Tesla CEO Elon Musk has remained hell-bent on bringing the Model 3 electric car into mass production, but the company has experienced its fair share of issues along the way. Many analysts balk at Tesla’s strategy and contrast it with the efficient practices of established automakers like General Motors and Toyota.
Musk knows his company is different, and he fired a shot at GM in a recent interview with Bloomberg. The Tesla CEO recalled his time sleeping at the factory in Fremont, California—the former NUMMI plant both GM and Toyota shared. As Musk worked to push Model 3 production and squeeze out efficiencies, the CEO started sleeping in his office, on the floor or on a couch.
“The reason I slept on the floor was not because I couldn’t go across the road and be at a hotel. It was because I wanted my circumstances to be worse than anyone else at the company. Whenever they felt pain, I wanted mine to be worse,” he told Bloomberg.
The CEO then took a shot at GM’s corporate culture.
“You know, at GM they’ve got a special elevator for executives so they don’t have to mingle with anyone else,” he said. He added his desk is the smallest in the factory and he’s rarely present. Instead, he often spends his time on the floor working with other employees.
“The reason people in the paint shop were working their asses off was because I was with them. I’m not in some ivory tower,” Musk added.
GM spokesperson Ray Wert responded to Musk’s elevator comment and said, “Typical Elon, deflecting from the real issue, which is the ability to mass-produce at scale and with quality.” GM continues to build and sell the Model 3-rivaling Chevrolet Bolt EV.