Bad Vibes: Ford Takes on Tesla After 'Morgue' Comment

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems

Who doesn’t love a battle between automakers? Personally, I find the upper-crust sniping between Rolls-Royce and Lagonda both charming and hilarious, but the fun ramps up when the fight involves builders of more accessible products.

In a Wall Street Journal article published late Wednesday, Tesla CEO Elon Musk copped to sleeping under his desk near his Fremont assembly plant’s body shop, part of an all-out effort to reach a lofty (and delayed) June 30th production target. Some of the plant’s assembly work has moved into a large outdoor tent. Old-fashioned manpower has been called in to help crank out vehicles. This, from an automaker that not long ago expressed worry that wind resistance might slow down the pace of its futuristic automated assembly line.

Musk admitted he’s made some mistakes. There’s a tent, after all. But that didn’t stop him from telling the reporter, “I think there’s a good vibe—I think the energy is good; go to Ford, it looks like a morgue.”

Ford was quick to respond.

From Ford Motor Company’s vice-president of communications came this gem:

No doubt the vibe is funky in that “makeshift tent,” but it’s not bad either across the street at the plant where a high quality, high-tech F-150 rolls off the line every 53 seconds like clockwork. Come check it out @elonmusk https://t.co/1KoEZIyf0D

— Mark Truby (@mtruby) June 28, 2018

Not to be outdone by Truby’s jab, Ford’s North American product communications manager, Mike Levine, took note of how Tesla seems to prefer Ford vehicles for its service arm.

Tesla will send a *Ford* service truck to your office. FTFY. https://t.co/meVqjzbTfl

— Mike Levine (@mrlevine) June 28, 2018

Found Tesla’s pickup truck. https://t.co/AeTkUeFpaw

— Mike Levine (@mrlevine) June 28, 2018

All eyes are on Tesla as the automaker strives to meet its self-imposed production target of 5,000 Model 3 sedans per week by the end of the month. Only when this occurs, Musk claims, will the company be able to throw new variants into the production mix. Among them, dual-motor and performance sedans, as well as the long-awaited $35,000 base model.

Reaching this target on time, and getting pricier versions of the Model 3 into production ASAP, is key to Musk’s plan to reverse Tesla’s negative cash flow by the end of the year. The automaker’s share value might depend on it.

[Image: Ford Motor Company]

Steph Willems
Steph Willems

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  • Ilkhan Ilkhan on Jun 30, 2018

    Doesn't matter. Detroit dies the day Tesla unveils their pickup, unless Ford/GM figure it out beforehand. Ford and GM live on profits on their trucks and SUVs, and any decent sized sales drop will do a number on them.

    • JimZ JimZ on Jun 30, 2018

      With what assembly facilities? Ford uses three assembly plants to build the F-Series. Right now Tesla can't even match the weekly volume of one of them.

  • Carroll Prescott Carroll Prescott on Jul 02, 2018

    I wouldn't buy a Tesla because of the people who buy them - these fools are just like Honduh and Toyoduh buyers - all superior and they think they've discovered sliced cheese. Sadly all they've done is to over pay for a product which is worse for the environment over its entire manufacture and service life compared to a comparably sized fossil fuel product. And no, a Model 3, is not comparable to a BMW. It barely is comparable to a lowly and ugly Toyoduh Corolla.

  • Golden2husky Have to say he did an excellent job on the C7, especially considering the limited budget he was given. I am very happy with my purchase.
  • Marty The problem isn't range; it's lack of electricity in multi-unit building parking. All you need is level 1 - a standard 120v wall socket - and if you're plugged in 10 hours overnight you get 280 miles per week or more. That's enough for most folks but you can use public charging to supplement when needed. Installing conduit circuits and outlets is simple and cheap; no charge stations needed.
  • 2manyvettes Tadge was at the Corvette Corral at the Rolex 24 hour sports car race at the end of January 2023. During the Q&A after his remarks someone stood up and told him "I will never buy an electric Corvette." His response? "I will never sell you an electric Corvette." Take that Fwiw.
  • Socrates77 They're pinching pennies for the investors like always, greed has turned GM into a joke of an old corporate American greed.
  • Analoggrotto looking at this takes me right back to the year when “CD-ROM” first entered public lexicon
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