When a person, brand, or company reach the spotlight, they become the subject of severe scrutiny twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. The news surrounding Tesla is nonstop because it sells. People want to follow the latest buzz surrounding this company that’s changing the way automobiles look, sell, and drive.
There are two types of people in the world: Tesla fans and Tesla critics. On one side are the diehard loyalists who support the brand no matter what. On the other are the skeptics who think Tesla has yet to prove itself.
With Tesla in the headlines constantly, rumors get thrown around all the time. It’s something both sides are guilty of. Each camp tries to spin the news in their favor, and it can become hard to sift through the facts.
The world isn’t as black and white as Tesla fans and critics make it out to be. There, in fact, exists a middle, gray area where some rumors are true, others false. Some make Tesla look good, others not as much. At the end of the day, at least at this point in time, one will find that Tesla is achieving huge milestones that are hard to deny, yet also facing immense challenges ahead. This is no different from any other company.
It’s more attractive when things either look really good or really gloomy for Tesla. The middle ground is less sensational, less interesting and newsworthy, and it often lacks intrigue. Yet there’s always something appealing about looking at the details to see whether certain rumors about Tesla are true or not.
We’re going to look at rumors going around about Tesla that are true, along with others that totally miss the mark.
20 Totally False: Tesla Is Running Out Of Money And Going Broke
Some outlets are choosing to blame Tesla’s recent expenses as warning signs. While those expenses have been major and certainly look worrisome, Inside EVs believes it's part of a smear campaign. They believe that news stories have taken factual reports about the Model 3’s costly production and spun it into a case that Tesla is running out of money.
However, the site EVannex points out that Tesla has used that money to invest in factories and machines that have only skyrocketed in value. If anything, Tesla seems to have amassed assets that actually increase their overall value, which lends a case to where all its money is going.
19 Absolutely True: The Model 3 Went Through “Production Hell”
Since the Model 3 went into production, there have been nonstop rumors and hearsay about how smooth—or challenging—it all went. The whole thing starts off with a true statement and then becomes something much bigger when outlets decide to emphasize certain points.
According to Inside EVs, the Model 3 did in fact experience something of a “production hell.” They believe, however, that some news may have been subject to something of a smear campaign. They took the fact that the Model 3 had trouble meeting the demand, and then really ran with that story. We’ll cover the details that got blown out of proportion below.
18 Totally False: The Model 3 Caused Production Lines To Break Down, Harmed Employees
The tougher things go for a major company in the news—which in this case was Tesla—the more news sells. As touched upon above, the Model 3 had what Inside EVs reports was a “production hell” to meet customer demands. They note, however, that certain news put a negative spin on Tesla’s challenges, amplifying a whole slew of rumors.
The same source reports that news emphasized failures occurring on production lines while making the vehicles. Even more, outlets reported on Tesla employees unhappy with their job situation, citing the working conditions as being less than ideal. Many believe these news stories are trying to make Tesla look bad though and may be overblown.
17 Absolutely True: Rival Auto Companies Have EVs To Compete With Tesla
Tesla may have beaten automakers to the punch in revolutionizing the EV industry, but they won't be alone for long. Despite what one feels about Tesla, it’s hard to deny they’ve changed the game up. Even long-established reigning automakers have to admit that Tesla is the real deal.
With Jaguar coming out with the I-PACE and Porsche its Mission E, Inside EVs reports these cars are on track to compete head to head with Tesla. The ball looks like it will be back in Tesla’s court, who has to acknowledge that the EV playing field is about to get crowded.
16 Totally False: Tesla’s Days Are Numbered Due To Rival EVs
Expanding on the last point, Tesla is going to have some more competition soon. What news stories have done, however, is assume that means the company has reached its expiration. Inside EVs reports, just because the Porsche Mission E is going to compete directly with the Model 3 doesn't mean Tesla is done for. It sounds good as a news headline, but it doesn’t reflect the reality.
If anything, legacy automakers will have some catching up to do. The same source points out that Tesla has over 1,000 Supercharger stations in the world, a Gigafactory, and the state-of-the-art software that's only getting better.
15 Absolutely True: Musk Spoke With Saudi Arabia’s Sovereign Wealth Fund About Buyout Of Company
Musk appeared open-minded when he looked for someone to possibly buy the company. There were rumors about Tesla’s talks with Saudi Arabia, and in August 2018, Musk confirmed they were true. “I continue to have discussions with the Saudi fund,” Musk wrote in a blog post, as per Al Bawaba. “I also am having discussions with a number of other investors, which is something that I always planned to do since I would like for Tesla to continue to have a broad investor base.”
