Tesla’s always been a rebel in the automotive industry. It’s based out of the Silicon Valley, pushes an agenda that is contrary to the status quo, and is constantly lauded as a savior while being cursed as the ruin of the future of the automobile at the same time. Given the nature of the company, some have dismissed its secretive nature as it has refused to release sales figures and other information like its competitors. The electric carmaker is becoming even less transparent, a fact that is worrying some investors and industry analysts as they wonder and debate about the potential reasons.
The lack of disclosure is something that has been rolling out slowly during the past two years. Pretty much every other automaker has revealed its Q4 and full-year sales results for 2014, but Tesla Motors says it will hold a conference call and reveal details about the company’s performance, after the stock market closes on February 11. Many are predicting that a paltry amount of information will be shared on that call.
When speaking with Green Car Reports, CEO Elon Musk threw out a reason for the secrecy that some have interpreted as elitist at best, and a red herring at worst. When explaining why Tesla doesn’t release monthly sales reports, he stated, “it varies quite a lot by region and then the media tends to read all sorts of nonsense into deliveries.” He went on to talk about how shipments to different countries ebb and flow, which some journalists would interpret as fluctuating interest in the electric cars, when it is anything but that.
The only time that Tesla has revealed reservation numbers was after its first public offering back in 2010. It kept up the practice until 2012, but promptly ceased once 2013 began.
Other CEOs of big automakers like Daimler have loudly declared that nobody is making any money on electric cars, at least for now. Musk has stated that Tesla Motors won’t be in the black until the year 2020, which could be fueling the company’s secrecy.