Is Tesla Motors Inc (TSLA) Rubbing the Industry the Wrong Way?

At this point, it is easy to see that Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) is rubbing many within the automotive industry the wrong way. This starts with dealers in many states that don’t care for the company’s sales model. Along with this, other manufacturers, such as Chrysler, are beginning to sour on the company and what it stands for.

Before we go any further, let’s take a look at this press release published by Tesla: Tesla Repays Department of Energy Loan Nine Years Early

This is big news for the electric vehicle maker, as many other companies have struggled to repay its loans. In fact, the headline of the press release goes as far as to say the following: Only American Car Company to Have Paid Back Government

Tesla Motors Inc (TSLA)Here is more from the release:

“Tesla Motors announced that it has paid off the entire loan awarded to the company by the Department of Energy in 2010. In addition to payments made in 2012 and Q1 2013, today’s wire of almost half a billion dollars ($451.8M) repays the full loan facility with interest. Following this payment, Tesla will be the only American car company to have fully repaid the government.”

However, as Automotive News has pointed out, this is not something that the rest of the industry is going to let slide by without a fight.

“Tesla CEO Elon Musk took to Twitter today to respond to Chrysler’s barb that Tesla wasn’t the first American automaker to repay the U.S. government for aid.”

As you can see, Chrysler is not agreeing with Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA)’s assessment that it is the only company to have fully repaid the government.

Gualberto Ranieri, Chrysler’s senior vice president of corporate communications, did not sit back and let Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) fool everyone. Instead, he spoke out with a blog post of his own. He added the following:

“The information is unmistakably incorrect. It’s pretty well-known that almost exactly two years ago – May 24, 2011 – Chrysler Group LLC repaid (in full and with interest) U.S. and Canadian government loans more than six years ahead of schedule.
Question: short memory or short-circuit?”

Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA)’s claim is one that did not sit well with Chrysler, and is sure to heat things up even further in the automotive industry in the years to come – especially as Tesla attempts to expand its reach.

Final note: Musk brought up the fact that the United States Treasury is unlikely to recover a $1.3 billion taxpayer loss.

Whose side are you taking this time around? Do you feel that Tesla is right or do you think Chrysler has a strong argument?