Norwegian media are reporting that Tesla’s Norway operations have been hit with 240 payment demands from creditors over NOK 2 million (~$250,000) in unpaid bills and as a result, the company has received a ‘C’ credit rating – the worst credit rating it can get in Norway.
The reports suggest that the most recent unpaid bill claims coincide with Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s visit in the country last week.
Tesla has a cash position of over a billion USD (~8 billion NOK) as of the latest reported financial results (December 2015) – meaning it’s unlikely to have something to do with Tesla’s financial position.
The automaker delivered around 4,000 vehicles in Norway last year, around the same as in 2014, during the period they reportedly generated NOK 2.5 billion in revenue and NOK 12.8 million in profit.
While deliveries are down 54% since the beginning of 2016 based on registration data, it’s unlikely to have any impact on the current overdue bill situation.
Norwegian media are noting that it’s not the first time Tesla ran into this problem in Norway:
DN noted that Tesla also ran into bill payment problems in 2013, two years after it first started doing business in Norway. At that time, Tesla faced 12 payment claims totalling NOK 170,000, and blamed the problem on its rapid growth and a system in which all bills in Norway had to be paid through its office in England. That took time.
Asked what the problem is now, Tesla’s spokesman in Norway said he was unaware of the company’s history of payment problems. “What I can say, is that there have been some challenges in connection with the system that takes care of suppliers,” Even Sandvold Roland, communications chief for Tesla Motors Norway, told DN, adding that “payments have been moved,” apparently to another system.
As for the company’s reaction to its poor credit rating, Roland told DN that “we understand that delayed payments are inconvenient for our suppliers, but we will resolve this as soon as possible
Featured Image: Tesla CEO Elon Musk with Norwegian Minister of Transport and Communications Ketil Solvik-Olsen – Picture courtesy of Samferdselsdepartementet, 21. april 2016