NY Times Model S review brought Tesla a stock-market value drop of $100 million

Article by Christian Andrei, on March 1, 2013

The New York Times article that claimed that Tesla’s Model S sedan fell short of its estimated range cut down the value of its stock market shares by up to $100 million, according to CEO Elon Musk. When interviewed by Betty Liu of Bloomberg, Musk said that the impact of the article that came out on The Times’ website is not trivial.

The article claimed that Model S didn’t meet the claimed 300-mile (483- kilometer) range “under ideal conditions” when it was test-driven in cold weather. On Twitter, Musk referred to the story as “fake.” In a blog on the website, The Times’ public editor noted that there were defects in the story.

Tesla is relying on the Model S to turn a profit this quarter, with the exclusion of several costs. Tesla, which is based in Palo Alto, California, aims to increase Model S output by at least 25% this year. It is also slated to introduce the Model X crossover in 2014. Since Feb. 8 (the day the Times article first came out), Tesla’s shares have dropped 12%, from $39.24 to $34.38.

In fact, it reported a 4.8% drop today at the close in New York. According to information that Bloomberg compiled, Tesla’s market capitalization fell by about $553 million. During this period, the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index fell by 2%. As of today’s closing, the company’s stock-market value is $3.91 billion. Musk also stated during the interview that without a $7,500 U.S. tax credit, the demand for the Model S will be 10% to 20% lower.

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