The timing couldn’t be worse. Elon Musk wants to recruit thousands of new skilled workers and engineers to start at Tesla’s plant in Grünheide – and then beyond. In an interview, the head of the electric car maker described its new plants in Austin, Texas, and Brandenburg as “money furnace giants.” , which caught fire in his capital. This does not make me want to apply to Musk.
But how big a danger really is to Grünheide? Should 5,000 people who have already registered there be worried? And what about Tesla as a whole?
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First, you need to know: The interview was taped on May 31 in the US, but the sensitive statements were only made public on Wednesday. Everyone who knows Musk knows that the pioneer of electric cars acted fast and unconventionally. So it is possible that he may have already managed the situation somewhat in the meantime.
Musk clarifies that the wanted person is stuck in China
In addition, the situation in Grünheide is at least more relaxed than in Austin. The reason: Tesla is installing 4,680 new battery cells in Texas, and they have technical issues that prevent production from being increased. In Brandenburg, on the other hand, the oldest cell type 2170 is still installed. Musk explains that Austin would be happy with this less powerful battery now, but the tools needed to switch to those cells are “stuck at a port in China.”
Tesla pays less tariffs
Brandenburg Economy Minister Jörg Steinbach can calm things down. In Grünheide, “Recruitment is pushed forward unchecked.” But things are not progressing as dynamically as he and Musk would like. There are strong reasons for this: IG Metall has indicated that Tesla pays up to 20 percent less than its competitors in the region who stick to collective agreements. In order to actually have 12,000 people on board by the end of the year, Tesla will have to “step up a notch,” the union expects. But then the already appointed forces will feel unfairly treated.
[Lesen Sie hier bei T-Plus: Ist BMW fairer als Tesla?]
Musk, who supports Republicans in the United States, has an allergic reaction to representatives of the staff. That’s why he wants to create a business council in Grünheide consisting only of CEOs whose loyalty is first and foremost to their boss.
In America, the South African Musk is even more violent: in Texas he fired more than 500 employees: at home he did not even comply with lax US labor law.
The class action lawsuit was dismissed by those affected as “frivolous.” In 2022, corporate governance is more timely than ever. Workers can no longer tolerate such treatment and, thanks to the demographic change, they no longer have to.
Tesla isn’t that hip anymore
Plus, Musk’s products are no longer the same. Yes, it has pioneered electronic navigation, and when it comes to software, it has had a head start for a long time. But right now, the two big models, the S and X, are nearly unsalable. And with the smaller Model 3 and Y cars, facelifts and software updates soon won’t be enough to keep the newly designed Mercedes, BMW or Volkswagen at a distance. In China, too, domestic competition is putting Tesla under pressure.
When it comes to self-driving, Musk hasn’t been able to deliver on his promises. Even its simple assistance systems guarantee serious accidents. And now Tesla is in danger of being left behind by the competition because it used the wrong technology. It is entirely possible that the richest man in the world will get used to the sound of burning money.