Swanky car company Tesla recently engaged in some very public barb-trading with The New York Times over a test drive of the slick, all-electric sports car Model S. In light of that, the automaker’s CEO told Bloomberg TV the company has lost “a few hundred” orders resulting from what it views as the Times’ bad reporting.
"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, to the order of $100 million, so it's not trivial,” Elon Musk, the chief executive, said on Monday.
“I would say that refers more to the valuation of the company. It wasn't as though there were 1,000 cancellations just due to The New York Times article. There were probably a few hundred."
The Times' piece on February 10, “Stalled out on Tesla’s Electric Highway,” soon drew the ire of CEO Elon Musk. Musk lambasted the article, calling it “fake” and detailing his accusations on the company’s blog. The NYT reporter has since responded with a point-by-point rebuttal.
"The thing I really thought was wrong is that we are looking at the data from the test drive and it does not correlate at all to the article that was written,” Musk added in the Bloomberg TV interview.
“The result was that the car ran out of range. There was this sad shot of our car on a flatbed as though that was the only outcome possible for such a drive and that's just not true. And lots of people said that it does not matter if you're right or wrong, you do not battle the New York Times. To hell with that. I would rather tell the truth and suffer the consequences even if they are negative. I do not think it should be the end of his career or that he should be fired, but I do think that he fudged an article."
For what it's worth, Dan Edmunds, the head of vehicle testing for the car reviews site Edmunds—isalso having trouble with the Model S' on-board touchscreen.