It began with a seemingly innocuous statement from Tesla Motors but has quickly escalated into a spitting match with Detroit’s third-largest automaker, Chrysler.
On Wednesday, the battery-car start-up announced that it would pay back the remaining $451.8 million that it owes the U.S. Energy Department nine years ahead of schedule, using money it expects to raise from an upcoming, $1.1 billion stock offering.
That prompted the irrepressible Elon Musk, the constantly tweeting Tesla CEO, to declare that Tesla will become “the only American car company to have fully repaid the government.”
Or will it? Not according to Chrysler.