Thu, Feb 21, 2019 - Page 10 News List

Musk hits ‘send’ too soon on Tesla forecast, revises


Tesla Inc chief executive officer Elon Musk corrected a prediction for how many vehicles the company would make this year, just hours after tweeting that production would reach about 500,000 vehicles.

The electric-vehicle pioneer, who has a track record of snafus on Twitter, said in a tweet that he intended to say Tesla expects to be making vehicles at an annual rate of about 500,000 by the end of this year.

Tesla still forecasts deliveries of about 400,000 vehicles this year, Musk said.

His earlier tweet that Tesla would make about 500,000 vehicle this year was difficult to gauge — given his proclivity for setting stretch goals — and was greeted with some skepticism on the social media platform.

The number he put in the posting late on Tuesday was roughly in line with his previous comments, but that depends on which figure investors paid attention to when Tesla reported earnings Jan. 30.

In a letter to shareholders, Musk and chief financial officer Deepak Ahuja forecast as many as 400,000 total vehicle deliveries this year.

Within hours, Musk told an analyst on Tesla’s earnings call to expect sales for just the Model 3 to reach as many as 500,000 units.

Musk’s tweeting has been a source of confusion for investors before.

The US Securities and Exchange Commission last year moved to punish Tesla and Musk because it alleged that he committed fraud by tweeting in August last year that he had the “funding secured” to take the company private at US$420 a share.

The agency said this and other claims he made on Aug. 7 were false and misleading and affected Tesla’s stock.

Both he and the company agreed to pay US$20 million penalties, and Tesla said it would implement controls to oversee the tweeting of its chief.

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