Is Elon Tone Deaf Regarding EU Labor Culture?

I believe he is.
Elon has taken an aggressive stance. I very well may be wrong. But I don’t believe he wins this one.
I believe the question is:How important is the EU EV market space? It is certainly less important than the China market space and likely the future US market space. Is potentially writing off EU EV market space over unions worth the risk?

Tesla has found itself locked in an increasingly bitter dispute with union workers in Sweden and neighboring countries. The showdown pits the electric car maker’s CEO Elon Musk, who’s staunchly anti-union, against the strongly held labor ideals of Scandinavian countries.

None of Tesla’s workers anywhere in the world are unionized, raising questions about whether strikes could spread to other parts of Europe where employees commonly have collective bargaining rights – notably in Germany, Tesla’s most important market.

A group of 16 institutional investors including KLP, Norway’s biggest pension fund, and PensionDanmark, have written to Tesla board chair Robyn Denholm. They have urged the company to reconsider its approach to unions and asked for a meeting to discuss it further.

The labour dispute between Tesla and its repair workshop mechanics that originated in Sweden on October 27 has escalated to include Denmark, Finland and Norway. As the stakes rise, Elon Musk’s electric vehicle manufacturer continues to resist signing a collective agreement with its Swedish employees.

The European Parliament has recently adopted a new directive on collective bargaining.

“This directive is an important step forward. It opens the path towards a Europe in which everyone can work in dignity and afford a decent life. Most importantly, it assigns a central role to collective bargaining.

Collective bargaining is the main tool with which working people obtain improvements on pay and conditions. That’s why the new target of reaching 80% is so important. Member States will have to present national action plans towards reaching this objective.


iirc, Musk was born in apartheid era South Africa. It is not hard to imagine a South African cultural view of “Bantus” would translate to a USian “JC” view of Proles.


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You only needed 4 words in the heading. Is Elon Tone Deaf?

The answer is a resounding yes.

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Right now, Europe makes up just under 25% of the global EV market - about 2.5 million cars YTD through October out of about 10.7 million globally. China’s the big market - about 6.2 million YTD. The U.S. is the smallest of those three regions, and less than half of Europe’s market at just under 1 million cars. Europe will probably remain a larger EV market for quite a while longer than the U.S. - and perhaps always, given that their generally higher gas prices and shorter trip lengths make it a more naturally hospitable market for EV’s.

Tesla would certainly be quite foolhardy to take any steps that would limit their prospects in the European market.

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Yeah. Also he probably wouldn’t want to purposefully p!ss off advertisers on Twitter, either.


The suicidal business types are loud these days. Hitler was suicidal as well but the Germans could not see it.

Elon is obviously tone deaf about pretty much everything non-technical.

The only thing about this situation that seems really weird to me is that (so far as I can tell) almost none of Tesla’s employees in Sweden seem to want a strike or a collective agreement.


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