Why I Will Never, Ever Root For Tesla Motors

Tesla Motors gets a lot of attention in the various investment and financial publications that I read on a regular basis.  Many people think they have some great products and that their innovation could propel them to great things in the future.  They seem committed to the idea of the electric car, while maintaining style and ingenuity that customers crave as well.  The prices are pretty steep, but if you’re in the clientele that they’re marketing to, the idea is that price probably isn’t a huge obstacle.    Even though all of these limitations make it obvious that they’ll never crank out millions of cars per year, many investors feel that they have great opportunity.

Personally, I don’t care.  I will never invest in their stock.  But, my reasoning is a bit more close to home than anything else.

In 2006, Tesla decided that they needed a presence here in Michigan, which even though it has lost a lot of clout, is still a huge center of the carmaking industry.  They negotiated with a suburban city for a tax abatement, hired around 50 people, and set up shop with their Tesla Michigan Technical Center, with the doors opening in early 2007.

Less than 18 months later, it was all over with.  They put up a blog post indicating that they were cutting back and would be closing up various locations, including the Michigan location.  The big problem with that is they put up their blog post before management had a chance to let anybody know of their plans, so effectively, dozens of people found out they were going to lose their jobs via a…blog post.

This was right around the time that the economy was starting to crumble, and it was obvious that the domestic auto companies were in a big world of hurt.  At the time, layoffs of hundreds of people were announced almost daily, so the Tesla news was barely a blip on the radar.

The thing was, the other companies stayed in Michigan.  They’re still here.  They came back.  They’re stronger than ever.

Tesla is nowhere to be found.  And, quite honestly, I’ll be happy if they keep it that way.

I know that many people think Michigan is not a destination state.  I realize the reputation of Detroit is bad.  I hear that the fact that the auto companies (two of them anyways) survived because of government intervention left a sour taste in peoples mouth.  I get all that.  But, I still love my state.  I still have pride in where I’m from.  And, while it was ‘only’ 40-50 jobs, and ‘only’ one little old 20,000 square foot building that was taken over and later vacated, it said a lot more than that.

In my mind, Tesla basically said ‘You’re not good enough’ to our state and its citizens.  They said ‘We’re innovative but not innovative enough’ to make it here.  They said that ‘they don’t believe’ in us.  They never said those exact words, but I still read them loud and clear.

And for that reason, I will never support Tesla Motors in any way.  I don’t care if everybody is driving them in 50 years.  You won’t see one in my driveway.  You won’t see it in my portfolio.

The domestic auto industry has come roaring back.  The future is bright here.  I doubt we’ll see Tesla even try to make a Michigan presence again anytime soon (they’d want another tax abatement, and what city in their right mind would grant that knowing their past history of committment?’

Too bad, Tesla.  It could have been great here.

10 thoughts on “Why I Will Never, Ever Root For Tesla Motors”

  1. Bravo…I’m with ya on the civic pride. For that same reason I will never buy another GM product. They were here in the Free State for years building vehicles, the last being the Chevy Astro. Despite having excellent quality ratings, an excellent work force and the port of Baltimore being located right around 350 miles closer to the center of the Country…they departed. It seems our state just didn’t offer enough “give aways” (tax incentives) for them to stay. This along with the fact that they went thru a “structured BK” stiffing many a vendor…while taking millions from the goverment…Well..it all.just leaves a bad taste iin my mouth….I will never buy another GM….ever.

    • Yeah, I know GM turned off many for life. Being front and center in the Detroit area, the truth is that if GM didn’t take their BK, they wouldn’t be around today, so instead of a thriving company that ‘stiffed many a vendor’ you’d have no company and vendors that would probably be completely out of business.

    • Yeah, the Midwest has certainly taken more than its fair share when it comes to factory closings and the like.

  2. I have managed to avoid any big shakeups or layoffs at a company, but this does sound extra shady as a way to close a location down. I definitely respect the loyalty to your area, Michigan has certainly been through the wringer.

  3. I agree with you! What they did is wrong, but a lot of companies make mistakes. New companies are more apt to make mistakes than well established ones. I am not making excuses for them and I will probably never buy one of their cars. I do think the model S is beautiful. I am starting to see a lot of them in my are (southern California).

  4. It makes sense to not support a company you don’t think has treated you fairly. Since Tesla cars are so expensive I’m pretty sure I will never own one either.

  5. I guess their whole Schick about Tesla is they are green for the greedy. A couple who makes between $50,000 to $100,000 wouldn’t even consider purchasing a $70,000 to $80,000 electric vehicle with questionable resale value and/or very little functional use. They aren’t greening up anything with these production cars. They are just trying to take advantage of rich people who have more money than sense and want to show the “joneses” that they are greener than them.

  6. The reason I don’t like Tesla motor companies is because the way they started out. They actually got a grant from the US government to start out their business, but as soon as they got the money, they moved to Switzerland! The grant was so that they could start their business in the US, and they went straight to Switzerland! They screwed over America and that is why I don’t like Tesla Motor Company.

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