter Eggs, we are sad to report that Tesla has gone completely and totally bankrupt,” Mr. Musk wrote on Twitter. “So bankrupt, you can’t believe it.”
A follow-up tweet said, “Elon was found passed out against a Tesla Model 3, surrounded by ‘Teslaquilla’ bottles, the tracks of dried tears still visible on his cheeks.” It was accompanied by a photo of Mr. Musk, seemingly unconscious, under part of a box on which “Bankwupt!” had been written in marker.
That tweet added: “This is not a forward-looking statement, because, obviously, what’s the point? Happy New Month!”
The lighthearted tone of the tweets — which came a few hours after Mr. Musk teased “important news” coming soon — contrasted with recent analyst reports that warned of serious financial strains on the company as it struggles to ramp up production of the Model 3 compact car.
Last week, Moody’s Investors Service downgraded Tesla’s credit rating and said Tesla risked running short of cash by the end of the year. And Tesla shares have lost nearly a quarter of their value since March 12.