In another moan about the Top Gear Episode featuring the Tesla Roadster, Elon Musk says the publicity wrecked UK Tesla sales.
The moans by Tesla about the Top Gear episode where Jeremy Clarkson tested Tesla’s electric Lotus have rumbled on all year.
First we had Tesla suing Top Gear in the British Courts, then Top Gear producer Andy Wilman had his say on the issue followed by Elon Musk saying that Top Gear had all the credibility of a Milli Vanilli Concert.
We did think it had all been put to bed after the High Court decided that Top Gear did not libel Tesla in the episode featuring the Tesla Roadster running out of juice. But it seems not.
When Tesla revealed its latest quarterly figures earlier this month (total revenue grew 85 percent to $58 million but total losses were greater than revenue at $65 million), Elon Musk continued the complaint about Top Gear by saying that as a result of the episode Tesla has significant unsold stock of RHD Tesla Roadsters.
We’ve also found the video below – which was recorded before the High Court ruled no libel in October – when Musk continues his complaints about Top Gear, saying that every European investor they have spoken to since the Top Gear story has asked why the Tesla Roadster broke down.
So it’s clear that Elon Musk thinks TG is single handedly responsible for the antipathy towards his electric Lotus for three times the price of an actual Lotus. But the truth is quite different.
The truth is that British car buyers just haven’t bought in to electric cars. They see the technology is at best limited, and the cost of electric cars is a huge barrier to sales.
We ran a story recently where a major poll showed there were no UK car buyers contemplating an EV purchase and, despite a taxpayer bribe of £5k, only about 200 electric cars have been sold in the UK in 2011 to private buyers. We don’t know how many Tesla has sold (we asked but they won’t tell us) but we’d be surprised if you’d need more than one hand to count them. Or even one finger.
Which would all tend to indicate that Top Gear hasn’t wrecked Tesla sales – and EV sales in the UK in general – it’s just that UK car buyers haven’t bought in to the EV nonsense.
Elon Musk talks about Top Gear Video
Top Gear Tesla Test Video