Whereas iconic CEOs like Steve Jobs and Bill Gates famously abhorred competition and did everything in their respective powers to squash it — sometimes using questionable tactics in the process — Elon Musk pro-actively welcomes competition in the EV space. So while Musk naturally wants Tesla to succeed and do well, Musk also wants to convince the world’s largest automakers to invest heavily in electric vehicles. In short, Musk’s overarching goal doesn’t necessarily rest on having Tesla dominate the automotive world. Rather, Musk arguably seems more concerned with using Tesla to kick-start an EV revolution.
Case in point: Musk recently scoffed at Mercedes’ recent pledge to invest $1 billion into EV development not because he thinks they can’t compete, but because he thinks they should be investing a lot more. In case you missed it, Mercedes-Benz last week said it plans to allocate upwards of $1 billion to produce EVs in the United States. The announcement was made just two short weeks after the company relayed its intention to have electric versions of all its car models by 2022.
Now by all accounts, Mercedes is taking its EV initiative very seriously and is clearly willing to throw some serious money around. At the same time, $1 billion in the automotive industry, while not a drop in the bucket, isn’t necessarily a jaw-dropping figure. That being the case, Musk, in typical Musk fashion, took to Twitter to throw some shade at Mercedes’ planned investment in the EV space.
“That’s not a lot of money for a giant like Daimler/Mercedes,” Musk tweeted yesterday afternoon. “I wish they’d do more.” And driving the point home, Musk added that he wishes Mercedes would have promised to invest $10 billion.
That's not a lot of money for a giant like Daimler/Mercedes. Wish they'd do more. Off by a zero.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) September 24, 2017
To be fair, the $1 billion figure Mercedes mentioned is earmarked just for their U.S. operations, but as Tesla followers can attest, Musk never misses an opportunity to chime in with a timely and pointed tweet.