Quite possibly on their way out of the office last Friday, the Audi PR department put out a “hit” on the Tesla Model S, by penning an article entitled:
“Not so fast to put Tesla on that particular pedestal“
In a nutshell, before turning out the lights for the weekend, Audi was trying to get ahead of a CNNMoney article that says the Tesla Model S is outselling many of the larger, more established nameplates’ high end vehicles, or in Audi’s case, the A8.
And while Audi makes some salient points, most specifically that the title of CNN’s piece “Tesla sales beating Mercedes, BMW and Audi” is giving consumers the impression that the Model S, as a single car, is outselling the entire Audi lineup (which it is not), the whole Audi retort to a 3rd party news story reeks of the high road not taken.
Audi is fighting the wind here if you will. And not doing a particularly decent job of it.
Why would the 104 year old company (the last 47 as a subsidiary of VW) want to even comment on this piece? And why so heavy handed, calling into question Tesla’s long-term viability?
“To be sure, Tesla has been riding a boom in investor and consumer interest based on its apparent ability crack the code for EV sales with its $70,000-and-up Model S. But while Tesla founder and CEO Elon Musk has raised Model S sales estimates for 2013 to 21,000 units, the brand faces a number of long-term issues that also were noted this week by American press.”
But more than all of this, should not Audi do a little fact-checking of their own before calling out someone else on responsible journalism?
“But the fact is that Tesla’s reported sales of 4,750 units of its Model S electric car in April were less than half of Audi of America sales of 13,157 vehicles in the month, which represented a 16-percent rise from a year earlier. BMW and Mercedes-Benz sold even more than that.”
Fact is, Tesla likely only sold a little more than a third the number of Model S electric sedans that the German company reported for them in April, as Audi used an old Tesla sales estimate of 4,750-odd cars for the first quarter as a jumping off point for their statement; that is of course before Tesla reported actual sales of 4,900 sold during the first three months of the year a couple weeks ago.
One would assume if Audi was going to get the first three months of the year confused with April, they would at least use actual Tesla sales results somewhere in the calculation. Also, of interest Audi only sold 467 A8s in April of 2013, not the 1,462 they mention in the press release…that is actually their sales from January to March.
Basically, the Audi intern (who we can assume wrote this press release) wanted to turn the tables on the California start-up, and use Audi’s April sales of all their models to compare to Tesla’s Model S sedan’s single April sales result (which aren’t publicly available) to illustrate itheir point, but ended up using a two month old estimated data point for the 1st quarter in lieu of any actual figures that might make the comparison somewhat poignant.
/countdown to a retraction in 3, 2, 1 …
Checkout Audi’s press release for yourself here.
UPDATE: Audi has since pulled the press release, but no worries as we have serious OCD issues and cache everything we see in print…full release is below for your perusal.