Tesla CEO Elon Musk is at it again, causing yet another stir with some comments he recently made. This time the focus in on the fall of GM and Chrysler, and you can throw Ford in the mix too.
According to Musk, "Great companies are built on great products, when those products take a turn for the worse, so does the company. Automakers focused too much on money rather than innovation. The path to the CEO's office should not be through the CFO's, and it should not be through the marketing department. It needs to be through engineering and design."
The words are true, in theory engineering and design should drive a company. But the marketplace does not always allow for such expression. The reality is that money drives a company and nearly every decision it makes. Tesla is not without its financial troubles. They are innovative, focused on engineering, and design striking vehicles, but suffer their own financial difficulties.
Musk also talked about unions and their place in the automotive field stating that unions are not the sole problem. The way Musk sees it is unions must work together with the company. As he says, "I really am kind of against having a two-class system where you've got the workers and the management sort of like the nobles and the peasants."
According to historical evidence, the sole purpose of unionization was to create a workplace where common workers had enough power to bargain with management and to voice concerns to management. The concept of a union is to create a single class system rather than a management dominated workplace.
In closing, Musk said, "I think GM and Ford, maybe not Chrysler, but GM and Ford will come out of this healthier and more competitive. I'd like to take up some of the manufacturing plants. When the mess gets sorted out I'd like to have a conversation with whoever's in charge."
Bold words from a small start up company. Musk presents words of wisdom to companies that have been around for more than a century, while Tesla is merely an upstart in the field.
Musk fails to mention the pending lawsuit against him, the corporate changeover or fallout that occurred at Tesla, the lack of significant funding that is desperately needed from outside sources, the fact that Tesla is not profitable and can not be profitable without selling vehicles at exorbitant prices, and mismanagement that has hampered the company.
All companies face difficulties, but overcoming them and showing your ability to survive for a century or more proves that more has gone right for GM and Ford than has gone wrong. Tesla has decades upon decades left to prove they are the real deal.