In the same week that Audi said "not so fast" to some claims from Tesla, Chrysler has responded to a new press release from the California-based EV-maker by saying "not exactly, Tesla." The statement, released through the company's blog, comes in response to Tesla claiming it was "the only American car company to have fully repaid the government." Chrysler notes that it, too, recently paid back Uncle Sam from its 2008 bailout. Similar to Audi's recent press release, which was eventually and mysteriously deleted from the German automaker's site, Chrysler is both right and wrong in its statement.

Tesla specifically said that it had paid back the Department of Energy loans that many automakers received – including Fisker and VPG Autos – while Chrysler's retort argues Tesla is "unmistakably incorrect" since it repaid the government in 2011 a full six years early. Technically, the statements from both automakers are correct, but Tesla's startup loan originated from the DoE, while Chrysler's loan came in bailout form from the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP). Further, as The Detroit News notes, Chrysler's loan still cost taxpayers well over a billion dollars after all was said and done – those negative assets tied to "old Chrysler" in the bankruptcy did not require repayment.


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  • 156 Comments
      Ele Truk
      • 1 Year Ago
      This is just more free press for Tesla. The more the competition mentions Tesla, the more the competitions customers will want to see what exactly Tesla has them worried about. They are only doing Tesla a favor.
      krona2k
      • 1 Year Ago
      How can these companies not realize they are just making themselves look *worse*. The mind boggles. Oh well more free good publicity for Tesla.
      imoore
      • 1 Year Ago
      First, VW (Audi) complains about Tesla. Now, Fiat (Chrysler) is getting in on the act. What else will Ferry Piech and Sergio Marcionne do to one-up each other? How long before Fox News chimes in with its batch of sour grapes? The truth is, Tesla is doing better than everyone-including all the distractors and naysayers- expected. They met their objectives, took their lumps, and passed the grade. Fisker and Coda should have been taking notes. Congratulations, Tesla. We can\'t wait to see what\'s next.
      Arturo Rios Jr.
      • 1 Year Ago
      We get it Chrysler, you are doing good too. Congratulations, now sober up!
      Myfierro
      • 1 Year Ago
      Tesla press conference : "haters gonna hate"
      johnnythemoney
      • 1 Year Ago
      Shut up, both. The mine is bigger argument always fail to bring some good impressions towards all contenders. Chrysler, you're doing pretty fine for a company dead as fish just 4 years ago. Thanks to Fiat but also thanks to your commitment. Tesla, the Model S kicks ass on its own right so no need to polish it even more. Update the damn interior to justify the price, you know there is more to a car than a huge and excellent display. That said, I'm saving already, by the look of it you have like 50 years to upgrade the interior, by that time I'll have the necessary fundings for a Model S. Party on!
      raktmn
      • 1 Year Ago
      If there were an edit function, I'd delete my post below. Don't bother reading it, just downvote it, because it is 100% wrong.
        mycommentemail
        • 1 Year Ago
        @raktmn
        I like it when people admit their mistakes. Well done. Oh, and this commenting system is really only one step above chiseling a bunch of marks on a cave wall.
      knightrider_6
      • 1 Year Ago
      So the reading skills of people at Audi are as bad as their engineering skills. That explains why their cars keep catching fire.
      nonucantmakemee
      • 1 Year Ago
      when they drop new car ptices by 50 % they will start selling cars again, and if they want to sell a lot more do away with the way credt companies report score, people have been through hell
      PeterScott
      • 1 Year Ago
      Both sides can quibble about which loan program is involved, but in the end, the Taxpayers LOST more money on Chrysler than Tesla even borrowed. Money that is permanently flushed down the bankruptcy toilet. Tesla OTOH paid back every penny it borrowed, with interest. Chrysler really shouldn't throw stones from their glass house.
        fuzzyfish6
        • 1 Year Ago
        @PeterScott
        Context. Chrysler is a far bigger company so obviously they required more money. You can argue that the loan to Chrysler was more worthwhile since Chrysler has way more workers (both internally and externally) that rely on their survival than Tesla.
          Joeviocoe
          • 1 Year Ago
          @fuzzyfish6
          Well, the "only" cannot be taken separately from the word "American". Chrysler is not American, and hasn't been for a while. Also, there is $1.3 billion left unpaid. Regardless of why is hasn't been paid, it still disqualifies them from Musk's statement. The "Only" holds true.
          fuzzyfish6
          • 1 Year Ago
          @fuzzyfish6
          Ray, How do you think batteries are made? How do they get from the manufactured location to Tesla's assembly plant? Stop being such a tree hugger, I like our planet and environment as much as the next person, but to only talk about the positives and ignore all the negatives of anything instantly erases all your credibility. If you really want to get rid of all the "dirty fuel jobs", how do you think the American economy will fare? Do you want your country to be in the same economic situation as Greece?
          fuzzyfish6
          • 1 Year Ago
          @fuzzyfish6
          Grendal, Both are playing with words? Agreed?
          fuzzyfish6
          • 1 Year Ago
          @fuzzyfish6
          @Joe, "Well, the "only" cannot be taken separately from the word "American". Chrysler is not American, and hasn't been for a while." Is Jaguar Indian? Holden American? Lamborghini German? Nissan French?
          Grendal
          • 1 Year Ago
          @fuzzyfish6
          @fuzzy Except as someone pointed out, Chrysler took that out of context. Elon was referring to the ATVM loan program specifically.
        stumpy
        • 1 Year Ago
        @PeterScott
        exactly
      m_2012
      • 1 Year Ago
      Bad move by Chrysler. Chrysler paid back, minus a BILLION, the bailout money. Tesla paid back, PLUS 12 million, a LOAN. Big difference and I am sure they just realized they put their foot in their mouth.
      Tina Dang
      • 1 Year Ago
      Wowwwww Tesla is ruffling a few feathers... but Tesla is currently the best American brand and through innovation and persistence is doing all things right.
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