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Lutz On Tesla: Deliveries Aren’t Necessarily Money-Generating Sales

Humor us some more, Mr. Bob Lutz.

Bob Lutz, former vice chairman of GM, in his most recent CNBC discussion on Tesla’s production and delivery results in Q3, surprised us a little bit… by how far off his analysis and understanding of production and deliveries numbers actually are.

We are a little sad that Bob Lutz is trying to convince the general public that because Tesla doesn’t have dealers, delivery numbers are not necessarily sales that generate money – “The cars remain in the Tesla system” and on how the company is so different from the rest of the automotive industry. Bob Lutz undermines his own credibility, but well, that will not stop Tesla.

Tesla reports deliveries as sales:

“Our delivery count should be viewed as slightly conservative, as we only count a car as delivered if it is transferred to the customer and all paperwork is correct. Final numbers could vary by up to 0.5%.”

Well, Tesla’s sales number are, in fact, different from the automotive industry – simply because they are growing like crazy and the Tesla Model 3 happens to be one of the best-selling cars in North America, at a time when cars are losing popularity.

Further into the discussion it gets more reasonable as even Bob Lutz notices it’s improving financially for Tesla (“may not lose as much cash in fourth quarter” or even achieve some modest profit). However, scepticism about Tesla’s unique battery or other technologies remains unchanged.

Lutz expects that soon other manufacturers will be selling long-range electric cars, comparably as good and with the ability to sell them at a loss to fulfill emission requirements (as these EVs will be just a small part of their business). But selling any product at a loss is not a wise business strategy, regardless of volume or percentages.

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