Who You Gonna Believe? Elon Musk's Words Or Your Own Lying Eyes?

Nov. 07, 2016 6:15 AM ETTesla, Inc. (TSLA)93 Comments
Logical Thought profile picture
Logical Thought


  • Elon Musk's long history of speaking blatantly misleading things has often been chronicled by others here on Seeking Alpha.
  • A recent example of this was so hilariously bold that I couldn't help writing about it myself.
  • Do Tesla longs actually think that a CEO who misleads "in plain sight" will be MORE honest about "hidden things"?

I first wrote on SA about Elon Musk's Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) conference call mistruths two years ago, and following that several other SA authors have done the same. Something Musk said on the Q3 call (held October 26th) was so hilarious that I couldn't resist writing about it myself in a fresh article. Here's Musk on that call:

One of the other things I've seen out there is that, like, somehow we achieved these numbers as a result of widespread discounting, that is absolutely false. There were a few discounts that - but they were few and far between and that has been absolutely shot down to zero."

And here's a screenshot of what you could have seen on Tesla's web site as Musk was speaking those words:

(In fact, as of this writing you can see it yourself.)

You can then go to the excellent EV-CPO web site and see scores of brand new (just 50 "delivery miles") inventory cars Tesla built expressly to be sold as new inventory (acknowledged on p.7 of its 10-K and characterized as "limited"-- as this [below] may be just a sample of what's available, I'd love to hear Tesla's precise definition of "limited"; here's a partial screenshot of EV-CPO of the time of this writing:

If that's Elon Musk's definition of "absolutely shot down to zero" I'd hate to be on one of his space missions if he's doing any of the necessary calculations. And when a CEO avowedly states something that's so easily disproved, why would you trust him to be honest about what's going on "behind the scenes"? Although I have no evidence of "hidden" malfeasance and thus avowedly am not stating that it's occurring, I personally see the above example as a reason not to trust a CEO and in fact I might even be short his company, as I am with Tesla.

This article was written by

Logical Thought profile picture
My name is Mark B. Spiegel and I'm the Managing Member of Stanphyl Capital Management LLC. I can be reached at: mark (at) stanphylcap (dot) com. My Twitter feed is @markbspiegel

Disclosure: I am/we are short TSLA. I wrote this article myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it (other than from Seeking Alpha). I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.

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