- Bob Riha Jr./Reuters
- Tesla told investors that it “purchased and are continuing to purchase our own car-hauling truck capacity” in Q4 2018.
- Upping its trucking capacity allows Tesla to deliver autos more quickly. The car company has struggled with deliveries in the past.
- Tesla CEO Elon Musk said in September that the company is in the midst of “delivery logistics hell.”
“In order to reduce vehicle transportation time and improve the timeliness of scheduled deliveries, we have purchased and are continuing to purchase our own car-hauling truck capacity for vehicle shipments,” Tesla wrote in its annual report. “This gives us far more control while lowering costs and improving customer satisfaction.”
This move was highlighted as a way to improve the car company’s delivery and logistics system. Tesla CEO Elon Musk said in September that the company was in the midst of “delivery logistics hell” as it attempted to meet its goal of 55,000 Model 3s in the third quarter.
The company statement released on Wednesday is slightly different than what Musk said several months ago about Tesla’s moves in the logistics industry.
Musk said in November that Tesla “bought some trucking companies and secured contracts with major haulers.” He didn’t specify which companies were purchased or entered a contract, or how much equipment was acquired.
Following that claim, five executives in auto hauling trucking told Business Insider that they had not heard of Tesla purchasing a car hauler in the past few months, as Musk’s tweets described.
Guy Young, general manager of the Auto Haulers Association of America, told Business Insider following Tesla’s announcement that Tesla is indeed making contracts with auto haulers to move Tesla cars. However, there hasn’t been any word of Tesla outright buying equipment or buying companies.
“I have not heard that they have purchased any assets,” said Young, who leads the largest professional association of the $5 billion auto hauling industry. “I did hear that they were getting capacity.”
But making a contract isn’t so different from buying the exact equipment. “When you make a contract for capacity, you say, ‘You’re going to be producing this many cars at this time and we want to make sure you have space on your equipment. It’s what most people do when they’re looking to get cars hauled.”
Read more on Tesla’s 2018 earnings:
- Tesla misses on earnings, says it will produce the Model 3 at ‘maximum production rates’
- Tesla says it’s likely going to build its next car, the Model Y SUV, at the Gigafactory
- Elon Musk says Tesla has ‘bought some trucking companies’ – but leaders in the car-hauling industry say they haven’t heard squat
- An insider explains why Tesla’s Semi is ‘a good thing for the trucking industry as a whole’