Published on January 20th, 2019 |
by Chanan Bos
January 20th, 2019 by Chanan Bos
This week might be one of the worst FUD repost weeks since Elon’s Weedgate FUD catastrophe. Tesla announced at the end of the week that it will be cutting 7% of its workforce.
What most people (including journalists) don’t seem to understand is that the 7% job cuts, while sad, are not a catastrophically bad sign for Tesla. When a company cuts jobs, it usually means it’s not doing well and stops hiring new people. In this case, though, Tesla recently hired so many people that its staff grew by 30% in 2018. It just laid off 7% of them.
So, why the job cuts? There are multiple possible reasons that are positive:
- They managed to automate certain sections.
- The introduction of the sign & drive contract solved delivery hell and helped reduce staffing needs.
- They found some more redundant jobs in the company’s maturation process.
There are also some less positive possibilities:
- Coming debt payments.
- Need money for international expansion.
- Production hell impeding scalability.
It’s true — Tesla might not be entirely out of the woods when it comes to being profitable or selling the $35,000 Model 3. Nonetheless, it’s heading in the right direction and the 9% job cuts are actually not what the media has made them out to be.
Over the past few days, many acquaintances have been contacting and telling me they heard Tesla isn’t doing so well. The reason why everyone seems to know about the 7% layoffs is not because it’s the most important news but because the mainstream media has again made a mess of things. Not because they shouldn’t report this news, but because they kept reposting this news over and over again.
Also, they don’t put the news into context, because they often don’t see and perhaps don’t want to see or admit the context of the situation. Here is a chart depicting how many articles each news organization has dedicated to this:
What is an acceptable number? One to two, based on their coverage of other topics. One that quickly announces the news so that they can be one of the first, and a second more in-depth piece that does some more analysis. However, publishing 5, 7, or 10 (or more) articles is just absolutely ridiculous. They don’t even cover many major Tesla stories, let alone publish more than one or two articles about them.
Before we move on, we wanted to highlight the one other peculiarity in the Tesla coverage this week, something we have never really seen before. There were 6 “Sneaky” positive headlines (and one negative). Up until now, the biggest number of “Sneaky” positive headlines we have seen was one every few weeks. So, make sure to check out the “Sneaky” headlines section to find out what those headlines were.
Remember that each week we share the raw data (headlines and scores). You can scan through yourself if you want to double check our findings or just want to see the headlines. And you can check out our own Tesla stories for more context and comparison. For details on our methodology and broader context about this weekly analysis, see our previous Pravduh About Tesla report.
#Pravduh About #Tesla
Report #20 (January 12–18)
The next matter on our itinerary is tracking the authors who covered this news. While the whole list is too long to put here, since there are many authors who have written just one or a few pieces about Tesla, here are the 35 authors who published more than 11 articles about Tesla since we started tracking on September 1st, ranked from least positive to most positive:
For this entire section, note: At major media outlets, there are often headline writers who control this part of articles, but we find tracking the authors is also interesting and potentially useful for considering what kind of stories the authors tend to write.
Under-Reported Tesla News Last Week
Adding onto the summary in the intro, below is a summary of Tesla news and potential news ordered by day. You can consider for yourself what were objectively the important updates in the “Tesla story” last week.
- Tesla solves the problem of ICE cars blocking Superchargers (implemented only in China for now) (Jan 14)
- Tesla unveils wall outlet charging station (Jan 16)
- Tesla recalls 14,000 Model S cars in China due to defective airbags (Jan 17)
- Tesla offers “Bioweapon Defense Mode” HEPA filter upgrade for older Model S vehicles (Jan 17)
- Tesla Semi is spotted moving a Model X, might soon be used for regular shipping (Jan 18)
- Tesla raises Superchager prices by ~30% (Jan 18)
Some Sneaky Headlines Last Week
- Everybody Wants to Be the Next Elon Musk (at Least in China) (Bloomberg)
- Tesla Doesn’t Need to Sell Cars in China to Succeed There (Bloomberg)
- Almost half of the Model 3s registered in the US during the first 10 months of 2018 came from California, but experts say it won’t hurt Tesla’s future (Business Insider)
- Tesla dives, but analysts stay bullish: Job cuts signal ‘productivity gains (CNBC)
- Breakingviews — Musk’s rare dose of realism could serve Tesla well (Reuters)
- I Think I’ll Buy Some Tesla Today, but No, I’m Not Crazy (The Street)
- Behind Elon Musk’s Hiring and Firing Spree (Bloomberg)
The more these #Pravduh About #Tesla reports get shared online through social media, the more people will take notice. If there is an ongoing heavily negative slant about Tesla in certain outlets — even as Tesla has so much positive news to share — people should be aware of this and approach each new story with that in mind.
Again, here is the data from this past week in case you want to have a closer look at the raw data.
For details on our methodology and broader context about this weekly analysis, see our previous Pravduh About Tesla report.