Musk Criticizes Biden for Praising GM and Ford

CEO of the world’s largest electric vehicle (EV) manufacturer, Tesla Inc. (TSLA), Elon Musk has yet again criticized President Joe Biden for ignoring the car maker’s efforts in leading automobile electrification in the U.S. Shares closed up 2.1% at $846.35 on January 28.

Elon Musk called the President of United States “a damp sock puppet in human form” on Thursday on his Twitter Inc. (TWTR) handle, after the former praised competitors General Motors (GM) and Ford Motor Co. (F) during a White House meeting on January 26.

Joe Meets GM & Ford CEOs

President Biden met with the CEOs of GM, Ford, and engine maker Cummins Inc. (CMI) to discuss progress on their carbon neutral efforts, bolstering manufacturing capabilities in the U.S., as well as supporting the Build Back Better Legislation.

Following the meet, the President took to his Twitter handle to praise GM CEO Mary Barra, and said, “Companies like GM and Ford are building more electric vehicles here at home than ever before.”

The tweet was followed by a series of posts by Musk, who criticized the President for ignoring the real leader in EV automobiles, stating “Starts with a T, Ends with an A, ESL in the middle.” Another offensive tweet read, “Biden is treating the American public like fools.”

Notably, Tesla outdid both GM and Ford in the December quarter deliveries of EVs. Tesla delivered more than 308,000 EVs, while GM has sold only 26 EVs.

It’s not the first time that both have taken a dig at each other. CEO Elon Musk’s absence from an August 2021 White House EV meet was a signal towards the latter’s support for the United Auto Workers, a stance that Tesla does not support.  

In November last year, President Biden had appreciated GM CEO Barra saying, “You electrified the entire auto industry. You led,” after visiting GM’s Factory Zero in Detroit.

President Biden is yet to visit any of Tesla’s U.S. manufacturing sites or even meet Musk publicly. Tesla is also criticized for having a Giga manufacturing site in Shanghai, China, and lately drew a lot of flak for opening a store in the Xinjiang province of China, which has been accused of human rights violation of the minority Uighur community.

Undoubtedly, Tesla is one of the highest trending stocks to watch today. Musk is known for his bold stands and outspoken tweets, which are often followed by a slew of comments from both supporters and criticizers alike.

Analysts’ Take

Following Tesla’s outstanding Q4 results, Canaccord Genuity analyst Jonathan Dorsheimer lifted the price target on the TSLA stock to $1,200 (41.8% upside potential) from $1,040 while maintaining a Buy rating.

Dorsheimer was encouraged by Tesla’s solid delivery and margin growth despite the global chip shortages, supply chain and labor issues, logistics problems, and an inflationary environment.

Overall, the stock has a Moderate Buy consensus rating based on 17 Buys, 8 Holds, and 7 Sells. At the time of writing, the average Tesla price target of $1,092.68 implies 29.1% upside potential to current levels. Year-to-date, Tesla, which is one of the best EV stocks, has lost 29.5% amid a broader market sell-off.

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