The conundrum that is Tesla, the first publicly traded carmaker in the U.S. in 54 years, was the focus of this unorthodox project from Bloomberg News. While Tesla CEO Elon Musk publicly insisted that the company’s factories were churning out Model 3 electric cars, the automaker chose not to release monthly production numbers. This information void led to the industry’s biggest mystery: How many Model 3s was Tesla actually making? To answer that question, Bloomberg reporters built their own complex statistical model to estimate the undisclosed output of cars rolling off the assembly line and compared that number to Tesla’s projected target. The so-called “Tesla Tracker” relied on data sets from official U.S. government resources, social media reports and direct communication with Tesla owners that accurately tracked the production numbers Tesla reported. The real-time forecasts from this project helped identify work stoppages at the automaker’s factory in Fremont, Calif., which were verified by company sources, and the informative charts, which have been continually updated, provided a valuable service for investors and motorists.
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