THE LEX COLUMN: Targets still touchy for Tesla
Latest tweets on output targets show Elon Musk has lost none of his flair for controversy
Traders talk of fat-finger errors when keyboard slips hit markets. Tesla CE Elon Musk’s careless tweets are frequent enough to deserve their own description. Fatuous-finger errors, perhaps? Musk announced on February 20 that Tesla was on track to make “around” 500,000 cars in 2019. A few hours later he revised that to say that the US electric vehicle company was aiming for weekly production of 10,000 cars by the end of the year — meaning an annualised production rate of 500,000. A $20m fine from securities regulators and assurances from Tesla that it would oversee Twitter use by Musk seems to have been forgotten. It is ominous that the head of Tesla’s legal department has decided to leave after just two months. Inured to drama, the company’s stock price barely flickered. But the messages show Musk has lost none of his talent for controversy. Output targets are a sensitive subject for Tesla. The Securities and Exchange Commission has asked questions about projections made in 2017. La...