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Elon Musk Refutes WSJ Claims Of Falling Tesla Demand

Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk hit back at a Wall Street Journal article claiming sales of Tesla vehicles were down compared with the same period in 2013.

Elon Musk Refutes WSJ Claims Of Falling Tesla Demand
Tesla Motors
SMS

Electric car manufacturer Tesla announced a "significantly improved leasing" option for buyers in the U.S. over the weekend.

Which The Wall Street Journal reported was due to a significant fall in demand. Attributing a report by WardsAuto.com, the paper notes: "Tesla sold 10,335 Model S sedans in its home market, down 26% compared with the same period in 2013." The company has a goal of delivering at least 35,000 vehicles this year.

But Tesla CEO Elon Musk took issue with that claim, tweeting September sales were a record high worldwide and up 65 percent year-over-year in North America.

So what gives? Is the paper wrong, or is Musk fudging his numbers? Well, first off, Musk isn't really comparing apples to apples.

Business Insider notes: "Specifically, Musk says September was up 65% year-over-year. Meanwhile, The Journal says down 26% 'through September,' suggesting it was measuring year-to-date sales."

Still, Musk's figure is probably pretty trustworthy. Forbes says the CEO "would be liable for some securities law violations if his number were shown to be invalid."

Tesla does still have a waiting list for its Model S in the U.S., so it appears demand is still strong. The company has shifted some of its production to the European and Asian markets. So it's entirely possible while sales are still on track, those vehicles just haven't been delivered yet.

Musk also criticized the paper's characterization of Tesla's new leasing agreement as a "discount." He claims the lower price is due to a change in the company's deal with U.S. Bank and won't affect Tesla's revenue.

Tesla shares jumped 6.7 percent on the back of Musk's tweets, its largest intraday bump since June.

This video includes an image from Getty Images.