Tesla scores and deceives
In the third quarter of this year, Tesla has delivered a record number of 139 300 cars, more than the most optimistic analysts had forecasted. On the other hand, unsatisfied Dutch Tesla owners have started a foundation called Stichting Tesla Claim to start a class action against Tesla. They claim that the car’s quality is far below expectations and not in accordance with the price tags of the cars.
“Thanks to efficient production and the success of the so-called giga-factory in China, we expect serious growth and a company doing better than expected,” says Wedbush analyst Daniel Yves.
“We think that demand for Tesla vehicles will peak above 500 000, a number that seemed completely irrealistic not so long ago given the consequences of the pandemic.”
The Dutch group of unsatisfied Tesla owners called Stichting Tesla Claim has complaints about their cars’ build quality. Wipers that don’t function, doors that refuse to open or close, an Autopilot that suddenly brakes on a desert highway… they have had it with their Tesla.
The foundation would like to claim compensation for each member feeling duped. There’s a recent law in the Netherlands that makes this possible. An additional frustration: “if a client wants to signal a problem, Tesla is hardly reachable.”
Tesla Benelux refused to react to the claim, and in Belgium, we’ve not yet heard of comparable actions. “I don’t pretend that there are no complaints in this country,” says Byron Soulopoulos of the Tesla Owners Club Belgium (7 500 members), “but usually these are details, and Tesla solves them via software updates.
“Most of the problems this foundation is enumerating are going back to Tesla cars’ first generation in 2013/2014. The Autopilot is still a beta version today. I find it strange if they’re starting a lawsuit about this.”
It is indeed a fact that every car manufacturer is struggling with the technology of autonomous driving. Tesla is one of the pioneers in this field, but the drive to be the first can often collide with the intention of being the best in all fields.
Tesla turns deaf-mute
Where Tesla, and certainly its CEO Elon Musk, is one of the champions in communication with the large public, it has apparently decided that the (traditional) press is no longer interesting.
For months now, urgent requests for information sent to the headquarters in California remain unanswered. According to certain sources, the whole PR department has been dissolved. Some people have left the company; others are doing other things for the company.
According to Trip Chowdhry, an analyst at Global Equities Research, this not a surprise. “In this digital era, a company with interesting products and enthusiastic customers doesn’t need a classical PR department anymore.”
The recent shareholders meeting called ‘Battery day’ was followed on YouTube by three million people and the Twitter account of CEO Elon Musk has 39 million followers. Why bother about the (‘sometimes too critical’) traditional press.
Elon Musk himself is giving an example here. He definitely doesn’t like journalists or financial analysts and finds their questions “annoying, foolish, or arid.”