Tesla quietly revealed it got a government coronavirus bailout after Elon Musk opposed another stimulus package

grapier@businessinsider.com (Graham Rapier)
Elon Musk shrug
Elon Musk shrug

Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP Images

Four days after CEO Elon Musk decried "special interest earmarks" in economic relief packages, Tesla revealed that it also received government aid in response to the coronavirus.

"As part of various governmental responses to the pandemic granted to companies globally, we received certain payroll related benefits which helped to reduce the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on our financial results," Tesla said in a regulatory filing Tuesday.

It did not specify from which government the company received assistance or any dollar amounts. Tesla representatives did not respond to a request for comment.

The quarterly filing comes days after Musk used Twitter to urge lawmakers to authorize only more direct payments to Americans as they debate further stimulus measures on Capitol Hill.

"Another government stimulus package is not in the best interests of the people imo," Musk said on July 24.

"These are jammed to gills with special interests earmarks," he continued, likely referring to carve-outs for grants and loans to specific industries, like airlines. "If we do a stimulus at all, it should just be direct payments to consumers."

Earlier in July, Tesla reported a surprise profit for the second-quarter, solidifying its longest streak of profitability in company history. That success was made possible largely through sales of regulatory credits to other automakers and temporary worker furloughs and pay cuts, Tesla said. 

Tuesday's disclosure is not the first time Tesla has benefitted from programs lambasted by Musk, who has also used his large online platform to promote misinformation related to the coronavirus. Tesla and SpaceX, also controlled by Musk, have received nearly $5 billion in government aid over the years, the Los Angeles Times found. The company also relies heavily on tax credits as a sales incentive for buyers.

Republican lawmakers unveiled a $1 trillion plan for further economic stimulus on Monday. Included in the package, which will need to be passed by the Democrat-controlled House, are provisions for another round of stimulus payments, an extended — though heavily reduced — unemployment surplus, and $60 billion for more small-business loans.

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