Tesla CEO has not forgotten that President Joe Biden ignored the auto manufacturer for more than a year.
The billionaire isn’t often shy about taking advantage of every major step Tesla takes — record deliveries and production, bumper profits and margins — to take a victory lap and remind Tesla skeptics of their bets and criticism.
The tech mogul often likes to remind short sellers for example that their bets against Tesla have gone wrong. One of his favorite ‘enemies’ is hedge-fund heavyweight David Einhorn of Greenlight Capital, to whom he had shorts delivered in 2018.
“I want to thank @elonmusk for the shorts,” Einhorn posted on Twitter on August 2018 with a photo of the shorts. “He is a man of his word! They did come with some manufacturing defects. #tesla.”
$TSLAQ, an Informal Group of Tesla Doubters
Musk also recently made a cruel joke against Microsoft (MSFT) – Get Microsoft Corporation Report co-founder Bill Gates for shorting Tesla. He went so far as to question the environmental qualifications of Gates because the philanthropist held a $500 million short position against Tesla.
Selling stock short is a bet that the stock’s price will drop.
“Sorry, but I cannot take your philanthropy on climate change seriously when you have a massive short position against Tesla the company doing the most to solve climate change,” Musk recently wrote to Gates. It was the end of a discussion the two billionaires were having about working together for common causes.
Musk is also known for his disdain for the informal group of accountants, lawyers, hedge fund managers, former Tesla employees and other social media users who troll Tesla under the hashtag $TSLAQ.
These Musk and Tesla skeptics post any negative things about the company — manager departures, complaints, Tesla accidents, regulator investigations, Tesla stock crashes, etc. — with the goal of saying that the twilight of the manufacturer of electric vehicles is on the horizon.
Musk and GM
But if there’s one thing the serial entrepreneur can’t forget, it’s that President Joe Biden ignored Tesla for over a year. Above all, Biden has repeatedly claimed that General Motors (GM) – Get General Motors Company Report, under CEO Mary Barra, is the leader of the electric revolution in the United States.
“In the auto industry, Detroit is leading the world in electric vehicles. You know how critical it is?” Biden said last November.
“Mary [Barra], I remember talking to you way back in January about the need for America to lead in electric vehicles. I can remember your dramatic announcement that by 2035, GM would be 100% electric. You changed the whole story, Mary. You did, Mary. You electrified the entire automotive industry. I’m serious. You led, and it matters.”
In 2021, Tesla delivered nearly a million electric vehicles, compared to less than 25,000 units to GM, which had to suspend production of the Chevy Bolt and Chevy Bolt EUV for a safety problem.
GM’s figures should improve in 2022 as the legacy automaker now produces other models such as the Cadillac Lyriq, the GMC Hummer EV, an electric version of the iconic Hummer pickup. And GM also resumed production of the Bolt in April.
But the Detroit giant will be very, very far behind Tesla, the market leader in electric vehicles which opened two new production sites in 2022, a factory near Berlin in Germany and a factory in Austin. Musk anticipates more than 1.5 million vehicles delivered despite supply chain problems and the closure for many weeks of the Shanghai factory.
The gap between the two manufacturers is regularly underlined by fans of Tesla and Musk who also have never digested that Biden attributed to GM and Barra the merits belonging, they believe, to Tesla and Musk. The billionaire seems to share this opinion since he often comments on most of the tweets mocking GM and its role as “leader” in the market for electric vehicles.
“Congrats to GM on ‘leading’ the pack,” Musk and Tesla fan Sawyer Merritt tweeted recently, with a screenshot showing the top 5 EV sellers in the US in the first quarter. In this top 5 dominated by Tesla does not appear GM yet the darling of Biden.
Musk nodded. And to show that GM does not play in the same court as Tesla he did not even deign to pronounce the name of the Detroit giant. And this is not the first time that he has acted like this.
He also highlighted the prowess of another automaker.
“Hyundai is doing pretty well,” Musk commented.
Contacted by TheStreet to comment on Musk’s grudge against GM, the Detroit company did not respond.