Ford Motor Company has just 2.5% of the U.S. electric vehicle market. But if a new ad from the carmaker is any indication, Tesla CEO Elon Musk should look out, because Detroit is gunning for him. Ford has a new ad that pokes fun at the notoriously thin-skinned billionaire, albeit without naming Musk explicitly. And America’s wealthiest oligarch will likely see it as a shot across the bow.
“Right now it could seem like the only people who matter are the loudest,” the narrator says over footage of a hand scrolling on a smartphone in the new Ford ad.
“Those who want to tear things down and then fly away on their personal spaceships when things get hard,” the narrator continues. “But we’ve got 182,000 people and they’re building.”
The new ad, first spotted by Ad Age magazine, is available on YouTube but will be making its broadcast debut during the Kentucky Derby. And it’s a fascinating attempt at reaching middle class Americans who may be fed up with the whiny and entitled attitude Musk has so often shown on Twitter, a platform he’s trying to purchase for $44 billion.
Musk, cofounder of SpaceX, has previously said he’d like to die on Mars, though it seems likely he’d have to bring along some indentured servants to make that happen—servants that would obviously be dying with him. But like so much of Musk’s unfulfilled promises for the future, it seems unlikely he’ll be going to Mars anytime soon.
The new ad clearly wants to highlight Ford workers, but is also doing so as a way to contrast the way that workers are treated at Musk’s companies. Tesla, which has roughly 53% of the electric vehicle market in the U.S., is a non-union shop which has a stunning history of worker abuse.
The ad also notes that Ford assembles more vehicles in the U.S. than other car manufacturers, likely another jab at Tesla, which recently opened a huge factory in China.
What will Musk tweet in response to this ad? Something either incredibly bland or wildly inappropriate—the billionaire’s only two speeds in Twitter conversation.
Which means we can either expect Musk to say something like “Ford? More like Bored!” or he’ll compare the people who work at Ford to Adolf Hitler, as he did with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau back in February. There’s no middle ground with Musk.