When Musk confirms it, especially through a front-facing means like a blog post, it’s safe to say he isn’t dodging the headlines.
14 Totally False: Tesla Closing Down All Its Stores
There was actually a rumor going around that Tesla intended to close down all its stores. According to Mashable, the rumor came about on Reddit and managed to gain enough traction that it made major headlines. At the time of this reporting, there were over 115 stores in the U.S. alone. The Reddit thread raised worry, especially among Tesla fans, with the title “Effective immediately many Tesla stores will be permanently closed.”
Musk himself told Mashable it wasn’t true, and time has proven his statements correct. He did admit they were converting some store locations, however, which may have been what originally set the rumor off in the first place.
13 Absolutely True: Tesla Requested Cost Reductions Of Its Suppliers
The news doesn’t always get it right, but it seems like this Tesla report—for the most part—was right on the money. According to the site MarketWatch, the Wall Street Journal had reported on Tesla asking its suppliers for cost reductions starting as far back as 2016.
A Tesla spokesperson responded to the report admitting that they had and that the request applied to less than 10 suppliers. The spokesperson said, as per MarketWatch, that Tesla was looking for a more viable cost structure with their suppliers that they could adopt going forward. While this rumor ended up being newsworthy, it shouldn’t get the public up in arms about Tesla and how it is performing.
12 Totally False: Tesla Is Losing Musk, Who’s Headed For Bitcoin Profit
What would Tesla be without its pioneering CEO Elon Musk? That’s a question many Tesla loyalists aren’t willing to imagine or explore. For many, Tesla and Musk are inseparable. That might explain why this next rumor made waves, despite it not being true.
News stories came out about Musk leaving Tesla for Bitcoin Profit. Inquisitr reports that these claims were baseless, however, thanks to a Tesla spokesperson and CNN clearing things up. They go on to say it was all intended to create a PR nightmare for Musk, who had to keep the company afloat in the public’s eye over a tumultuous year. Musk has enough on his plate, including keeping things he’d prefer we not see about Tesla.
11 Absolutely True: Model Y Production Is Imminent
This rumor makes Tesla fans everywhere excited in anticipation. With Musk practically confirming its authenticity, it’s sure to make followers bounce with joy. The next model on Tesla’s production radar is the highly-anticipated Model Y. According to The Week, Musk alluded to the Model Y's production starting any month now. That would likely put its release as early as 2020.
With the Model Y production soon, fans are hankering for Tesla’s next offering. Musk also noted, as per the same source, that the Model Y shares 76% of its components with the Model 3 saloon, so fans can expect more of what they already like.
10 Totally False: Tesla Stowed Away Model 3s To Get A Major EV Tax Credit
Being a popular company that the public pays careful attention to, Tesla is on everyone’s radar. Many noticed a huge stockpile of Tesla Model 3s filling up lots across the west coast. Last year, sites such as Inside EVs speculated Tesla did so on purpose in order to put off selling their 200,000th vehicle in the US. Many wondered—thus setting off rumors—if it was an attempt to prevent an EV tax credit reduction from going into effect.
According to Green Tech Media, a Tesla spokesperson gave a reasonable explanation for the filled lots. The spokesperson sat down with Business Insider saying, "As our deliveries increase, we’re obviously going to have more cars there.”
9 Absolutely True: Tesla Workers In Talks With UAW
For further proof that Tesla is playing with the big boys, look no further than news surrounding the company and UAW. According to The Daily Caller, Tesla workers were looking to unionize and went to the UAW to have talks. This didn’t make Musk very happy, who believed Jose Moran, a Tesla employee, was advocating for it.
“Our understanding is that this guy was paid by the UAW to join Tesla and agitate for a union,” Musk said on Twitter in 2017. The same source notes that at the time of this reporting, there were about 5,000 non-union workers out of the California plant.
8 Totally False: Tesla-AMD Partnership In The Works
The rumor mill churned out news that Tesla and AMD were on the verge of teaming up. This was explosive considering Tesla was already with NVIDIA, which happens to be AMD’s rival, according to Benzinga. News like this urged people to take action, which caused the value of AMD’s stock to go up.
