The New York times Company (NYSE:NYT) has cost Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) $100 million, according to the electric car company’s founder Elon Musk. The famed tech entrepreneur made the comments on Bloomberg earlier today. The full video, including those comments, is below. The firm’s earnings report, which came in last week, disappointed investors.
Tesla Motors electric car the Tesla Model S was reviewed by the New York Times on February 8. The review was scathing. It portrayed the Model S as unreliable, and almost unusable in cold weather. The company disputed those claims but, according to Musk, it didn’t stop large number of people from cancelling their orders for the car.
Elon Musk founded both Paypal and Space X before moving on to help found Tesla Motors. The company has been one of the most prominent in the design and manufacture of electric cars since the start of the new Millennium. The vehicles take their inspiration from the nineteenth century electric motor designs of Nikola Tesla.
The dispute between the New York Times Company (NYSE:NYT) and Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) is likely to continue, and huge swathes of the internet appear to have taken the side of the electric car company. Elon Musk’s evidence against the claims from the paper is compelling, and the publicity from the conflict is probably doing more good than bad to the company.
Tesla Motors is a favorite among gadget lovers and early adopters. The idea of a future highway populated by electric cars is attractive to many, and that culture dominates some of the most public faces of the internet. Elon Musk isn’t trying to make this conflict go away, he’s trying to leverage it to increase business for his company.
Despite the efforts of the entrepreneur, stock in the company has taken a hit since The New York Times released its review. The company’s stock has lost more than 10% of its value since that date, though that decline was no doubt helped by worse than expected financial results.
Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) is getting more air time out of its current problems than it ever would have if The New York Times Company (NYSE:NYT) had given the Model S a positive review. The next round of earnings from the company should be interesting, and may result in a positive surprise from the conflict with the newspaper.