Sunday 24 March 2019

Musk amends tweet on '500,000 cars a year' Tesla forecast

Elon Musk’s tweets have caused trouble
Elon Musk’s tweets have caused trouble

Angus Whitley

Elon Musk corrected a prediction for how many cars Tesla would make in 2019, just hours after tweeting that production would reach about 500,000.

The electric-car pioneer, who has a track record of snafus on Twitter, said he intended to say Tesla expects to be making cars at an annual rate of about 500,000 by the end of 2019. Musk said Tesla still forecasts deliveries of about 400,000 vehicles this year. "Meant to say annualized production rate at end of 2019 probably around 500k, ie 10k cars/week. Deliveries for year still estimated to be about 400k."

Musk's earlier tweet was difficult to gauge - given his proclivity for setting stretch goals - and was greeted with some scepticism. 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 on January 30.

In a letter to shareholders, CEO Musk and his CFO forecast as many as 400,000 total vehicle deliveries this year. Within hours, the CEO told an analyst on Tesla's earnings call to expect sales for just the Model 3 to reach as many as 500,000 units in 2019. "Tesla made 0 cars in 2011, but will make around 500k in 2019." Total deliveries more than tripled last year but making 500,000 vehicles in 2019 would be difficult based on the guidance given late last month.

Musk's tweeting has been a source of confusion before. The SEC moved to punish Tesla and Musk last year, alleging he committed fraud by tweeting in August that he had the "funding secured" to take the company private at $420 a share.


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