In a recent telephone interview with The Guardian this week, Elon Musk had this rather startling thing to say: “I do believe this market cap is higher than we have any right to deserve.” He noted that Tesla is valued by Wall Street about the same at Ford or General Motors, two automakers that each produce about 100 times as many cars each year as Tesla does. Even if Musk’s promise to be manufacturing 500,000 cars a year twelve months from now comes true, that is still far less than the 10 million a year GM cranks out.
“We’re a money-losing company,” Musk added. “This is not some situation where, for example, we are just greedy capitalists who decided to skimp on safety in order to have more profits and dividends and that kind of thing. It’s just a question of how much money we lose. And how do we survive? How do we not die and have everyone lose their jobs?”
Working Conditions At Fremont Factory
Speaking of jobs, Musk also had something to say about working conditions at the factory in Fremont, which employs about 10,000 people. There have dark mutterings and deep rumblings among some of the workers since February, when José Moran told Medium that working conditions at the factory were unsafe and many people were getting injured as a result.
The Guardian interviewed 15 workers for its most recent story, published on May 18. Some spoke on the record but others chose to remain anonymous. “I’ve seen people pass out, hit the floor like a pancake and smash their face open,” said Jonathan Galescu, a production technician at Tesla. “They just send us to work around him while he’s still lying on the floor.” Records show more than 100 times when an ambulance has been summoned to the factory in the past several years. “We had an associate on my line, he just kept working, kept working, kept working, next thing you know – he just fell on the ground,” said Mikey Catura, a worker on the battery pack line.