Some people never learn, and Tesla’s head honcho, Elon Musk, may fall into this category. Despite being in hot water due to his Twitter posts, Musk jumped onto the social media platform to tweet another Tesla production forecast that is seemingly as familiar as the one that landed him in trouble with a federal judge weeks ago.
On Sunday April 14, Musk posted that the company is set to produce over 500,000 vehicles in the following year. Meanwhile, about two months ago, Elon tweeted that Tesla would produce about the same number of cars in 2019, which let to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to raise an eyebrow, arguing Musk was in contempt around a settlement they agreed upon together in 2018.
Autonews reports that the latest Twitter post comes just as lawyers for Musk are negotiating with the SEC to place his tweeting under control. A judge in the U.S. has given both sides a time frame of April 18 to come together again for about an hour to resolve this difference of opinion. If they won’t be able to, she’ll decide whether a contempt ruling is needed for Musk.
This legal issue may have created a distraction for Musk and Tesla, as the company hit a record decline in terms of delivery for the first quarter of 2019. Enhanced concern around demand for these electric vehicles increased last week when Nikkei reported that their partnership with Panasonic Corp. might be in jeopardy, with the company placing a halt around expansion plans at the Nevada battery facility they share.
For those that recall, Musk settled with the SEC last year in the late summer after he tweeted about taking Tesla private. The SEC noted that this was securities fraud and the Tesla CEO settled; agreeing to pay $20 million, stepping down from his cushy chairman’s role, and needing approval via in-house securities lawyers before posting material information on Twitter about the EV auto manufacturer.
The legal team defending Musk have stated that he retained his Twitter rights in determining about postings regarding them being material information or not, and that his February tweet around Tesla’s production for 2019 was consistent with comments he had made via an earnings call that took place weeks earlier.
During an April 4th hearing, the judge questioned around specifics regarding the agreement between SEC and Musk, stating that the two parties needed to rework the language within said settlement.
Now with this recent tweet, it’ll be very interesting to see how this situation continues to unfold.