2016 Tesla Model XEnlarge Photo
To those of us who cover the world of electric cars, Tesla's refusal to release its sales data in the conventional format is a continual irritant.
Starting in June 2012, when the company said it didn't plan to release monthly sales because its backers didn't care, Tesla Motors has provided only partial data.
While it started releasing quarterly sales in April 2015, that data is for all cars delivered globally—and the company refuses to break it out by country.
That means we can't write about sales of Tesla electric cars as we do those of other makers, even though Tesla may sell more of its models than any other in some months.
We simply don't know, because comparable data isn't available from the company.
So we asked our Twitter followers whether they thought Tesla should do as pretty much every other carmaker does, and release monthly sales by country.
Should Tesla report monthly sales by country as other legit carmakers do?— Green Car Reports (@GreenCarReports) October 18, 2016
We were gratified to find that one-third of respondents (32 percent) agreed with us that the company should do so.
Another 21 percent said the company should at least break down its quarterly sales by country.
ALSO SEE: Why Is Tesla Scared To Release Its Electric-Car Sales Data? (Jun 2012)
The second-most-common response, however, was "I don't care"—a logical response to what's essentially an inside-baseball kind of question.
And just one-fifth of poll respondents (21 percent) supported Tesla's position, because "Why should it?"
Tesla Model S P100DEnlarge Photo
While other sites attempt to aggregate data from other sources to estimate Tesla deliveries each month, Green Car Reports chose not to take that route.
We prefer to use only data that's directly comparable, which are the monthly delivery totals broken down by model issued by every major carmaker within a day or two after the month closes.
And we'll continue to note, every month, that Tesla Motors refuses to release its sales data so we can't comment on how well it's doing.
Some Tesla supporters suggest that because the company backloads the bulk of its deliveries into the third month of every quarter, it would have much more variable monthly sales than any other makers—which could produce headlines showing Tesla sales "plummeting" in any given month.
We think we're quite capable of explaining that to readers.
Frankly, we'd settle for quarterly data broken down by country, which would give us up-to-date comparable data at least four times a year.
But that choice is not up to us, unfortunately.