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Published on October 13th, 2018 | by Zachary Shahan


Lordy, MSNBC & POLITICO Miss The Tesla Elephant Again

October 13th, 2018 by  

Stephanie Ruhle does an excellent job covering macroeconomics and the political matters she covers. Ruhle is one of the most pointed, insightful, and, dare I say, electrifying political commentators on TV. But my goodness, she and the crew at Velshi & Ruhle need to get a clue on the 21st century auto industry.

I previously highlighted how poorly Ruhle covered Tesla in a segment on the company, but a more recent segment not mentioning Tesla at all indicates how her Tesla blindspot (as well as other reporters’ Tesla blindspot) can lead to confused coverage of the automotive sector more broadly.

Ruhle was again joined by a print reporter, this time from POLITICO. Again, the reporter didn’t think to mention the young elephant in the industry while discussing industry trends.

Ruhle started off by highlighting that Ford is getting slammed from the Trump tariffs. (Duh.) Ford claims the tariffs have already cost the company $1 billion, but Ruhle also aptly points out that the job cuts are part of a $25 billion reorganization that was already in play. In total, Morgan Stanley expects 12,000 Ford jobs will be cut, 12% of its global workforce.

At a minute and a half in, Ruhle made yet another important point: It’s not just Ford. “Toyota, Nissan, Honda — they’ve all reported declining car sales. So, can we really point the layoffs on tariffs, or can some of it be people are buying less cars?”

That got Ruhle so far. She and her guest were almost there. But they dropped the ball.

Yes, Americans are buying fewer cars. Nonetheless, 100,000 or so of them bought a Model 3 this year.

Is it a coincidence that Toyota sales dropped as Tesla Model 3 sales rose? (Ignore the fact that Tesla indicated on the last conference call that the Prius was the #1 most traded in car for the Model 3.)

Is it a coincidence that Honda sales dropped as Tesla Model 3 sales rose? (Ignore the fact that Tesla indicated on the last conference call that the Honda Accord and Honda Civic were two of the five most traded in cars for the Model 3.)

Is it a coincidence that Nissan sales dropped as Tesla Model 3 sales rose? (Ignore the fact that Tesla indicated on the last conference call that the Nissan LEAF was the 5th most traded in car for the Model 3.)

Ironically, they brought up the push to move away from quarterly earnings reports in order to better focus companies on long-term planning. Somehow, even after missing Tesla’s relevance to all of the topics mentioned above, it shocked me that they could discuss this without thinking about Tesla’s long-term vision, Tesla’s focus on long-term growth over short-term profits, and Elon Musk’s desire to take the company private to get out of the stock market racket.

Well, there goes another missed opportunity.

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About the Author

Zach is tryin' to help society help itself (and other species). He spends most of his time here on CleanTechnica as its director and chief editor. He's also the president of Important Media and the director/founder of EV Obsession and Solar Love. Zach is recognized globally as an electric vehicle, solar energy, and energy storage expert. He has presented about cleantech at conferences in India, the UAE, Ukraine, Poland, Germany, the Netherlands, the USA, and Canada. Zach has long-term investments in TSLA, FSLR, SPWR, SEDG, & ABB — after years of covering solar and EVs, he simply has a lot of faith in these particular companies and feels like they are good cleantech companies to invest in. But he offers no professional investment advice and would rather not be responsible for you losing money, so don't jump to conclusions.

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