Apple cofounder Steve Wozniak had quite an earful for Tesla Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) cofounder Elon Musk. He seems fed up with all the promises that continue to be delayed, although he also emphasizes that he still really likes the Tesla he owns. It’s easy to wonder now whether Wozniak’s feelings are representative of the feelings of other Tesla owners and possibly even some of the company’s shareholders.
At this point, the verbal tussle between Wozniak and Musk seems one-sided, as there are no reports about Musk responding to him. Of course, it doesn’t mean that a response from the Tesla CEO isn’t coming soon.
Is Musk just a good salesman?
In years past, Steve Wozniak initially ordered his first Tesla Model S but then cancelled it the same week he was set to take delivery of the car. However, Elon Musk then told Wozniak in an email that he wasn’t a “real Silicon Valley boy” because he bought a gas guzzling Mercedes after canceling his Model S order. Clearly, Musk knew just the right thing to say to get Wozniak to buy a Tesla.
According to Business Insider, while at the Nordic Business Forum in Stockholm, Sweden this week, Wozniak questioned whether Musk was merely a good salesman like Apple co-founder Steve Jobs. He explained that he has shelled out more cash multiple times to pay for upgrades to his Tesla, adding four-wheel drive capability and the new sensor suite for autonomous driving.
Indeed, Musk has demonstrated the ability to sell virtually anything. His newest product is a flamethrower which is being sold through his newer venture called The Boring Company. It took only 48 hours for more than half of the 20,000 flamethrowers that were made to be sold. Musk has even convinced buyers to shell out $30 for a fire extinguisher, which is quite expensive.
A chill sets in between Wozniak and Musk
Wozniak also questioned whether one can really believe anything Musk says. He noted that Musk has pushed back the coast-to-coast trip showcasing Tesla’s Autopilot in full-autonomous mode multiple times. In October 2016, he said it should be expected by the end of 2017. Then in August 2017, he pushed it back to early this year. By December, he had delayed it again, and this time, the promise is far more open-ended. In fact, it’s unclear whether the promised road trip will ever happen.
Because of that, Wozniak no longer believes “anything Elon Musk or Tesla says,” although he says he does “still love the car.”
Here’s Wozniak’s new favorite car
He did have some harsh words for Tesla’s Autopilot, saying, “You’ve got to be on your toes all the time with it.”
He feels that the automaker has taken a “cheap way out” by saying that Autopilot is in beta, so it isn’t responsible for the problems. He also said that from what he is read, “every car manufacturer in the world … [is] actually ahead of Tesla for self-driving cars,” especially Audi and BMW.
Although Wozniak still enjoys his Tesla, it’s not his favorite car. His Chevy Bolt is his new favorite because it’s an electric car with a “decent range.” He also said that he drives his Bolt almost all the time. The one exception is longer road trips, when he and his wife drive their Tesla.