Back in September, the outgoing CEO Mike Jackson, who has led repeatedly negative periods for Autonation and more recently pushed the company to the brink of failure said:
“For a boutique-y model, what he’s doing is fine,” Jackson said of Musk in an interview on Bloomberg Radio. “As soon as he wants to do volume, it’s gonna be an issue. Well, here we are, we’re now at the issue. It is hell.”
The real dream within though was to partner with Tesla, not get crushed by them. Tesla is a slap in Jackson’s face, pushing a new business model, a new technology and the company he built his legacy on out the door.
What Jackson says about Tesla is ignorant, and it is no surprise that same ignorance has crippled Autonation through lackluster sales performance and poor leadership. Jackson though is on his way out, and not surprisingly taking pitiful jabs at Tesla.
The truth is, people don’t spend on cars like they used to, especially ICE (internal combustion engine) vehicles which are destined to bleed out their value faster than in previous years.
As consumers, it is in everyone’s mind while searching for a new car, “how much money am I going to lose?”
Technology matters, and people who remember 2008 aren’t so willing to make bad financial decisions like buying ICE vehicles. Buying an ICE vehicle now is not an investment, it means an almost guaranteed loss of your capital.
Until Autonation, gets a significant used inventory of EVs they will continue to face significant hardships.
I have no doubt that in the back of Jackson’s mind he feels a sting of hatred toward Musk. After all, if Musk has acquiesced to Autonation’s suggestive talk then maybe Autonation wouldn’t need a $50 million restructuring. Mr. Jackson would be leaving looking like the hero instead. Instead he looks like like a spiteful old man.