Is Tesla R&D Budget Really Much Lower Than That Of Volkswagen, Ford Or GM? Here's What Elon Musk Thinks

Tesla Inc TSLA CEO Elon Musk thinks the way research and development (R&D) budget statistics are “bucketed” is strange.

What Happened: The entrepreneur reacted to R&D spend figures shared on Twitter on Sunday by Sawyer Merritt, co-founder of the sustainable clothing brand Twin Birch.

The data indicated that Tesla spent much less than its rivals such as Volkswagen AG VWAGY, Ford Motor Company F, and General Motors GM among others. 

Musk said, “Strange how these things are bucketed. I think of the whole company as being R&D.”

See Also: How To Buy Tesla (TSLA) Shares

Why It Matters: Tesla spends $2,984 on R&D per car sold, according to data from Statista. 

This figure is exponentially higher than the Ford’s $1,186 or GM’s $878 R&D spend per car sold.

On the other hand, Tesla spends $0 on ad spend per car sold whereas Ford spends $468 and GM $394.

Last week, Musk reacted to Tesla’s operating expenses being compared with Rivian Automotive Inc RIVN. He said the expense was “embarrassingly high."

Price Action: On Friday, Tesla shares closed 0.4% lower at $1,005.05 in the regular session, according to data from Benzinga Pro.

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