Elon Musk’s defense of his Tesla tweet will get SEC response

Tesla Should Not Have Lowered the Price of Autopilot Says Musk

Tesla has enormous expectations for its Model Y. Citing the fact that the midsized SUV segment is the most popular vehicle type in numerous major markets Tesla operates in, Musk believes the Model Y will be produced in higher volumes than the Model 3, he said during the company's fourth-quarter earnings call. On February 25, Musk said in a tweet, "SEC forgot to read Tesla earnings transcript, which clearly states 350k to 500k". Musk and Tesla have announced (or alluded to) various other body styles, including pickup trucks and lorries, but this kind of SUV is a popular format in numerous company's key markets. The SEC said Musk's February 19 tweet was inaccurate, and that he didn't search nor obtain pre-approval previous to publishing. Musk also said that Tesla was still closing some stores, despite whipsawing reports of closures, freezes, and stores remaining open, over the last two weeks.

In the blog post, the electric carmaker said, "Over the past two weeks we have been closely evaluating every single Tesla retail location, and we have made a decision to keep significantly more stores open than previously announced".

On the SEC's request, a federal judge ordered Musk "to explain by March 11 why he should not be held in contempt for violating" the SEC settlement, Reuters reported. While the electric-car maker has always planned to lower Model 3 prices in order to hit its target $35,000 starting price for the vehicle, aggressive price cuts to all of its models and a workforce reduction announced earlier this year have some investors anxious that demand isn't living up to the company's expectations. Musk followed up hours later with another tweet where he corrected himself, adding that he meant to say Tesla will make cars at a fast enough rate to be able to make 500,000 in a year. But Musk did provide a few tidbits in a tweet last week.

Musk called the regulator the "Shortseller Enrichment Commission" on Twitter after the settlement, and tweeted that "something is broken with SEC oversight" just one day after the agency started pursuing the contempt order. "Since the entry of the Order, Musk has dramatically diminished his quantity of tweets typically and relating to Tesla specifically", his attorneys stated.

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Tesla is known to have missed production targets before, though, so there's a chance things may change.

However, Musk doesn't seem to agree with the SEC's allegations this time.

By contrast, Musk's lawyers characterize the SEC's interpretation of the settlement as an "unconstitutional power grab".

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