Snub from White House may have had something to do with Elon Musk's rough relations with the United Auto Workers. Tesla has accounted for 74 percent of electric car sales in the US over the last three years.
Tesla, United States’ top-selling electric car company, was excluded from the White House summit on August 5 where US President Joe Biden unveiled a big push for zero-emission vehicles.
“When I say electric vehicles are the future, I am not joking. Tune in for big news tomorrow,” Joe Biden tweeted on August 4.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk tweeted about the event, "Yeah, seems odd that Tesla wasn't invited."
According to a report by Business Insider, Tesla was responsible for about 74 percent of electric car sales in the US over the last three years.
Last month, Tesla reported its first-ever quarterly profit above $1 billion on record deliveries in its 18-year history. The increasing sales of Tesla’s vehicles, like Model Y crossovers and Model 3 sedans, have also led to a rise in the operating income of this company. They also widened their margins from core auto operations to 25.8 percent from 22 percent in the prior quarter, and 18.7 percent a year earlier.
Musk has a record of rough relations with his workers at the plant sites. He even fired a union organiser and tweeted anti-union comments, which lead to a lawsuit by the United Auto Workers (UNW) labour group.
When asked whether the snub was related to Tesla’s non-union status, White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki told reporters that the “invited three companies are the largest key players of the United Auto Workers group. So I’ll let you draw your own conclusions.”
She also said the President's administration welcomes the efforts of all manufacturers who are working on electric vehicles, including Tesla.
Apart from Tesla, the summit also excluded auto giants like Nissan Motor Co, Toyota Motor Co, and Volkswagen AG, which is spending around $2 billion on electrification research and development as penance for a diesel cheating scandal
Interviewed on CNBC, US Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said he does not know why Tesla was excluded. Musk responded with a meme that said, “I am not saying it’s sabotage. But it’s sabotage.”
(Edited by : Shoma Bhattacharjee)