In the end, though, it was just hearsay. “The rumors that TSLA will be using AMD chips in its autonomous driving initiatives are 100% false,” declared Trip Chowdhry, an analyst who shot down the idea. There is, however, truth in Tesla exploring an alternative to their current chips, which we go over below.
7 Absolutely True: Tesla Could Actually Make An Electric Minibus
People look forward to what Tesla is going to churn out next. The public is always speculating on what new models the company is already exploring. Among rumors about a pickup truck and semi-truck is the talk of a minibus. Yet as CarBuzz points out, the minibus talk has grounds. Musk not only confirmed the minibus as a possible future release but went into specifics about its design.
On Twitter, Tesla’s CEO said that the one they’re planning would share the same platform as the Model X—that’s the automaker's SUV. With info like that, it’s a rumor that definitely has much more weight now that Musk himself addressed it.
6 Totally False: Model 3 Demand Is Waning
Being a Tesla owner is different from other automakers. That’s why there are certain things every Tesla owner needs to get used to. That may or may not have motived this next rumor, which asserted the public was losing interest in Model 3. This led Tesla to combat this rumor that had widely circulated.
Teslarati reports that Tesla assured interest in the Model 3 was still going strong in an earnings call. The same source notes that they had even managed to hit their goal of producing 5,000 Model 3 units each week by the end of Q2 2018. Sounds like a bunch of hubbub over nothing.
5 Absolutely True: Tesla Dropping NVIDIA For Their Own Self-Driving Car Chips
This bit of news is older, but it was still a rumor at the time that ended up being true. There were rumors circulating that Tesla was going to drop NVIDIA, who supplied the auto company with self-driving car ships at the time, for something else. Musk confirmed the news and admitted that Tesla would be making their own chips going forward.
“We’ve been like semi-stealth mode basically for the last two to three years on this,” Musk said at the time during an earnings call, according to Forbes. It was a bold move on Tesla’s part to make their own, but one they had to figure out before going public.
4 Totally False: Model 3 Preorders Exceeded The Number Of Deposits
Let’s rewind back to July 2018 when Tesla Model 3 preorders were hot—or not, that is according to a report by CNN Business. Needham & Co. analyst at the time claimed 24% of Model 3 orders were canceled, that refunds were growing, and had downgraded Tesla's stock a sell rating.
Tesla begged to differ, however. According to Green Tech Media, a Tesla spokesperson told Reuters, “The notion that Model 3 cancellations are outpacing orders is unequivocally false.” The same source adds that Musk even called out Needham’s claim on Twitter, showing an objection in the way only Tesla's CEO can.
3 Absolutely True: Early Model 3s Had Panel Gaps
When a product first comes out, it can tend to have a few kinks that still need ironing out. It can be frustrating for buyers to receive a flawed product; there’s even a YouTuber who detailed everything wrong with his Model 3. Inside EVs reports, the first Model 3 vehicles to ship did, in fact, have fit and finish problems.
The exterior panel gaps didn’t line up properly on many models and it didn’t reflect the best on Tesla. The further rumors though that came out of that sought to paint an even bleaker picture, which we go over in more detail below.
2 Totally False: Model 3s Have Quality Issues, Costing Owners In Costly Repairs
All cars have their problems. Some more than others. The Tesla 3 doesn’t seem to be one of the cars. For one thing, Model 3 sales broke records. Yet it would seem some news stories have painted a picture that problems continue to persist for Model 3 owners beyond just the fit and finish fiasco plaguing early batches.
According to Inside EVs, some outlets have reported that there continues to be quality issues. Even more, they could end up costing owners a lot over time in pricy repairs and maintenance. The same source notes that this is part of a smear campaign though.
1 Absolutely True: The Gigafactory And Model 3 Production Ramp Cost The Company A Lot
While pushing back on many of the overblown news stories about Tesla, there’s still less than stellar news. Granted, it’s a more understandable and even-tempered report. The company has had to make sacrifices in order to meet expectations.
According to Inside EVs, the Model 3 production ramp and Gigafactory did end up costing Tesla an arm and a leg. They even had to build the Gigafactory faster in order to meet customers’ demand for the Model 3, which Construction Dive reports cost them $5 billion. Still, news stories found a way to paint an even more negative picture of the revelation, which we detail elsewhere.
Sources: Inside EVs, Green Tech Media, CNN Business, Construction Dive, EVannex, Benzinga, Mashable, Inquisitr, Teslarati, MarketWatch, The Daily Caller, Al Bawaba, Forbes, The Week, CarBuzz