‘Beautiful truck’: Tesla investor Ross Gerber praises Rivian

‘Beautiful truck’: Tesla investor Ross Gerber praises Rivian

  • Gerber was planning to run for board membership at Tesla in 2023 before giving up his pursuit.
  • Recently, he blamed the first-quarter deliveries miss on Elon Musk and his preoccupation with his other businesses.

Fund manager Ross Gerber‘s recent comments about the need to overhaul Tesla‘s board prompted a caustic response from none other than the electric-vehicle giant’s CEO Elon Musk. Barely days after the bitter exchange, Gerber received backlash from Tesla fans for flaunting the purchase of Rivian R1S on social media.

What Happened: “Excited to say my wife’s Rivian R1S is on the way. Just as I wanted it,” said Gerber on X, formerly Twitter. “The nice people at Rivian helped get me squared away. This is a beautiful truck!” he said. Gerber said he bought a green-colored one.

The R1S is the Irvine, California-based company’s all-electric full-size off-road SUV. It comes in three variants:

  • Dual-motor all-wheel drive
  • Performance dual-motor AWD
  • Quad-motor AWD

The R1S has a starting price of $74,900.

In December, Gerber, the CEO of Gerber Kawasaki Wealth & Investment Management, disclosed through an X post that he ordered an R1S as a Hanukkah present for his wife. He then wondered aloud whether the R1S order placed then or his Cybertruck ordered four years ago would arrive first.

Tesla, which began taking preorders for Cybertruck — an electric pickup truck, immediately after its unveiling in late 2019, began selling the EV to customers only late last year.

One of Gerber’s followers took a swipe at him for switching allegiance to Rivian. “He is Cramer lite. Strong buy signal for TSLA stock.” Responding to him, the fund manager said, “I’m getting a Cybertruck as well, so go reconcile that.”

Why It’s Important: There has been a lot of bad blood between Musk and Gerber ever since the EV maker’s fundamentals began to take a turn for the worse. Musk’s absentee leadership at Tesla ever since he took over X has irked the fund manager.

At one point in early 2023, he said he would nominate himself as a candidate for board membership at Tesla, citing the challenges the company was facing then and the problems with its public relations, customer service, and succession planning. He later ended his bid for Tesla board membership.

Recently, after Tesla reported a huge first-quarter delivery miss, Gerber blamed the predicament on Musk and rubbished the reasons the company gave for the shortfall. He also called for the overhauling of the board as he felt it was not independent and did not perform its fiduciary duties.

Reacting to his comments, Musk said the weakness was across the board, impacting all players in the industry including China’s BYD. “He’s such an idiot that he can’t even tell he’s an idiot,” he said, referring to Gerber.

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