Say what you will about Elon Musk’s inability to keep a promise or a deadline; at least the Tesla Motors CEO is entertaining.
Responding to questions about a tent that the automaker has set up outside its Fremont, California assembly plant to produce additional Model 3 sedans, Elon Musk recently told The Wall Street Journal: “I’m feeling good about things. I think there’s a good vibe – I think the energy’s good. Go to Ford; it looks like a morgue.”
Ford Motor Company wasn’t having any of it. The automaker’s response came Thursday morning, when Ford VP of Communications Mark Truby tweeted: “No doubt the vibe is funky in that ‘makeshift tent,’ but it’s not bad either across the street at the #FordRouge plant where a high quality, high-tech F-150 rolls off the line every 53 seconds like clockwork.”
No doubt the vibe is funky in that “makeshift tent,” but it’s not bad either across the street at the #FordRouge plant where a high quality, high-tech F-150 rolls off the line every 53 seconds like clockwork. Come check it out @elonmusk #BuiltFordTough https://t.co/1KoEZIyf0D
— Mark Truby (@mtruby) June 28, 2018
Elon Musk has a history of making inflammatory remarks about America’s Big Three automakers, which the CEO sees as reluctant to change and embrace electric propulsion as a means of lessening greenhouse gas emissions. Yet for all his bullishness with regard to battery-electric vehicles, Tesla Motors often fails to stick to its own announced release and production schedules, and the Tesla Model 3 – the company’s affordable, midsize electric sedan – is a prime example.
During Q3 2017, following the Model 3’s July launch, Tesla only managed to produce 260 examples out of a projected 1,500. In October, Elon Musk said he expected the company to be building Model 3s at a rate of 20k per month by December, 2017 (per Bloomberg). The 200-yard-long tent outside Tesla’s Fremont factory is a temporary measure to help finally meet that goal, although just over 30k units have been produced for the year so far in 2018 (per Business Insider).
Yet America’s Big Three automakers have been put on notice by Tesla Motors’ popularity with consumers and investors alike, and at the 2018 North American International Auto Show, Ford announced that it plans to commit $11 billion to the introduction of 40 new electrified automobiles by 2022. Of those, 16 will be fully-electric battery-powered vehicles, including a Mustang-inspired performance electric crossover with at least 300 miles of range.
(Source: The Detroit News)