This past March, Tesla CEO Elon Musk dubbed 2019 “the year of the solar roof.” In June, during the company’s annual shareholder meeting, he announced that Tesla was installing its solar roof in eight US states.
Then, just this week, Musk posted on Twitter that Tesla was aiming to produce around 1,000 solar roofs per week by the end of 2019.
“Spooling up production line rapidly,” he wrote in response to an inquiry from one of his more than 27 million Twitter followers. “Hoping to manufacture ~1000 solar roofs/week by end of this year.”
On its face the tweet seems unremarkable enough. However, as a number of news websites have pointed out, Musk recently signed an agreement with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The agreement stipulates, among other things, that Musk obtain approval from one of his company’s securities lawyers prior to sharing any production numbers publicly that have not been shared before.
The agreement came about after the SEC claimed he had violated a settlement regarding previous tweets that (apparently falsely) indicated Tesla was preparing to go private.
The offending tweet that allegedly violated the settlement—and led to the recent SEC agreement—was posted in February and claimed that Tesla expected to make around half a million cars in 2019.
“Tesla made 0 cars in 2011,” Musk wrote on 20 February, “but will make around 500k in 2019.”
Now, in the wake of his solar roof tweet, people are questioning whether the SEC agreement has had the intended effect of reining in Musk’s behavior on social media. Tesla had not previously released any information about solar roof production numbers for 2019.
Bloomberg reports that the subject was not addressed in its second-quarter investor letter; nor was it mentioned by executives on a follow-up earning call.
According to the paper, Tesla personnel did not respond to questions about whether Musk got the required pre-approval, while SEC spokesperson Judy Burns declined to comment.