Tesla is putting the brakes on its public relations department.
The electric-vehicle maker has nixed its PR operation, according to Electrek, which points out that Tesla the only auto manufacturer that apparently won’t talk to members of the media. The U.S.-based team is gone, though a few overseas folks remain, as do the people who arrange test drive promotions.
Fast Company‘s efforts to get comment from Tesla were unsuccessful.
An email address for press to contact Tesla remains on the Palo Alto, California-based company’s website, but Electrek says journalists have received no replies for months.
The automaker’s aversion to PR department appears to be new. The group of flaks who used to manage public relations for Tesla had previously been known for paying incredibly close attention to how the brand was portrayed and perceived.
Much of the news and image-making around Tesla comes directly from CEO Elon Musk. With an active presence on Twitter and more than 39 million followers, he’s long been his own PR department. Musk has complained about what he believes to be the media’s unfair treatment of the company.
The automaker’s investor relations department seems to be still intact. The purpose of that division, as is the case at all publicly traded companies, is to communicate with investors, not necessarily journalists. For example, on Friday, that department issued a statement—labeled a press release on the website—saying Tesla produced more than 145,000 vehicles and delivered close to 140,000 in the third quarter.
Tesla stock was trading at $ 420.39 a share, down $5.29 or 1.24%, in mid-morning trading.
The company was founded in 2003 and launched its first vehicle, the Roadster sports car, five years later.