Tesla Motors CEO says NY Times’ story cost the company up to $100 million image

Tesla Motors’ CEO Elon Musk said the New York Times story about the Model S sedan failing to achieve its estimated driving range affected the company’s stock-market value by as much as $100 million.

“It probably affected us to the tune of tens of millions, to the order of $100 million. So it’s not trivial,” CEO Elon Musk said in a Bloomberg Television interview. This month, the New York Times published a story on its website saying a Model S failed to met the sedan’s 300-mile (483 kilometer) range „under ideal conditions” during a test-drive in cold weather.

Must called the story „fake” on Twitter, with the newspaper’s public editor later admitting there were some flaws in the story, but nothing was intentional. Tesla Motors is relying on the Model S sedan to become profitable, excluding some costs. The EV-maker expects to boost Model S production by at least 25 percent this year, with the Model X crossover scheduled for launch in 2014.

Musk also said that demand for the Model S would be 10 percent to 20 percent smaller without a $7,500 U.S. tax credit. Tesla shares fell 8 percent, from $39.24 to $36.11, from February 8, the day the New York Times article first appeared, through February 22. Tesla’s stock-market value is about $4.1 billion.