Tesla
  • Tesla
  • A Tesla Model S drives outside the Tesla factory in Fremont, Calif., Friday, June 22, 2012. The first Model S sedan car will be rolling off the assembly line on Friday. (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma)
  • Image Credit: Associated Press
Tesla
  • Tesla
  • A worker assembles a Tesla Model S at the Tesla factory in Fremont, Calif., Friday, June 22, 2012. The first Model S sedan car will be rolling off the assembly line on Friday. (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma)
  • Image Credit: Associated Press
Tesla
  • Tesla
  • A robot puts on the top of a Tesla Model S at the Tesla factory in Fremont, Calif., Friday, June 22, 2012. The first Model S sedan car will be rolling off the assembly line on Friday. (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma)
  • Image Credit: Associated Press
Tesla
  • Tesla
  • A worker works on the Tesla Model S at the Tesla factory in Fremont, Calif., Friday, June 22, 2012. The first Model S sedan car will be rolling off the assembly line on Friday. (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma)
  • Image Credit: Associated Press
Tesla
  • Tesla
  • Assembly workers put together a Tesla Model S at the Tesla factory in Fremont, Calif., Friday, June 22, 2012. The first Model S sedan car will be rolling off the assembly line on Friday. (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma)
  • Image Credit: Associated Press
Tesla
  • Tesla
  • A worker inspects a Tesla Model S car at the Tesla factory in Fremont, Calif., Friday, June 22, 2012. The first Model S sedan car will be rolling off the assembly line on Friday. (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma)
  • Image Credit: Associated Press
Tesla
  • Tesla
  • Assembly workers inspect a Tesla Model S at the Tesla factory in Fremont, Calif., Friday, June 22, 2012. The first Model S sedan car will be rolling off the assembly line on Friday. (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma)
  • Image Credit: Associated Press
Tesla
  • Tesla
  • Robots assembly a Tesla Model S at the Tesla factory in Fremont, Calif., Friday, June 22, 2012. The first Model S sedan car will be rolling off the assembly line on Friday. (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma)
  • Image Credit: Associated Press
While most automakers that sell vehicles in the US release a flurry of numbers at the beginning of every month to tell us how many cars and trucks they've sold, Tesla Motors has resisted following the herd. This can be frustrating for those of us who like to look at some cold, hard numbers, but CEO Elon Musk has a good explanation for why he won't play the sales figures game.

During a call with investors about Tesla's third-quarter activities – Tesla does reveal its deliveries every three months – Musk was asked by John Lovallo of Bank of America if Musk would ever consider releasing monthly sales numbers? Musk's initial reply was a short: "Um, no. Sorry," but he then explained why:

Part of the reason why we don't release the monthly deliveries number is just because it varies quite a lot by region and the media tends to read all sorts of nonsense into the deliveries. So, we'll have 1,000 cars reach a country one month and none the next month or 100 the next month trickle in because those are the numbers that were registered one month versus the next. People will say, 'oh, wow, Tesla sales drop by a factor of 10. Well, no, the boat arrived in January and not all the cars got registered in January and some got registered in February and in March it's back up again. People assume deliveries are a proxy for demand, and that's not the case. It is the case for other car companies but in our case, it really needs to be parsed into orders and deliveries. And bear in mind, there are a lot of things we could do to amplify orders. Orders is not a true measure of demand, it's just a measure of what we need to do to meet our production and deliver number.

In other words, let's not worry about the little ups and downs because we've got plenty of demand and we're selling plenty of cars. See you in February!

You can read the full transcript of the call here and listen here.

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