Elon Musk presenting at the 2017 Tesla Annual Shareholder Meeting

26 Feb Elon Musk and SEC meet eyeball-to-eyeball again over Tesla production goal tweets

Feb 26, 2019 | by Iqtidar Ali

Tesla CEO Elon Musk is again under the radar of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) as SEC asks a federal court to charge Elon Musk for the contempt of his previous settlement with the government institution, The Wall Street Journal reported yesterday (paywall).

Tesla and Elon Musk paid $20 million each and Musk was required to abdicate the Tesla Chairmanship as terms of the settlement, Tesla and Elon Musk agreed to these terms and the dust settled for a while, now SEC has trouble with a couple of new Elon Musk tweets that predict Tesla’s production and delivery goals for 2019.

Elon Musk takes the new SEC charges head-on and replies with a few tweets:

Looks like SEC did not do their homework properly before asking a Manhattan Federal Court to hold Elon Musk in contempt of the settlement — this time Elon Musk seems to be on solid grounds.

If we read the Tesla Q4, 2018 earnings call transcript, we can see that Elon Musk mentioned the numbers he stated in recent tweets:

Colin Rusch — Oppenheimer & Co. Inc. — Analyst

Thanks very much. Can you talk a little bit about the geographic dispersion for the guidance for 2019, where you’re expecting the Model 3s to sell through as well as the other models?

Elon Musk — Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer

Well, I think we did, actually. Yes, it’s clear in our letter.

Deepak Ahuja — Chief Financial Officer

Correct. We indicated in Q1, we will start delivering Model 3s in Europe and China. And we also shared a chart showing the potential market size for mid-sized premium sedans in North America, Europe and Asia, suggesting those markets could be even bigger. So I think that gives a good sense of where we’ll be.

And we’ll launch the right-hand drive version at some point to go to the other markets.

Elon Musk — Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer

Yes, maybe in the order of 350,000 to 500,000 Model 3s, I mean, like that this year.

Now Elon Musk is in a mood right now, he loves this poem written by Evelyn Janeidy Arevalo in response to his statement “Fate *loves* irony. Frankly, too much.”

The ray of light here is that Elon Musk states that he has great respect for judges and believes in the U.S. justice system despite its imperfections, he wrote on Twitter:

Indeed. I have great respect for judges. It’s not perfect, but, in general, we should be very glad of the US justice system.

Let’s see which direction this case takes in the coming days and weeks, we will keep you posted, stay tuned and share your thoughts in the comments section below.

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Iqtidar Ali
xautoworld@gmail.com

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