Tesla CEO Elon Musk Attacks Fisker Automotive For Style Over Substance

James Johnson - Author

Jun. 15 2013, Updated 8:57 p.m. ET

Paypal and SpaceX founder Elon Musk was no stranger to the tech industry when he founded Tesla Motors and his drive to produce high quality electric vehicles led him this week to attack Henrik Fisker and Fisker Automotive.

Musk sat down for an interview with Automobile Magazine and the discussion quickly turned to Elon’s rival who he sued several years ago. The lawsuit came about after Fisker designed his own vehicle while under contract to create the Tesla Model S.

In the interview Elon Musk says Henrik Fisker is simply a designer first and an engineer last:

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The fundamental problem with Henrik Fisker – he is a designer or stylist… he thinks the reason we don’t have electric cars is for lack of styling. This is not the reason. It’s fundamentally a technology problem. At the same time, you need to make it look good and feel good, because otherwise you’re going to have an impaired product. But just making something look like an electric car does not make it an electric car.

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That statement comes just after Fisker announced a massive recall over its Fisker Karma. The high-end vehicles A123 Systems caused problems which ultimately led to fires after the vehicles overheated.

Taking a more direct attack Musk said of the Karma: “It’s a mediocre product at a high price.”

Responding to the Automobile Magazine jab Henrik Fisker wrote:

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“Obviously, Tesla and Fisker are appealing to two different customer bases with two totally different technologies. Tesla has pure EV and Fisker has a range-extended offering with no compromise on range.”

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Fisker was quick to point out that his company won the court battle against Tesla and a judge ordered Elon Musk to pay Fisker’s legal fees associated with the court case.

In the meantime Fisker has won national awards for its design while Tesla sells its EV powertrain technology and battery systems to the likes of Toyota. Perhaps Elon Musk is correct, Fisker is about the flash and Tesla is about the technology.


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