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Tesla opens up about mysterious payment to a board member's firm

A mysterious payment of close to USD 35,000 has been defended by Tesla, which says it was spent on a private equity firm to help increase Model 3 sedan production.

Photo: /ritzau/AP/Ben Macmahon

A private equity firm linked to a Tesla Inc. director spent more than 100 days at the carmaker’s battery factory late last year to help increase Model 3 sedan production, according to a filing vouching for its beleaguered board.

Valor Management Corp., whose founder and chief executive is Tesla’s lead independent director Antonio Gracias, contributed to “numerous improvements that led to increased Model 3 production rates,” Tesla said in the filing Tuesday. The carmaker said it paid Valor USD 34,347 to reimburse for travel, equipment and “budget lodging” near the Nevada factory.

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