Tesla Inc. TSLA CEO Elon Musk is once again griping about union involvement in politics and the automotive industry.
What Happened: Recall how Tesla was excluded from an electric vehicle (EV) summit held on Aug. 5, 2021 at the White House.
“Last year, President Biden held an EV summit where Tesla was explicitly not allowed but the UAW was,” Musk recently told the Tesla Silicon Valley Club, referencing the United Auto Workers Union. “They have so much power over the White House.”
Last year, then-White House press secretary Jen Psaki addressed Tesla's absence from the event, noting that General Motors Company GM, Ford F and Stellantis STLA — the three largest UAW employers — were in attendance.
According to Musk, the UAW would prefer that Tesla unionize.
“I don’t like the UAW,” Musk said, alleging the UAW launched a smear campaign against Tesla due to the company's success.
Musk also noted how the UAW lost "a bit of wind in its sails” after former presidents Dennis Williams and Gary Jones were sentenced to prison as part of a multiyear corruption probe.
“Tesla has the highest pay in the auto industry,” Musk claims. California is a very pro-union state, but the UAW has never been able to get people to do a vote for Tesla to unionize in California, he added.
Along with not being part of an EV summit, Musk took offense at President Joe Biden's congratulating GM and CEO Mary Barra on “leading the revolution.”
Musk notes that the comments from Biden came after GM reported 26 electric vehicle unit sales in the fourth quarter of 2021 compared to 300,000 for Tesla.
“That’s what they put in their earnings report," Musk said. "That’s some next-level insanity."
Last year, GM recalled all Bolt EVs made since 2016. That's a total of 141,000 units.
While the $7,500 electric vehicle tax credit initially helped Tesla, Musk notes that his company didn’t have a role in the creation and that it was GM instead.
“We have no presence in D.C.,” he said.
Tesla is now well past the 200,000 vehicle threshold to have customers qualify for the tax credit, which Musk calls a competitive disadvantage.
“If you eliminated all tax credits, EV tax credits, Tesla’s position would improve immediately.”
Price Action: Tesla shares are down 4% to $668.49 on Thursday.
Photo: Courtesy of Heisenberg Media via Flickr
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