Huffington Post senior editor Willow Bay interviewed Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk on Bloomberg Television this morning. Tesla, which engineers and manufactures electric cars, makes its first earnings report today as a public company, after going public back in June. It is the first U.S. automotive company to go public in more than 50 years. See Bloomberg's profile of Tesla Motors here.
In the first segment, Bay reported on some of the skepticism that surrounds Musk's actions as CEO, both business-wise and ethics-wise. But Musk has been defiant in the face of criticism.
In his interview with Bay Musk addressed the skeptics: "For a lot of people out there, certain journalists in particular, they sort of assume that we must be some combination of a fool or a liar, or maybe both," Musk responded. "Just because we're saying we're going to do something that no one's succeeded in practically in living memory."
In the second segment, Bay asked Musk if Tesla would be able to bring the Model S, an all-electric family sedan, to market by its scheduled date in 2012 with the money the company currently has on hand.
"Yeah, we actually feel very, very confident of being able to bring the Model S to market with the resources we have available," Musk said, "which includes obviously the proceeds from our IPO, but even if we didn't do the IPO we would still have had enough resources to bring the Model S to market."
Musk also told Bay that, when all is said and done, it will cost on the order of $400 million to bring the car to market. While that's a significantly lower figure than conventional industry standards for bringing a new car to market, Musk pointed out that Tesla's "revolutionary" engineering developments make it "much more capital efficient than is traditionally the case in the car business."
In the third segment, Bay asked Musk why he thought he had as many skeptics and detractors as he does.
"I do feel unfairly attacked from certain quarters," Musk remarked. "It is not unreasonable for conventional wisdom to say that Tesla will not be successful, because conventionally that has been true, in other words car company startups have not succeeded."
Of the frequent comparisons made between Musk and short-lived auto manufacturer DeLorean, Musk said: "If I had a dollar for every time someone brought up DeLorean, I wouldn't need an IPO."