PALO ALTO (CBS/CNET) – The CEO of Tesla Motors has told Bloomberg that a New York Times review – which had its veracity called into question – may have cost the $100 million in value.
Elon Musk, speaking on Bloomberg TV, said “a lot” of people canceled orders for Tesla’s Model S following a scathing New York Times review.
“It probably affected us to the tune of tens of millions, to the order of $100 million, so it’s not trivial,” Musk said. “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.”
However, Musk did note that Tesla sees more new reservations for the Model S each quarter, indicating demand has been growing for the vehicle.
The New York Times earlier this month published a review of the Tesla Model S that criticized the car’s functionality. Among the many complaints was that the vehicle ran out of juice earlier than expected, stranding writing John Broder in the freezing East Coast weather. Before leaving on his trip, Broder said he charged the car until the display read “charge complete;” and then, working to conserve the battery while driving, he said he turned off the car’s heat and drove on cruise control at 54 mph.
Tesla disputed Broder’s account of the test drive and published logs that it said refuted the New York Times report. The publication and company have since kept up a nasty back and forth about the review, with each claiming the other is wrong.
“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 said on Bloomberg TV. “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.”
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