Some thought that Bob Lutz, a longtime auto executive turned industry commentator, has turned a new leaf when it comes to Tesla after some positive comments about its latest build quality, but the longtime detractor is again going after the company with lies.

In the past, Lutz compared Tesla to socialism for taking subsidies even though GM took $11 billion from taxpayers under his reign and right before Tesla released its earnings in 2016, Lutz went on a media blitz spreading misinformation about Tesla.

With regular appearances on CNBC, Lutz kept disparaging Tesla warning of its imminent bankruptcy.

In a recent op-ed, Lutz praised Tesla for its improved build quality — leading some to believe the former auto executive is finally starting to see Tesla differently, but he shut that down quickly in a new interview.

Tesla came up in an interview he did last week with Handelszeitung about his former boss Lee Iacocca, who recently passed, and Lutz didn’t miss the opportunity to make sure people know he still thinks Tesla is doomed:

“The fate of Tesla is sealed. The situation is almost hopeless given the losses they are currently writing. Demand has given away. Tesla had 400,000 pre-orders for the Model 3. In fact, they only sold 80,000 or 90,000 of them, and they have trouble selling more. The Model S is now ten years old, and sales are sluggish. It’s the same picture for the Model X, the SUV with the wing doors – that’s an ugly vehicle anyway. Tesla will have about a year until each of the big global auto companies has its own fleet of electric vehicles on offer. These cars will be as good or even better than Tesla’s.”

However, Lutz says that he believes electric vehicles are the future of the industry – even though he has been pushing for regulations to slow down the deployment of electric cars in the US.

Electrek’s Take

Why you have to lie Bob? I get it. You don’t like that Tesla got all the credit for launching the electric revolution while you helped with the Volt at GM, but is it really worth ruining your legacy by spending your years of retirement bashing Tesla?

Tesla only sold 80,000 to 90,000 Model 3 vehicles? That’s a plain lie. Tesla delivered over 145,000 Model 3 vehicles in 2018 alone and it is on pace to deliver twice that this year.

We have no indication that Tesla has any issue selling the Model 3, but he is right that Model S sales are sluggish.

However, why does he need to call it ten years old? The Model S is 7 years old and there’s no other car, aside from the Model 3, coming close to it in terms of electric capability.

The Model 3 having more recent technology enabling faster charging, and more efficiency is probably the reason why Model S sales are sluggish, but Tesla is expected to upgrade the lineup to catch up with Model 3.

In other words, Tesla is playing catch up with itself, which leads me to his last point: competitors are going to eat Tesla’s lunch.

Tesla naysayers have been claiming that for years, but it has yet to happen and I don’t see it happening any time soon.

Electric vehicles still represent a really small percentage of new car sales and therefore, there’s plenty of room to grow with many more entries.

Sure, competitors might steal some sales from Tesla, but I think competition will mostly widen the electric car market as a whole, which will be a net positive for Tesla.


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