Is Tesla Stuffing the Registration Channel in the Netherlands?

An interesting question arose on Tuesday as one astute observer in the automobile industry noticed an anomaly and put forth a very simple query on Twitter: is Tesla registering more vehicles than it needs in the Netherlands to boost its Q1 numbers?

The man asking that question was Matthias Schmidt who is a journalist for the AID Newsletter, the self described "Leading Auto Industry Trend & Market Intelligence Journal" in Europe. He put out a tweet on Tuesday with a link to an independently run Tesla inventory website.

In his tweets, he noted that a significant number of vehicles all seem to have the exact same mileage on them and be in the same location: 50km, parked in The Netherlands.

Of course, this raises the obvious question as to whether or not there could be some "registration channel stuffing" going on.

By manipulating the drop down menu on the inventory page, it looks as though areas like Great Britain also have a significant number of parked vehicles with just 50km on them. 

This interesting point comes at a very crucial time for Tesla. We have been reporting diligently on the company and all of the troubles it has faced so far in 2018. We will add this giant question mark to the list which now stands at:

  1. NTSB investigation that put the company at a public feud with the NTSB
  2. An initial workplace safety investigation by the state of California
  3. second reported workplace safety investigation, reported on Friday
  4. securities fraud class action lawsuit against Musk claiming he knew he was going to miss Model 3 targets for 2017
  5. This contract worker lawsuit
  6. CNBC article detailing poor vetting of suppliers, leading to a pile up of malfunctioned parts
  7. Reports of the company cutting corners as it relates to their pre-owned vehicles
  8. Reveal article alleging the company is underreporting its safety incidents at its Fremont factory
  9. Recent massive recall of 125k Model S sedans
  10. scathing review of the company's possible future (or lack thereof) in Automotive News by Keith Crain
  11. A Harvard Law School blog that seems to side with plaintiffs who have brought suit against Tesla for its acquisition of Solar City
  12. Questions raised about whether or not Tesla is registering cars to meet Q1 numbers

We'll stay on the case. 


zvzzt Dr.Strangelove Wed, 04/25/2018 - 03:16 Permalink

There are a lot of places a lot cheaper to park a lot of cars than in crammed Holland. I think the trick is the hefty subsidies for electric cars and the very favourable tax rules for corporations handing out company car for the employees as part of their wage package. There is also a major tax incentive (especially with expensive cars) for the employee for driving electric/zero-emission. 

Simple example: you get to drive a company car of 70k. 

A) electric version --> add 4% of the value of the car to your income per year (EUR 2800)

B) non-electric --> add 22% of value of the car to your income per year (EUR 15400)

Considerable difference and the reason why a lot of people want to drive electric. About 16% to 20% of all cars are on the road are company-leased cars. 

Since several models are 'made in the Netherlands' (assembly only, but that way you avoid the hefty import taxes of finished goods). 

Perfect symbiosis... Tesla can dump/park cars and NL.GOV is masturbating vigorously on the fact they are meeting emission standards and are so modern with a large electric fleet of cars on the road. Of course they are missing lots of taxes and so will change the percentages on the taxes later on (have done so several times over the past 10-odd years). 

Footnote: top 5 registered fully EV cars (needed for the 4% bracket (semi-EV were included, but not anymore): Tesla S, Tesla X, Nissan Leaf, BMW i3 and Renault Zoe. Largest increase for the Tesla S and Tesla X/Leaf (virtually the same number). Pro-rato, Tesla S is >200% of sales compared to the US.

Also keep an eye out on Bulgaria: increase of over 1300% in FEV sales. (tiny sales figures, but for TSLA everything over 1 car is good news, I suppose) 

In reply to by Dr.Strangelove

Milton Keynes Tue, 04/24/2018 - 22:51 Permalink

Fleet Leases..

Tesla runs the vehicles around the track for 50 KM,  then bundles them up, brings them to the UK or Holland,

and registers them and leases them out.


As bad as Tesla's cash burn is and as long as the owner wait list is,  I can't see them engaging in some form of channel stuffing

forgeron1 Wed, 04/25/2018 - 05:20 Permalink

There's more. A VAT tax of 21% is levied on cars in The Netherlands plus a CO2 tax.  And 10% import duty for non EU made cars. Tesla assembles their cars in Tilburg the Netherlands. For electric cars the carbon tax is 0% till 2020.

The reduced 4% income addition for electric lease cars will soon be scrapped for over 50.000 € cars. So not good for Tesla.

An old practice of car companies when taxes are raised or subsidies are lessened is to register as many cars as possible before the date of tax changes. This is possible because licence plates are connected to the vehicle in Holland, not the owner.

Owner registration can follow months or sometimes even years later, but you can see from the plate letter number combination it was pre registered. 

Roger Ramjet Wed, 04/25/2018 - 07:14 Permalink

Well if investors would simply focus on relevant measures such as revenues, net income and cash flow, games such as this would be largely ineffective.  It's similar to investors sending tech stocks soaring based on number of website "clicks".  That being said, what TSLA is doing is not much different than having GM stuff dealers lots with unsold vehicles and then booking the sale.

you_are_cleared_hot Wed, 04/25/2018 - 07:25 Permalink

I didn't get a chance to read the article about Tesla being compared to Enron, but I now see that 1) He is NOT the eccentric scientist he is painted to be and 2) Elon Musk is complete dumb ass when it comes to the car business

This guy is a complete fraud!

VladLenin Wed, 04/25/2018 - 08:17 Permalink

If the legacy space industry were smart, they would sabotage Tesla at every corner. When Tesla goes down, it will drag  SpaceX down with it. Then it's back to breaking it off in space launch customers.