• Jun 16th 2009 at 7:49PM
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Tesla Model S – Click above for high-res image gallery

One thing we can now say about Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla Motors, is that he's not taking the lawsuit from Martin Eberhard as a sign to tone down his language. The man who called the NYT writer a "douchebag" appeared at WIRED's business conference, Disruptive by Design, in Manhattan yesterday and said the following while declaring that he'd like a chance to run Detroit:
It's not out of the question to have unions, but if there's going to be a union, they'd better understand that they're on the same side as the company. I'm against having a two-class system where you've got the workers and then the managers, sort of like nobles and peasants [...] Most of our experienced factory workers come from unionized environments, and we asked them what benefit did they see in unions. They said, 'Well, if their boss was an asshole, they had recourse.' "I said, 'Let's make a rule: There will be no assholes.' I fired someone for being an asshole. And I only had to do that once, actually.
Note he didn't mention Eberhard by name, but who else has Musk fired that the crowd would care about? Musk also called the Prius "not a true hybrid" and said electric cars were "an inevitable thing."

Oh, and WIRED might be giving Eberhard's lawsuit more ammunition. One of Eberhard's charges is that Musk falsely claims that he is the founder or creator of Tesla Motors. WIRED's headline: "Tesla Motors Founder: Let Me Run Detroit." Whoops.

UPDATE: WIRED has changed their headline. Just for the record, there are screen grabs of the two headlines after the jump.

[Source: WIRED]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 6 Years Ago
      Elon needs to realise he lives in a culture where there is not real criticism, people can spend their whole lives as fat lazy wrongheaded douchebags (Bush voters) and not one person will ever point this out to them to their face, this could be why theres so many fat lazy douchebags. This creates people like Eberhard who are so shocked by someone actually pointing out their faults that they will expend the rest of their lives trying to punish whoever did it, and desperately trying to cover up how much of an ahole they are. I say if you know a scumbag, tell him he's a scumbag, and yes he will probably make your life miserable trying to discredit you in lots of sad and dumb ways, but you can rest assured he knows he's a scumbag, and he always did
      • 6 Years Ago
      As successful he is and what a great job he's doing shifting the auto industry towards sustainable, environmentally-friendly vehicles, he definitely IS an arrogant asshole.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Criticize Mr. Musk all you want.

      But, at the end of the day, you will eventually be driving his cars.

      That's all that matters.

        • 6 Years Ago
        Not his.

        Musk builds a brand then sells out.

        The Model S prototype is part of that strategy.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Not unless they are 25K or less.
      • 6 Years Ago
      " ' "There will be no assholes." I fired someone for being an asshole. And I only had to do that once, actually.'

      Note he didn't mention Eberhard by name, but who else has Musk fired that the crowd would care about?"

      I didn't hear this particular talk, but to be fair, I've heard Elon tell that "no assholes" story before. And at the time I didn't have the sense he was referring to Martin. Seemed he was referring to some mid level manager.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Unbelievable. Talk about thick.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I like him :)

        • 6 Years Ago
        So, I guess Weblogs, Inc. is case sensitive with the avatars...
        • 6 Years Ago
        me too... I think he's funny.
      • 6 Years Ago
      What did he say when Wired told him Chrysler UAW's got 45% of company 3 weeks ago...and were selling it the next day. Read my posts from October, if you can find them. My know abouts Bond holders lacking, I suggested giving Chrysler and GM to the UAW (since the two companies were bankrupt in Oct) so they could write any contracts they could pay themselves.... A BASIC HEALTH CARE trial program, starting in you guessed it the State of MI (since the UAW couldn't afford their own health insurance). Yes I know, politicians and special interest groups in the other 49 States would whine like poopey babies. Not fancy health care, but BHC would be the 'subsidy', like subsidies foreign auto mfgs recieve. And it would draw people to MI, woo hoo! And as I mentioned here 18 months ago....CONGRESS needs to allow the emergency manufacturing and imports of tiny fuel efficient cars with moratorium on some EPA and DOT regulations. And....

      Finally, WHEN ARE WE GONNA GET A $1 GAL GAS AND ENERGY TAX? Yes I am shouting, because it is critical. That is the only way to: reduce our meddling in the Middle East, global warming, traffic congestion, road repairs, obesity (healthier people have lower health care costs) and bail out the auto industry. GM can make lots of Corvettes (that ironically get 26mpg) and we won't need CAFE standards or a Cap and Trade...just a $1gas and energy tax. Then give TAXPAYERS (filers) $500 year basic energy payment (thats $500 profit to bike riders and mass transit riders, rock on dudes!) and $800 for BHC (not fancy). That $1gal is the income tax on illegal aliens and other Grey Market lurkers. They dont get the $500.

      Please, tell your Congress persons that.
      • 6 Years Ago
      What an arrogant asshole. Really nice looking car though.
      • 6 Years Ago
      So he calls the Prius "not a true hybrid," but badmouths the Volt? What is a true hybrid, to him?

      I'll start paying attention to Musk when his company can start producing cars faster than I can build them in my garage, or when they have one under $40k.
        • 6 Years Ago
        You can build nearly 100 cars a month in your garage?
      • 6 Years Ago
      Apparently Elon can be as big an asshole as he wants and no one can fire him.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Ha Ha, the folks at WIRED must have read Sebastian's comment about the story title giving Eberhard more ammo in his lawsuit and retitled it "Tesla Motors’ Musk: Let Me Run Detroit"
      • 6 Years Ago
      Looks like the EV fanatics have found their Bob Lutz. This guy needs a few PR lessons.
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