Tesla Inc (NASDAQ: TSLA) CEO Elon Musk on Sunday hit out against Ford Motor Co (NYSE: F) for making its battery-powered Mustang Mach-E models in Mexico rather than the United States.
What Happened: Musk’s bone of contention was related to a tweet from Whole Mars Blog that pointed out how new union-built electric vehicles may get a $4,500 tax incentive, a jump of 80%, if a new proposal is voted.
The move is expected to work in favor of legacy automakers such as Ford, General Motors Co (NYSE: GM) and others who have workers represented by the United Auto Workers.
In contrast, Tesla workers are not represented by any unions and the Palo Alto, California-based company is known to pay its employees above-minimum-wage rate.
Musk shared a four-month-old Bloomberg News report, which said the Dearborn, Michigan-based Ford has built more electric Mustang Mach-Es at a plant in Mexico than the traditional internal combustion engine Mustangs that are built at a factory in Michigan.
The billionaire entrepreneur said the Bloomberg piece was written by a Ford and a United Auto Workers lobbyist as making those cars outside the U.S. does not serve American taxpayers.
Ford, until May this year, had built a total of 27,816 electric Mustang Mach-Es compared to 26,089 copies of the traditional internal combustion engine Mustang.
The automaker has maintained that trend so far this year. Mustang Mach-Es outshone the traditional internal combustion production numbers at 45,826 vehicles built year-to-date, compared with the 42,070 Mustangs built so far this year, company data shows.
Why It Matters: Besides Tesla — Toyota Motor Corp (NYSE: TM) and Amazon.com Inc (NASDAQ: AMZN) and Ford-backed Rivian Automotive Inc are among those with non-unionized workforces. As per Reuters, Ford and Honda Motor Co (NYSE: HMC) have sharply criticized the proposal. Toyota said that the plan discriminates “against American autoworkers based on their choice not to unionize.”
The bill is set to be voted on Tuesday.
Price Action: Tesla shares closed 2.46% lower at $736.27 on Friday and those of Ford closed 0.63% lower at $12.68.