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

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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. 


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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Comments (7)
  1. Wow, I guess birds of a feather really do stick together.

    Despite some exaggeration from Musk's side it has been well established that Broder fudged the story, setting the car up to fail to prove his point that EVs don't work and get the photo opportunity he needed of the car on a flatbed.

    Articles like this prove though that criticizing reporters really isn't helpful. Even if you are right you really can't win.

  2. Nice article. I am not sure how commentator Chris O concludes that it is "well established" that Broder fudged the story.

    I find it amusing that so many average people are taking the side of a billionaire who is taking money out of their pockets via massive government subsidies. Why is the common man subsidizing a billionaire when we are talking of sequestration, cutting aid to the needy, etc.? Do people who buy $100k Tesla’s need subsidies – surely we can allocate that money to better purposes in our current economic scenario. Musk paints a virtuous self-image but he has made over 200 visits to DC and has met over 50% of our congressmen!

  3. Well Bill it seems anyone with a modicum of common sense would support Tesla if we are financing it instead of wishing it to fail. As to why the common man is financing it just look around at the other things we back like big subsidies for the oil industry...I could go on and on.

  4. This is a quite subjectively written(if not overly biased) piece. It's a blog, not a news article since it's so blatant which side you back on. I don't have a dog in the fight between Elon Musk(and green tech) and NYT(the rest), but c'mon Richard Read! If you're trying to be a reporter, at least do make some effort to fake in some objectivity dust instead of bashing one side to the bitter end and ending up sounding like an oil industry propaganda. I would be turned off as just much if I read some Elon Musk gospel article, but this is no better. Why must everything need to be so polarizing these days anyway? If I read this without knowing anything, I'd have to thought that it's all Elon Musk going batshit crazy while Broder has done no wrong

  5. Well, anyone that knows automobiles knows that it takes some knowledge and discipline to drive an automobile so as to get the maximum mileage. I know how to drive a Prius to obtain 10 MPG and how to drive it to obtain 50 MPG. If this reporter was in category of not knowing or not caring to know, of course the results would be less than optimal. The evidence points that others drove the same model car in similar circumstances and did get expected results. Mr. Broder could have attempted a second run for verification.

  6. 6 People made the same trip.

  7. Richard Read concludes "Whether or not Broder's assessment of the Model S was 100% accurate..." Thus, he believes Broder's assessment may be 100% accurate. 100%! Despite: (1) Tesla logs showing Broder drove in circles supposedly looking for the SuperCharger in the dark when YouTube videos show that both north- and southbound chargers would be IMPOSSIBLE to miss, (2) Broder's assertion (and nothing else) that Tesla engineers told him that he could drive the remaining 62 miles of the trip when the car said he only had 31 miles of range, and (3) the Time's article leading with a photo of the Model S on a flatbed truck when the expressed intent of the article was to evaluate the SuperChargers. Whatever happened to journalistic integrity?

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