US President Joe Biden has finally mentioned Tesla by name after the world’s richest man jabbed him with a savage insult.
US President Joe Biden has described Tesla as America’s “largest electric-vehicle manufacturer” after repeated calls for him to acknowledge the company’s role in the American economy.
Mr Biden, who had not publicly referred to Tesla when talking about electric vehicles since taking office, finally did so after Elon Musk repeatedly complained about the lack of attention.
The world’s richest man had made his displeasure clear after Tesla was shunned on numerous occasions.
“For reasons unknown, @potus is unable to say the word ‘Tesla,’” Mr Musk wrote, also accusing the President of treating the “American public like fools”.
It’s understood the US government has a preference for traditional manufacturers employing unionised workers.
The issue came to a head when the White House met with General Motors CEO Marry Barra and Ford CEO Jim Farley last week – leaving Tesla and Mr Musk out in the cold.
“I meant it when I said the future was going to be made right here in America. Companies like GM and Ford are building more electric vehicles here at home than ever before,” the US President wrote on Twitter.
Mr Musk responded with the snarky: “Starts with a T, Ends with an A, ESL in the middle.”
The Tesla CEO then fired off the shot: “Biden is a damp puppet in human form.”
Over the weekend he started a petition asking Mr Biden to “acknowledge Tesla’s leadership in regards to electric vehicles”.
The President’s ongoing and obvious disdain for Tesla is reportedly a source of mild intrigue within the administration.
Mr Biden finally mentioned Tesla at an event announcing the creation of an electric vehicle charging station factory in Tennessee.
Referring to the companies that had invested in factories in recent months in the US, he first mentioned “iconic companies,” like GM and Ford and their new electric vehicle production, but then cited: “Tesla, our nation’s largest electric vehicle manufacturer.”
Mr Musk replied to a tweet noting the comment with a smiling sunglasses emoji.
Tesla delivered 936,172 cars globally last year, expanding its global production by 83 per cent over 2020 levels.
The factory in Fremont, California produced an average of 8550 cars a week and Tesla’s factory in Shanghai tripled output to nearly 486,000.
Bloomberg named Tesla as the most productive auto factory in the US, however the company remains a minnow when compared to GM, Ford, Toyota and Honda.