Ford Authority

Elon Musk Predicts Ford Won’t Survive Next Recession

Elon Musk, the embattled and outspoken CEO of Tesla, gave an interview last week. Among other subjects, he discussed the state of the auto industry – specifically how he foresees how the industry will weather the next economic downturn. The highlight sound byte:ar Musk expects a Ford bankruptcy in the next recession.

“Ford and Tesla made it barely through the last recession,” Elon Musk told Kara Swisher of Recode. “There’s a good chance Ford doesn’t make it in the next recession.”

Elon Musk continued that Tesla, as a startup, is at a disadvantage to long-established manufacturers. “It is absurd that Tesla is alive,” he exclaimed. Previously, he called Ford Motor Company a “morgue.”

2018 Ford F-150 - SuperCrew - Limited - exterior 001

Whether Elon Musk was responding to Ford’s October sales decrease of 3.9 percent is unknown. Indeed, overall sales are down on the year, but Ford reports an increase in average transaction price inline with a sales mix tilted strongly toward high-margin trucks and SUVs. Per CFO Bob Shanks when discussing third quarter earnings, “Our balance sheet remains robust, with more than $23 billion of cash and more than $34 billion of liquidity.”

Conversely, Tesla reports three billion in cash and cash equivalents at the end of quarter three.

As Ford’s Mark Truby pointed out earlier this year, Tesla isn’t equipped to manufacture the volume of product that Ford can manage:

The Ford Authority Take

Ford Motor Company has gone to great lengths in terms of being proactive in averse market forces, which include commodities tariffs, a new North American trade agreement, and a paradigm shift to crossover vehicles. Yet there is an air of worry around Ford, as criticisms of CEO Jim Hackett have emerged stemming from a lack of a solid AV/EV strategy, despite ponying up $90 million dollars for the derelict Michigan Centra Station in Corktown, Detroit, where its AV development is said to take place when renovations are done. While none of this means Ford Motor Company will somehow not survive the next economic downturn, its partnership with Volkswagen comes at a remarkably curious time. We’ll let you speculate on what that could mean.

Chris Tonn is a long-time enthusiast - and more specifically, he loves auto enthusiasm. If someone is enjoying their car, Chris enjoys it. If not behind a keyboard, he's usually piloting a minivan with kids in tow to a soccer field or the like.

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  1. Tom Thomas

    The only reason Tesla is in business is because the taxpayers subsidize his cars (for wealthy buyers). Current management may not get them there but Ford will figure it out & survive. Musk can only dream of having a successful product like F150.

    Fordvergnügen might not be the answer though 🙁


      You mention Ford has a successful product called the F150, however they have recalled over 2 million of them the past year, and the F150 Is a poor seller outside of North America. Also remember this poorly managed company cannot even make a profit on sedans built in low-wage Mexico.

  2. Nick

    Amen Tom, Take away the non stop Federal Dollars that have been poured into Musk’s operations, they would have been dead and buried years ago.


      Don’t blame Elon Musk for taking federal dollars when it’s offered basically for free by the govt, Since the govt is pushing (especially California and the some northeast states) very hard for electric cars, Elon Musk took advantage of a freebie, which by the way is automatically available to every automaker who chooses the same path as Elon Musk did.

      1. Tom Thomas

        Ugh? – the Government doesn’t give away anything for “free” – they tax your income take and give it to Tesla so wealthy Tesla customers can buy a $100k car for less and act superior for driving electric. It’s a scam. Tesla wouldn’t have gotten off of first base without taxpayer subsidies.

  3. vbondjr

    Elk pee on Musk is America’s biggest idiot and biggest joke ever. His company is a complete waste. When it comes to auto manufactures, he realizes that Ford is his company’s biggest competition because Ford in now into mobility and future investment in technology and it his biggest rival in the electric car game. Right now, Elk Musk is afraid and he’s using scare tactics to make people pay him attention. He has no real game plan and very few people really want his over priced, pointless mobility devices. The bad part about it is, Ford is going to make it and so is GM. The real ones to worry about are Dodge and Tesla and with the way dodge is selling its chargers, I think El-peon Musk and his company are going to do like his cars and go down in flames!!! Teslas are POS !!!


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