While the benefits of a stable democratic government is something that means a lot to me and my pursuits, I make it a habit not to be too heavily involved in political processes. Besides voting, I’ve understood it’s best not to think too much of elected officials or candidates understanding politics is as much a sport as it is a necessary evil. Games are played where campaigns attempt to score points they believe will help get them into office. Sometimes the trust is used, other times a version of the truth told in the fashion the storyteller wants it to be heard.
In the first United States presidential debate held on October 3rd, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney attempted to score a point using California-based electric carmaker Tesla Motors. Describing it as a ‘loser’ related to current United States president Barack Obama’s green energy business policies, Romney left the first debate with an argueable point which is now set to be rebutted by his apparent foe, the auto industry.
Mitt Romney’s mention of Tesla Motors could have been based on false information that company chairman, and CEO Elon Musk was forced to personally rebut on the Tesla blog. It seems that a miscommunications from a “financing round” with the SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission) relating to paying back a Department of Energy loan worth $465 million. Unable to defend itself due to SEC rules, the health of the maker of the previous Tesla Roadster and now the four-door Model S was reported as grim. Elon Musk responded that the reports were based on public documents meant to educate investors on every possible risk that the company may face. The CEO of Tesla also clarified the negotiating of the repayment terms of the Department of Energy loan was not related to the prospect of the automaker. The loan accounted for a third of the capital raised for Tesla to start production of the now-realized Model S. Musk continued to say in the blog, “we expect Tesla to become cash flow positive at the end of next month.”
Tesla Motors is certainly fighting an uphill battle as an electric carmaker attempting to attract customers with a vehicle that starts just under $50,000. However, it reasons to believe that if creating an auto company in the United States would be easy, there would have more than three major automobile builders. Tesla Motors is said to currently employ over 2,000 workers at present time (a vast majority based in the United States). Besides the Model S as well as the future Model X crossover vehicle, Tesla Motors is also involved in outfitting Toyota’s new RAV4 EV products with electrical powertrain hardware. A company needing to feature a wide reach, Tesla Motors is going to become a little more visible in these next few months as new retail outlets are opening across the United States as well as its first Canadian location in Toronto. Tesla Motors is aspiring to enterprise into a risky business during an economy that is still fighting to bring out the best of innovation and attitude. Without taking sides, it seems rather hazardous for a president or presidential candidate to talk down an up-and-coming business in which a campaign is pledging to assist.
A company founded in 2003 borrowing its name from a father of the AC electric induction motor, Tesla Motor’s namesake was also the victim of harsh treatment by other businessmen. Working for renowned American inventor Thomas Edison in 1885, Nicola Tesla committed and succeeded to deliver more efficient electric motor and generator designs. Under the impression there would be a huge cash reward, Tesla was outraged later by Edison declaring the money to be a joke mistaken seriously. Nicola Tesla promptly left Edison and developed his own patents.
The United States car business has made a sizable impact on the 2012 presidential election campaign that has led to the Republican party looking stained by engine oil. During the Super Bowl earlier this year, several right-wing pundits painted the “Half-time in America” commercial released by Chrysler Group as a hidden campaign ad supporting President Barack Obama. Ironically, the narrator of the Chrysler spot, movie legend Clint Eastwood, would give the memorable (although strange) “empty chair” speech at the Republican National Convention. Individually, Mitt Romney’s reputation with the auto industry has already been tarnished by his opposition to the government bailouts of General Motors and Chrysler of 2009.
Whether Tesla Motors succeeds or fails in the important coming years can be debated. The car business (let alone the electric car business) is place where so many variables can turn success into failure. However, for the innovation of technology, for the exploration of a company into a bold territory, for the hands who are currently trying to mould a unique market that could change the roadways of the United States (or even the world) to be manufactured into a reason for scoring political points is hardly the exhibiting the productivity potential of a nation.
Information and video source: Tesla
Video Source: Bloomberg L.P.
Video below is a short comment Elon Musk made to Bloomberg TV on the impact the US presidential results will have on Tesla Motors