Tesla CEO Elon Musk Fires Back at Chrysler

Jason Siu
by Jason Siu

As expected, Tesla CEO Elon Musk has fired back after Chrysler issued out a rebuttal to the electric-car manufacturer’s claim that it was the first American car company to have fully repaid its government loan.

Yesterday, Chrysler called Tesla out stating that Chrysler was actually the first U.S. automaker to pay back its loan to the government, contrary to what Tesla stated in a press release.

“As many have already noted, Chrysler is a division of Fiat, an Italian company. We specifically said first *US* company,” tweeted Musk.

Musk sent out two tweets today about Chrysler. First, he pointed out that Chrysler is majority-owned by Italian automaker Fiat SpA and that taxpayers actually lost $1.3 billion on the bailout to Chrysler. In 2008, Chrysler was saved with a $12.5 billion bailout by the U.S. government and in 2009, it formed Chrysler Group in a sale of old Chrysler’s “good assets” to form a new company that’s owned by Fiat.
In total, the U.S. had recovered $11.2 billion of the $12.5 billion to bail the American automaker out. To reinforce Musk’s point, the U.S. Treasury had even said in a 2011 statement that it was “unlikely to fully recover the difference of $1.3 billion owed by Old Chrysler.”

SEE ALSO: Chrysler Calls BS: Refutes Tesla Loan Claim

Of course Chrysler’s Gualberto Ranieri responded that Chrysler Group LLC had repaid everything that it owed and at the time of the May 2011 repayment, Fiat held less than 50 percent of Chrysler. It’s hard to side with either automaker on the issue of course since it gets down to technicalities, but let’s remember that Chrysler repaid money used to bail out, while Tesla repaid a loan used to further technology.

Discuss this story at Tesla-Buzz.com

Jason Siu
Jason Siu

Jason Siu began his career in automotive journalism in 2003 with Modified Magazine, a property previously held by VerticalScope. As the West Coast Editor, he played a pivotal role while also extending his expertise to Modified Luxury & Exotics and Modified Mustangs. Beyond his editorial work, Jason authored two notable Cartech books. His tenure at AutoGuide.com saw him immersed in the daily news cycle, yet his passion for hands-on evaluation led him to focus on testing and product reviews, offering well-rounded recommendations to AutoGuide readers. Currently, as the Content Director for VerticalScope, Jason spearheads the content strategy for an array of online publications, a role that has him at the helm of ensuring quality and consistency across the board.

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