Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) founder and CEO Elon Musk gave a big shout-out to social media on Wednesday during the company’s Q4 earnings conference call. Musk is quite active on Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR). Late last year, shares of the electric vehicle maker took a huge beating after reports surfaced of three separate cases of a Model S catching fire in less than a six-week period.
Tesla might not have emerged from fire cases without social media
Elon Musk said he was quite worried as Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) saw a significant decline in demand following the incidents. In all cases, fires were caused by accidents when road debris damaged the batteries of Model S sedans. Elon Musk took to Twitter to defend the safety of the Model S and lashed out at the media. Thanks to Tesla fans and social media, the company overcame the threat to sales.
Elon Musk said yesterday that he doesn’t think Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) could have turned the tide after the car fires without the help of social media. Without social media, the company might not have been able to correct the misconception. Though Musk didn’t mention it, social media also played a crucial role in spreading the concerns. The news of each Model S catching fire spread rapidly on Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR) and Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB).
Yet another Model S fire in Toronto was reported last week. The sedan caught fire in the garage of a Model S owner when he returned from a drive. Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) has yet to specify the cause of the fire. But the company did say that the fire didn’t originate from the electrical receptacle, the adapter, battery or the charging system. Meanwhile, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is currently investigating the Model S fire accidents in the U.S. The Tesla CEO said he expects a positive outcome from the investigation.
Tesla cars much safer
Elon Musk said that consumers have begun to understand that Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) cars have much lower propensity for fire compared to gasoline-powered cars. So, much of the consumer fear has subsided.
Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) shares jumped 9.48% to $212 at 10:05 AM EST on Thursday after the company’s Q4 results impressed investors.