Billionaire tycoon Elon Musk is back in the news once again because of his adventures on social media. The CEO of electric car maker on Thursday said on Twitter that Tesla and Ford are the only two American carmakers not to have gone bankrupt out of thousands of car startups.
Ford CEO Jim Farley responded to this tweet with a one-word acknowledgement: “Respect”.
Elon Musk praises Ford
Replying to a user’s tweet, Elon Musk wrote, “Tesla & Ford are the only American carmakers not to have gone bankrupt out of 1000’s of car startups. Prototypes are easy, production is hard, and being cash flow positive is excruciating.”
Elon Musk’s reference dates to the global financial crisis of 2008-09 when both GM and what was then Chrysler (now part of Stellantis) had declared bankruptcy as a part of the US government’s rescue plan for the American auto industry. Ford avoided the need for a government bailout by taking up loans worth billions of dollars.
The incident on Twitter comes at a time when Ford and Tesla are at loggerheads. Tesla — which has been a favourite brand for electric vehicle buyers — has seen the Ford Mustang Mach-E eat into its customer base.
Morgan Stanley, in a recent report, confirms that in February 2021, Tesla’s share in the US battery EV market declined significantly to 69 percent from 81 percent in the same month last year.
The third richest man
Elon Musk — who had last week become the richest man on the planet — has since then dropped to the third spot. This was because of a significant drop in Tesla’s share prices over last week. He lost nearly $27 billion in valuation since Monday as Wall Street experienced a sell-off of tech stocks.
Forbes’ real-time billionaire list places him behind Frenchman Bernard Arnault, owner of the conglomerate LVMH.
Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos had until last month took turns ranking first and second, following a record jump in technology-related stocks on Wall Street.
SN10 in Valhalla
Musk’s other venture, SpaceX, saw its Starship SN10 blow up after a successful flight. The unmanned spacecraft exploded on the ground after landing. Elon Musk — in his signature style — tweeted a video of the explosion in slow-motion.
This was the third straight failure of the Starship rocket, which SpaceX hopes to one day power flights to Mars.