Tesla CEO Elon Musk found the perfect scapegoat for lost Tesla sales and a 13 percent drop of the company’s stock: John Broder of the New York Times. Musk told Reuters that “Tesla has lost about $100 million in sales and canceled orders due to the Times story, which said the sedan ran out of battery power sooner than promised during a chilly winter test drive from Washington D.C. to Boston.” Musk should look in the mirror if he needs a scape goat.
To pile on more, Musk told the wire that “between $100 million and $200 million of Tesla’s drop in market value was due to the Times article.” Since the Times’ February 8 story, Tesla shares have fallen 13 percent.
“We have seen a few hundred cancellations that are due to the NYT piece and slightly lowered demand in the U.S. Northeast region,” Musk emailed Reuters.
Reuters carefully raises the possibility that either Musk’s math is wrong, or the losses in sales are steeper. Says the wire: “To lose $100 million in car sales, assuming a $100,000 price per vehicle, Tesla would have to sell 1,000 fewer cars than expected.”
Musk says that a “Tesla team and I are brainstorming this week how to correct the misperception that they have created in the market about how well our car performs in cold weather. That too, will take money and time.”
TTAC says and said: Musk has nobody else to blame than himself. It was Musk who started the Great Twitter War that still reverberates through the interwebs. The Times story had received zero traction in the media until Musk twittered the lid off it, and it exploded. Musk is a loose cannon, and the easiest way the Tesla team can start changing the perceptions in the market is to take away Musk’s Twitter account. However, it may be too late. The spat between a West Coast tycoon and the New York paper told a much wider public that “maybe, this EV stuff is still not ready for prime time,” as more than one commenter commented.