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The outspoken chief executive officer of both Tesla and U.S. government contractor SpaceX tweeted Friday that “another government stimulus package is not in the best interests of the people,” in his opinion.
Another government stimulus package is not in the best interests of the people imo
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) July 24, 2020
A decade before Tesla became the world’s most valuable automaker by market capitalization, the company survived the Great Recession by the skin of its teeth—in Musk’s own words—thanks in part to a $465 million federal loan to design electric vehicles and build them in Fremont, California. The company then went public, repaid the loan early and now employs about 20,000 people in the Bay Area alone.
Before Tesla obtained the federal loan, Musk was clear: without government support, the company—then a boutique maker of a $109,000 sports car—would have to delay the rollout of a less expensive electric sedan.
“We can’t move forward with that without a major amount of capital,” the CEO said in a December 2008 interview. “If we don’t get any government funding then what we need to do is we need to wait until the capital markets recover, which could be a year or two years from now.”
More must-read finance coverage from Fortune:
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- How the U.S. economy is doing in 8 charts
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- Subprime lending giant CardWorks offers a glimpse into consumers’ wallets—and some surprising clues about the economy
- 4 ways businesses can adapt to a changing supply-chain environment
- Howard Hughes CEO Paul Layne on why suburban real estate will thrive in a post-COVID world
- How one toy store owner used his PPP loan to pivot online—and saw sales soar