Tesla co-founder Elon Musk is ready to play “Let’s Make a Deal” with General Motors — again.
Not, Musk doesn’t want to challenge GM CEO Mary Barra to appear on the television game show, but he did tell reporter Lesley Stahl on the CBS news show 60 Minutes he would be willing to buy one of the plants GM plans to shut down in the near future.
“It’s possible that we would be interested. If they were going to sell a plant or not use it that we would take it over,” he said during the interview.
He’s done it once already and it’s worked out all right so far.
(Tesla hustling to build new plant in China. Click Here for the story.)
The Fremont, California plant the EV maker uses for production was closed in 2010, and reopened the same year after Musk bought from the automaker for $42 million. Currently, it produces all three of Tesla’s vehicles: Model S, Model X and Model 3.
However, the company had to expand to meet its Model 3 production goals. Brick and mortar? Nope. Canvas and ropes. The company built a tent to introduce more production capability. Mission accomplished.
During the interview, Musk touched on a variety of topics, including his lack of respect for the Securities & Exchange Commission. The agency forced Musk to give up his title as chairman of Tesla for three years and fined him $20 million after he tweeted that he’d secured the financing needed to take the company private at $420 a share.
(Click Here for more about new chips that improve Tesla Autopilot “500 to 2000%,” Musk says.)
“I want to be clear: I do not respect the SEC,” Musk said. “I do not respect them.”
The result of Musk’s tweet was the company’s stock price rose until the SEC’s investigation pressured the CEO into admitting he didn’t have a deal at all. The company did replace him as chairman, but that doesn’t bother Musk, who said during the interview (and has said previously) he’d prefer to not have any title at all. It also implemented a protocol for reviewing Musk’s tweets before he sends them.
Musk also addressed the rumblings about his behavior throughout the year, including the spat with SEC, calling one of the rescuers of the Thai soccer team a pedophile and perhaps most notoriously, drinking whiskey and smoking pot on a podcast.
(To see more about Tesla’s sales surging past Mercedes and how loss of the tax credit may hurt, Click Here.)
“I’m just being me. I mean, I was certainly under insane stress and crazy, crazy hours. But the system would have failed if I was truly erratic,” Musk said.