During Tesla’s upcoming Q4 and Full Year 2018 earnings call this Wednesday at 2:30 p.m. PT (5:30 p.m. ET), the electric car maker would be taking questions from retail investors that are aggregated from Say, a startup that creates and develops investor communication tools.
Over the past weeks, Tesla’s retail investors have submitted and voted on questions that they wish to be discussed in the company’s upcoming earnings call. After collecting the shareholder inquiries on its website, Say would be delivering them to Tesla’s investor relations department. In a statement to Bloomberg Law, a Tesla spokesperson has confirmed that the company would indeed be answering some questions from retail investors.
The Say campaign appears to be quite popular among shareholders. So far, over 250 inquiries have been posted by investors representing more than $50 million worth of TSLA shares. Among the most popular questions for the company involve Tesla’s customer service issues, Model 3’s annual targets, and a possible 2170 battery update for the Model S and X. The inquiries are vetted as well, since Say only allows verified Tesla shareholders to vote and submit questions.
Here’s the Top 5 questions from Say’s Tesla Q4 earnings page.
- Owners, many of them with large followings online, are becoming very vocal about Tesla’s worsening customer service experience with delivery, service, and repair. This has a severe impact on sales and returning sales. What are you doing to change this growing negative reputation?
- How are feeling about demand right now across the product line? Is 500k-700k units at ~$42k ASP still a realistic annual target for Model 3, even considering the impact of Model Y on demand? Do you continue to see S/X ~100k annually?
- If and when will Tesla switch Model S & X to 2170 battery cells? What percent range improvement do you expect?
- Can you please share an update on Full Self Driving and Tesla Network development? When will customers start to see FSD features? What’s a best case timeline for the Tesla Network to go live?
- Where will the Tesla Semi & Model Y be produced? Can you share a timeline on the expected production ramp of these vehicles?
This would not be the first time for Tesla to take a question from a retail investor. Last May, Elon Musk courted Wall Street’s ire after he dismissed a couple of analysts, dubbing their inquiries as “boring” and “boneheaded.” Instead, Musk opted to take questions from retail investor Galileo Russell, a retail investor who hosts a YouTube channel called HyperChange TV. Rusell’s inquiries, which were also compiled from the Tesla community, were appreciated by Musk, who proceeded to give a notable amount of updates on the company’s upcoming projects. Ultimately, Galileo and Say would end up working together in the development of the question platform that would be used in Tesla’s earnings call later today.
In a statement to Teslarati, Galileo shared some questions that he hopes Tesla would address in its Q4 and Full Year 2018 earnings call.
“I’m so happy Tesla has chosen to take retail questions from SAY. The top questions surrounding Tesla’s worsening Net Promoter Scores & customer service pinpoint exactly what I want to know. What is Tesla doing to address its biggest weakness? Additionally, Rob’s question from Tesla Daily (currently #2) about Model 3 demand at maturity, will give us clarity on normalized demand for the car now that it has been available for more than a year.”
Ultimately, Tesla appears to be set on democratizing its process of communicating its earnings to shareholders, the media, as well as institutional investors. This is yet another step away from convention, considering that earnings calls usually feature inquiries from Wall Street analysts and the occasional member of the media. By supporting Say’s campaign, electric car maker is all but ensuring that its retail investors would be able to ask inquiries that are relevant and pertinent to the Tesla community as a whole.
if any, Tesla’s support for the retail investors’ questions would most definitely make today’s earnings call the last thing from “boring.”
Tesla is set to release its Q4 and Full Year 2018 financial results after markets close today. Following the release of its Q4 and full-year 2018 financial results, Tesla will be holding its earnings call, which will begin at 2:30 p.m. Pacific Time (5:30 p.m. Eastern Time).
The full list of questions submitted by TSLA retail investors in Say’s platform could be accessed here.