Investor's Corner

Tesla and Hertz have no binding contract in massive Model 3 deal

(Credit: Hertz)

Tesla (NASDAQ: TSLA) and rental agency Hertz have no binding deal, according to Tesla CEO Elon Musk, who stated the two companies had not entered a legal partnership that would secure Hertz’s purchase of 100,000 Model 3 sedans.

Last week, Tesla secured a massive order from Hertz for 100,000 units of the Model 3 electric sedan. Later in the week, Hertz confirmed that it would purchase between 150,000 and 200,000 units in total, with some units heading to ride-sharing platform Uber. A move that was likely secured by the ongoing transition to electrification, Tesla stock went soaring, giving the automaker its first trillion-dollar valuation. Hertz is already offering Model 3 units on its website, and a statement from the company shortly after the deal indicated some vehicles would be available sometime in November.

CEO Elon Musk confirmed last week that Hertz did not receive any specific discounts or deals in purchasing the Model 3s. However, last night, he also stated that Hertz and Tesla had not entered a written or contractual partnership in response to the company’s massive surge in stock price over the previous week.

“If any of this [stock price] is based on Hertz, I’d like to emphasize that no contract has been signed yet. Tesla has far more demand than production, therefore we will only sell cars to Hertz for the same margin as to consumers. Hertz deal has zero effect on our economics,” Musk Tweeted.

Hertz responded to Musk’s statement but never acknowledged the lack of legally binding paperwork that would effectively confirm the company’s purchase of 100,000 cars. “As we announced last week, Hertz has made an initial order of 100,000 Tesla electric vehicles and is investing in new EV charging infrastructure across the company’s global operations,” Hertz said to Bloomberg in an emailed statement. “Deliveries of the Teslas already have started. We are seeing very strong early demand for Teslas in our rental fleet, which reflects market demand for Tesla vehicles.”

Technically, Hertz could pull out of the 150,000 vehicle figure and purchase fewer units. However, that seems unlikely due to the plans it has to send at least 50,000 units to Uber for ride-sharing and rental services. Additionally, the company has already started offering the Model 3 as a potential vehicle in some markets. Additionally, Hertz Interim CEO Mark Fields said that “initial interest is exceeding our expectations. It shows that our message got through.”

Tesla stock has gained over 50% of its value in the past month. However, Musk’s Tweet caused a slight slide, with shares dropping as much as 5.2% in the morning. The stock has rebounded slightly and is only down 1.65% at the time of writing.

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Disclosure: Joey Klender is a TSLA Shareholder.

Tesla and Hertz have no binding contract in massive Model 3 deal
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