Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) Has Lots of Undelivered Cars
Groups of new EVs are being detected in unexplained locations across the country. Evidence posted online has raised questions about production, logistics, quality and even demand.
CEO Elon Musk’s settlement of a securities-fraud case has removed 1 cloud over the company and its leader.
Another Key remains
The Big Q: How its EV production is measuring up against Mr. Musk’s ambitious forecasts, a matter that the US DOJ is still investigating.
One group of internet ferrets thinks it has found clues in plain sight, pointing to lots and garages in California, New Jersey, Arizona and other states where Tesla cars have been found parked in large numbers.
The group’s efforts to document those sites could shed light on the delivery troubles that the Tesla CEO Musk has acknowledged, and reveal whether demand for the company’s cars is as high as he suggests.
Since July, Tesla has been parking anywhere from a couple of dozen to a few hundred cars at a lot in Burbank, CA.
In Lathrop, CA, 70 miles east of San Francisco, Tesla has as many as 400 cars at an industrial site. A similar number turned up outside an industrial building nearby. At times cars have been seen entering and leaving the building, suggesting it may be a collection point or repair center.
Hundreds more have been found in Antioch, northeast of San Francisco.
And last Thursday, about 100 Model 3s turned up in Bellevue, Wash. Smaller collections have surfaced in Chicago, Dallas, Las Vegas and Salt Lake City.
The parked vehicles were discovered over the last 2 months by the amateur detectives. Some have flown drones over the parking lots to take pictures of the cars.
At least 1 has access to a plane and shoots high-resolution photographs from the air. They post the photos on Twitter and call themselves the Shorty Air Force.
The ferrets say they feel Mr. Musk has not been candid about the company’s situation, particularly its sales.
A Tesla spokesman, Dave Arnold, said by e-Mail that the large lots of vehicles were “logistics transit hubs” and added, “Anyone observing those lots will see a change from 1 day to the next.”
Mr. Musk recently acknowledged that the company was having difficulty shipping cars to customers, saying Tesla was in “delivery logistics Hell.”
He attributed the problem to a shortage of trucks to haul cars around the country.
That is Bunk, as there is lots of car hauler capacity. It is possible Tesla does not have the cash to pay for them.
The Auto Haulers Association of America is not aware of any shortage of car haulers, nor of any other automakers that are having trouble shipping new vehicles. “There’s quite a few carrier companies in California,” said the association’s general manager.
Mr. Musk also said last week that Tesla had started producing its own trailers to transport cars to customers. Tesla has declined to say where the trailers are being made and whether the design has been approved by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, which regulates buses and transport vehicles.
An auto sector analyst said that Tesla is gathering cars together before shipping them to customers, or bringing cars with defects together to repair them before delivery.
It is a mystery, that we will soon know the answer to.
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