We’ve been watching this little storm brewing over Tesla Motors and The New York Times, and it doesn’t seem like it’s dying off too quickly, it isn’t growing either.
The publicity, some may argue, has brought Tesla Motors some screen time and made it into the conscience of many more people than ever before, but then, it hasn’t been exactly great publicity.
It’s hard to decide whether Mr. Broder deliberately set up the Tesla Model S to fail, or whether it was just the winning combination of poor planning and circumstance, but the mud is on the wall now, and cleaning up the mess falls to Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk.
How much was that mud on the wall worth? According to Musk, during an interview [below] on Bloomberg TV, “we did 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 of dollars, if not on the order of a hundred million,” which isn’t the say that 1,000 vehicle orders were canceled, but Tesla Motors losses as a whole.
Actually, $100 million may be a bit of an understatement if we take a look at stock prices, which are notoriously tied with public opinion. According to Bloomberg, the value of Tesla Motors stock fell 8% in the 14 days after the review was posted on February 8th. This amounts to a loss of over $350 million. If a few hundred Tesla Model S orders were canceled, losses could be edging closer to the $500 million mark, all because of one poorly executed review by The New York Times.