Elon Musk Says New York Times Cost Tesla $100 Million Page 2

February 26, 2013

Elon Musk

We said: We wouldn't be surprised if there were, in fact, some cancellations after Broder's article was published. But a "few hundred"? (Listen to the clip: even Musk adds a question mark after "hundred".) Since this isn't likely the sort of thing that Tesla will ever make public unless it brings a lawsuit against Broder and the New York Times, we'll just have to trust his assessment. Or not.

However, an analysis of Tesla's financials indicate that there were a significant number of cancellations in Q4 of 2012 -- around 1,500 by Tesla's estimation. That doesn't mean that Musk is necessarily wrong in claiming that Broder's article caused cancellations; however, it would appear that the trend of cancellations began well before Broder's article arrived in print. Which means that linking cancellations directly to the New York Times is difficult, indeed. 

OUR TAKE

Musk is awfully good at playing the martyr. He could've come out swinging more aggressively, but no one likes to feel sorry for the mean guy (cf. Donald Trump). Instead, he hit a tone somewhere between "fire that reporter!" and "oh, woe is me!".

In the end, Musk's interview demonstrates that he's a good spokesperson for his own products: he's not just passionate and knowledgeable, he's also able to cast doubt on naysayers without calling them liars, in so many words. Whether or not Broder's assessment of the Model S was 100% accurate, we have a feeling Tesla will be around for a while to come, so long as Musk remains onboard.  

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