Elon Musk: New York Times Review Cost Tesla $100 Million

Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk has recently said that a cold weather road trip story on the Tesla Model S done by The New York Times may have cost them close to $100 million. Musk believes the report resulted in a lot of cancelled orders, hence costing the company’s Model S sales figures.

Mr. Musk said this in an interview with Bloomberg’s Betty Liu arguing that John Broder’s review which found a Model S tester fall short of its estimated range cost the company nearly $100-million. He alleges that it was “fake” and sabotaged. The New York Times public editor said that although Mr. Broder didn’t take proper notes and didn’t follow Tesla’s guidelines, he did the test in good faith.

We did actually get a lot of cancellations as a result of the New York Times article; it probably affected us to the tune of tens of millions, if not on the order of $100-million, so it’s not trivial. It wasn’t as though there were 1,000 cancellations due to the New York Times article, probably a few hundred.

In terms of shares, Tesla shares fell from $39.48 on Feb. 7, the day before Mr. Boder’s review was published, to yesterday’s close of $34.43. The author’s test drive saw him charge the car differently along each stop. First charge was 90%, second was 72% and the third was 28%. Watch the interview below.

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