Ford and Tesla are in Each Other’s Crosshairs as Mild-Mannered Trolling Continues
That’s a hell of a zing, Ford!by Kirby, on
Ford and Tesla have engaged in some mild-mannered back-and-forth in the past few weeks, so it’s no surprise that when Tesla CEO Elon Musk posted on Twitter about his company’s impressive production volume, Ford Europe CEO Steven Armstrong responded with a zing of his own. Armstrong’s tweet came as a response to Musk’s post about Tesla producing 7,000 cars in seven days. A lot of people were impressed by that number, at least except Armstrong who responded by saying that Ford builds 7,000 cars in four hours.
Like most feuds throughout history, there’s always a root cause behind them. In this case, Tesla CEO Elon Musk lobbed the first grenade when he compared the energy at Ford’s production facilities to a “morgue” in a recent interview with the Wall Street Journal. Not one to back down, Ford’s VP of communications, Mark Truby, responded by tweeting “No doubt the vibe is funky in that “makeshift tent.” Truby, of course, was responding to Tesla having to construct makeshift tents in its production facility to accommodate the sheer volume of units it was producing. Truby then added, “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.”
Musk didn’t respond to Truby’s response, but it didn’t take long for the Internet to come rushing to Tesla’s defense once Armstrong’s retort started making the news. The responses varied, but pretty much most of them took thinly veiled shots at Ford for either being a “dinosaur” in the auto game or simply asking how many of those 7,000 units it produced in four hours were electric vehicles.
It’s clear that a lot of people are on Tesla’s side in this back-and-forth. Ford’s saltiness could also be gleaned from frustration on the company’s part that, despite Tesla’s modest size compared to the Blue Oval, the public and the market have embraced its stock based on the company’s growth in the past few years. If you need proof of that, look at their market capitalization numbers. Tesla is at $56.8 billion while Ford sits somewhere in the $43 billion range. Likewise, Tesla’s stock has increased by 24.2 percent in the last three years, a stark difference from Ford, which has seen its own stock plummet by 26.2 percent in the same time period.
Fortunately, not all of it is too late for Ford. The company has announced plans to invest $11 billion by 2022 into electrification with the goal of launching as many as 40 hybrid and all-electric models. It just seemed petty on the company’s part to keep trolling Tesla when it knows that it’s probably not going to win that fight in the court of public opinion.
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Source: U.S. News