Tesla’s New Strategy: Lying About Competitors

by Benjamin Jones on May 13, 2009

Elon Musk

It’s no secret that I am not a big fan of Elon Musk or the way that he leads the company. From calling reporters nasty names to deceptively overhyping new products, it feels like Musk is going to the extreme just to drum up any sort of press he can for Tesla Motors.

Now Musk is up to it again. Except this time, instead of over-representing the value of his company’s products he is lying about the products that his competitors produce. From ABG:

In a recent interview discussing Tesla Motors, CEO Elon Musk didn’t really reveal much new information, although he did manage to misrepresent the performance capability of the Chevy Volt, again. He refers to the Volt’s range extender as a “lawn mower engine” and says highway performance “will be anemic.” While the Volt will no doubt feel anemic next to a Roadster, the reality is that the 160-horsepower electric motor will provide more than adequate performance for almost anyone’s needs and should accelerate to 60 mph in about 8.5-9 seconds.

This reminds me of the recent Chevy ad where the company teases Honda about its superior line of lawnmowers. While people who know about quality engine design know that Honda has good lawnmowers because they have good engines, the association between a car and a lawnmower is an entirely negative one.

Musk just doesn’t seem comfortable with competition. Neither of the cars have been released yet, with the Model S even further away than the Volt, but already he is waging a nasty marketing campaign against it.

Perhaps he’s worried that Tesla Roaster sales don’t seem to be going anywhere.

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{ 1 comment }

1 elhigh May 14, 2009 at 12:06 pm

In fact, Honda makes fabulous lawnmowers – especially the old 3413, if you can find one, and the 4WD compact tractor models. They’re as pricey as can be, but once you’ve got one you’re pretty much set forever. The little engine is a car engine in every aspect but scale: liquid cooling, inline layout, Honda engineering (not Briggs, which while perfectly acceptable is simply not in the same league) and ongoing support from the company.

Musk decrying any feature of the Volt is laughable. How many cars has he delivered so far? Regardless of their financial situation, GM is going ahead with the Volt, while Musk’s claims and statements become increasingly loopy. I expect a psychotic break from him ere long.

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