Tesla stock falls by over 19% on Friday

Telsa's stock crashed on Friday. On Friday, two of the companies top engineers announced that they were leaving. And also Ford announced a relatively attractive hybrid car that will be about $18,000 cheaper than the base Tesla model S.

When Ford (NYSE: F) took the wraps off its impressive new Fusion sedan on Monday, analysts and industry watchers (including this humble Fool) immediately started pondering the possibilities: Would this be the car that would finally knock Toyota's (NYSE: TM) Camry off its best-selling pedestal?

The answer to that question isn't simple. Toyota has had its troubles but retains fierce consumer loyalty, but a couple of days after the car's debut, another question struck me: Could the Fusion -- specifically, the Fusion Energi, a plug-in hybrid version that's due later this year -- be a problem for Tesla Motors (Nasdaq: TSLA)? . . .

On the top engineers leaving, it raises the question about what they know about the company's future.

Having traded in a tight range for most of the day, Tesla Motors (TSLA) collapsed in the last 45 minutes of trading on Friday. The stock hit a low of 22.64 and closed at 22.79, down 19.3% from its previous close. Although it was reported to have bounced 7% in after hours trading, the price action remains a clear worry. More worryingly, the move took place on what became the third highest volume day of the last 52 weeks - with just over 5.5 million shares changing hands.

The stock indeed closed down 35% from the $35 high it saw twice in November and December of last year.

The move took place after Tesla confirmed that Chief engineer Peter Rawlinson and Nick Sampson, supervisor of vehicle and chassis engineering, had left the company.

Not much has been said publicly about the moves. However, in an emailed statement attributed to spokesman Ricardo Reyes, Tesla made the following comments to Investor's Business Daily -

"Having completed conceptual and design engineering work on Model S, Peter has decided to step away to tend to personal matters in the U.K., ... Nick Sampson is no longer with Tesla. He had fully transitioned from any Model S activities by the time of his departure." . . .

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