Competition over electric vehicles is definitely charging up, but one parking attendant went a bit too far when he ticketed a Tesla at a GM factory in Missouri for being a ‘foreign car in a domestic lot.’
A photo of the ticket was posted on the Facebook group ‘Useless, Unsuccessful, and/or Unpopular Signage,’ and quickly went viral.
A Tesla driver received a ticket for parking a ‘foreign’ car in a lot at GM factory in Missouri designated for ‘domestic cars,’ despite the fact that his Model 3 was made in the US
Tesla founder Elon Musk is South African, and the car enjoys popularity in Europe, but the roadster, a gray Tesla Model 3, was indeed made in America.
In fact, the Model 3 just this month topped Cars.com’s American-Made Index for the first time ever, followed by the Ford Mustang, the Tesla Model Y, Jeep Cherokee and the Chevrolet Corvette, the only GM model in the top five.
Not all vehicles put out by US automakers are manufactured in the States, of course, but this one was.
Approximately 45 percent of all Tesla Model 3s produced in the world are constructed in US and Canadian factories, according to research done at American University, compared to about 66 percent of Chevrolet Volts, GM’s entry in the EV marketplace.
While public parking lots generally don’t differentiate between domestic and foreign cars, The Drive reports many automakers—including Ford, Subaru and, yes, GM— segregate lots by brand.
In 2016, Jalopnik writer David Tracy wrote that, while he worked at a Fiat Chrysler factory in Michigan, the company barred the competition from parking in certain lots.
‘And if they do, they either receive a ticket or wind up with a parking boot. In the latter case, employees have to tell their supervisors, and the supervisor will have to call security; it’s a bit of a mess, and can be rather embarrassing for an employee.’
Non-company cars are forced to park in much less desirable spots, Tracey reported, and the regulations are usually the result of pressure from local car unions.
Like many US car factories, the General Motors Assembly Plant in Wentzville, Missouri, has segregated parking. Most exile cars made by other auto manufacturers to far-off lots
‘Ford said their parking setup is not a corporate policy, but one that started at the Dearborn truck plant about a decade ago and has been adopted by other facilities to ‘encourage them to buy what they build.’
Tesla did not immediately replied to a request for comment about the incident, but a GM representative told DailyMail.com the ticket was issued in error.
‘Wentzville, like many of our manufacturing sites, has a parking policy and designated parking locations for GM vehicles, non-GM domestic vehicles and foreign nameplates,’ they said.
‘Plant security inadvertently thought the Tesla was a foreign car and wrote a ticket accordingly.’
The ticket is just a ‘warning,’ the rep said, with no financial penalties associated.
A GM representative admitted ‘plant security inadvertently thought the Tesla was a foreign car and wrote a ticket accordingly.’ Pictured: A Tesla Model 3
Former talk-show host and noted auto enthusiast Jay Leno has defended Tesla in hte past from claims it’s ‘un-American’ in the past, Teslarati reported.
The auto industry is ‘a tough business to get into; and the fact that Tesla is making a go of it and quite successfully, I think is impressive and should be applauded,’ Leno, host of Jay Leno’s Garage, told CNBC in 2016.
‘We’re becoming like the British — we like noble failures,’ he added. ‘I would watch, listen to these radio talk shows just tear Tesla apart; and I go, ‘Here’s a guy, building an American car in America, using American labor. Why are you not rooting for it to be successful? Why do you wish it would fail?’ I don’t quite understand,’ Leno said.
Elon Musk’s electric car company has ruffled the feathers of traditional US automakers before, but Musk seems to be willing to be generous to the competition: Tesla could begin letting other car companies use its network of Supercharger stations as early as next year, Tesla told Norwegian officials.
It’s unclear if Tesla will start with stations in Norway or allow electric vehicles from manufacturers like Ford and GM access to its entire global network of more than 25,000 chargers at over 2,700 stations.
Elon Musk (pictured) is reportedly planning on making Tesla Supercharger stations available to electric vehicles from other automakers
‘The condition for benefits is that infrastructure must be developed with a publicly available offer,’ according to minutes of the meeting, first reported by Electrek. ‘Tesla applied for benefits to expand five fast-charging stations. Tesla’s charging stations today are just available for Tesla cars.’
‘That type of infrastructure is then only open for use by one group and not for the general public otherwise.’
Tesla might soon raise the hackles of other US corporations like McDonald’s and Burger King: earlier this month, the company filed a trademark application for restaurants that could be located at or near its Supercharger stations.