"Take that Elon," Ford's CEO blurted out on video.
Elon Musk has had a target on his back ever since Tesla upset the automotive status quo. But it's not often the head of a carmaker calls out their counterpart, but that's exactly what Ford CEO Jim Farley did after a speech promoting the Ford F-150 Lightning, ended with a hasty, "take that Elon Musk." The Tesla boss provided a non-plussed reply.
Musk and Farley are usually quite cordial to each other, in public at least. Musk complimented Ford and its CEO regarding the challenges faced following the 2008 crash and bringing the F-150 Lightning to market. Ford has also noted Tesla for leading the EV push. But this time, Farley couldn't help but take a dig at Musk in light of the Lightning's success and the Cybertruck's persistent delays to hit the market.
"We are really on a mission at Ford to lead an electric and digital revolution for many, not few," CEO Farley said. "And I have to say the shining light for us at Ford is this beautiful Lightning made right down the road in Dearborn, right here in the state of Michigan, already the leader of all EV pickup trucks in our industry in the United States...take that Elon Musk," Farley needlessly added in the midst of applause.
Musk, who will never back down from a Twitter fight, responded with a low-key statement, tweeting simply "thanks, but I already have one."
Musk is likely referring to the Cybertruck as several pre-production versions have been seen driving around Gigafactories. Considering Musk just reassured the 2023 deadline on Twitter and also claimed the Cybertruck will now cost more, Tesla has to be making major progress towards production.
Alternatively, Musk might have a few Ford F-150 Lightning trucks at Tesla facilities in which to benchmark the Cybertruck.
So instead of this being a Twitter 'shots fired' moment where there will be escalation on social media, these CEOs have respect for each other. Tesla respects the fact that Ford has decades of proven truck durability and reliability, while Ford is certainly in awe of how a young company like Tesla has so much EV market share. But facts are facts, the Lightning is available to buy now and is so desirable it has 100% dealer markups and Cybertruck owners have even skipped their deposit to buy one. Your move Elon.