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Tesla and Musk Face Peers in Video and Twitter Wars

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  • Tesla and CEO Elon Musk frequently mock gasoline cars and some competitors’ specific models. Musk is an avid Twitter user. His tweets are a marketing tool for the company.
  • Previously, automotive companies didn’t usually respond to Musk’s Twitter barbs. However, as the electric vehicle industry sees traction, other automakers are also learning the “Twitter art” from Musk.
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Tesla and Elon Musk

Tesla (TSLA) and Elon Musk have a long history of taking potshots at gasoline cars. Musk hasn’t been kind to gasoline cars. He even compared them to “steam engines.” He also targeted gasoline cars for higher emissions. Read Tesla’s Favorite Pastime? Slamming Gasoline Cars for some of the barbs that Musk has taken at gasoline cars. At times, he has slammed the entire automotive industry. Earlier this year, Musk scoffed at other cars and compared them to horses. He said that owning any other car “would be like owning a horse in three years. I mean, fine if you want to own a horse. But you should go into it with that expectation.”

Electric vehicles  

Even some of Tesla’s competitors have admired the company’s software abilities. Volkswagen, the largest automotive company globally, admitted to Tesla’s software prowess. The company’s battery technology and Supercharging network are also competitive advantages. So far, the company has been seen as a “niche automaker.” The electric vehicle industry was seen as a “niche segment.” However, things have changed as Tesla’s shipments rise and other automakers invest in vehicle electrification. Regarding Musk’s barbs, automakers probably didn’t respond since Tesla wasn’t a major threat. However, the company has gradually emerged as a serious threat to automakers. Some automakers’ new electric vehicle launches haven’t dented Tesla’s dominance, which might also have led them to take Tesla and its barbs seriously.

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Musk doesn’t have a free pass to tweet

Last month, after the Tesla Cybertruck launch, Musk tweeted that the Cybertruck is better than the F-150. He also posted a video showing the Cybertruck pulling an F-150 uphill. Ford (F) didn’t ignore the comparison that showed the F-150 in poor light. Instead, the company called on Musk for a fair comparison. While Musk agreed to another comparison, there haven’t been any updates. Notably, the F-150 is among the biggest contributors to Ford’s bottom line. The company will launch an all-electric version of the model. The electric F-150 will likely be available around the same time as Tesla’s Cybertruck.

While Musk has mooted the idea of quitting Twitter a few times, he changed his mind. In my view, he might never quit Twitter. The website is an effective and free marketing platform for the company. Read Tesla, Elon Musk, and the Great Twitter Game to learn more.

Tesla versus Porsche Taycan

Musk also took potshots at Porsche Taycan. The model competes with Tesla’s Model S. Top Gear released a video that showed the Porsche Taycan Turbo S besting Tesla’s Model S Performance in a drag race. While Musk and Tesla fans doubted the findings, Top Gear stuck to its version.

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Cybertruck orders

Musk, who is an avid Twitter user, took to the microblogging website to celebrate Cybertruck preorders. While Musk referred to them as “orders,” they’re actually preorders that only require a $100 deposit. Cybertruck has received more than 250,000 preorders. Cybertruck would mark Tesla’s entry into the lucrative pick-up truck market.

Its BMW’s turn now

Taking a leaf out of Musk’s book, BMW took to Twitter with a barb at Tesla. Like Musk’s tweets about Cybertruck preorders, BMW started a series of tweets on Thursday beginning with “499,820.” Finally, the company revealed that the BMW Group has “already delivered 500,000 electrified cars worldwide.” At the top end of the guidance, Tesla expects to ship 400,000 cars globally this year.

Tesla and Musk had control over Twitter and video wars with automakers. So far, peers gave the company a free pass. However, peers have taken the fight head-on this year. Most automakers are investing heavily in alternate energy vehicles. Toyota is also investing in hydrogen fuel cell technology—something that Musk isn’t excited about. Read Musk Sets Battery Versus Hydrogen Debate in Motion to learn more.

Tesla stock in Q4

Tesla stock has been on a fire in the fourth quarter. Notably, the stock has gained almost 68%. Tesla, which has recouped its 2019 losses, has risen 21.4% this year. The stock crossed the $400 price level on Thursday. The stock is among the most shorted stocks on the NYSE. Naturally, short-sellers are having a tough time in the fourth quarter. Jim Chanos and David Einhorn are among the well-known Tesla short-sellers. Read How Tesla Short Sellers Lost the Plot in Q4 to analyze how bears lost the game in the fourth quarter.

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