Musk recounts ‘life or death’ moment for Tesla in ’60 Minutes’ interview

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Tesla Inc. CEO Elon Musk opened his tumultuous year in an extensive interview with "60 Minutes" from CBS.

Musk, 47, told Lesley Stahl that none of his tweets have been censored since reaching a settlement with the US Securities and Exchange Commission in October.

His problematic Twitter messages in August – about attempts to take the company privately – caused months of chaos and the agency tried to improve the governance of a board that had been criticized for a long time because it was too closely aligned with its billionaire leader.

"I want to be clear, I do not respect the SEC," said Musk, according to a transcription provided by the network prior to Sunday's broadcast. Musk added that he complies with the terms of the SEC because he respects the legal system. He also said that he preferred Robyn Denholm as Tesla's new CEO, and that he did not just want to remain chairman, but also prefer & # 39; not have any titles at all.

Tesla does not buy traditional advertising, and media attention for Musk is a big part of how his company puts itself and its formidable brand on the market. Musk was late on a bit of a charming offensive: he appeared on Kaya Swisher's Recode Decode podcast, as well as Axios HBO.

The "60 Minutes" interview, which was recorded at Tesla's lone car factory in Fremont, California, focused largely on the year in which Tesla raced to boost the production of the Model 3 sedan. Musk made the decision to build a third general assembly line outside a tent with saving the company.

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Assembly line tent

"It was life or death," Musk said. "Those bets against the company were right, according to all the conventional standards, to fail, but they simply did not count on this unconventional situation of creating a conveyor belt in a parking lot in a tent!"

Stahl pressed Musk on the series of complaints about conditions in company factories, including unreported injuries, abuse and excessive hours. Musk said there was an "aggressive campaign" by the UAW to attack Tesla with a "load of bullshit" in an effort to unite the car manufacturer.

Musk said he might be willing to buy some of the five factories that General Motors wanted to use next year. He also claimed that he did not smoke a pot, despite the fact that he hit a marijuana on the podcast of a comedian who was streamed live in September.

"I do not smell a pot," said Musk. "As anyone who saw this podcast could see, I have no idea how to smoke a pot or something, I do not know how to smoke something, frankly. & # 39;