Jay Leno Discusses Tesla & Elon Musk – Video Interview


Jay Leno is known as a car aficionado and one of the largest collectors of American cars. He is the proud owner of 286 vehicles, including classic and contemporary cars, 117 of which are motorcycles. He has his own garage and employs a team of mechanics that custom build his collection.

Jay Leno With His Tesla Model S

Jay Leno With His Tesla Model S

Leno was on CNBC’s Squawk on the Street this week to celebrate the return of Jay Leno’s Garage for a second season.

Jay Leno’s Garage is a show on the network that focuses on everything from classic cars to supercars, along with restorations and road tests. Leno shares his automotive passion through the show.

He rang the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange and then proceeded with an interview with Jim Cramer and Carl Quintanilla, during which he spoke about Tesla CEO Elon Musk.

In the interview, Leno compares Elon Musk to Henry Ford and Thomas Edison. He notes that Musk and Tesla have successfully developed the ability to produce great vehicles despite any adversity.   (While the whole clip is fairly entertaining, the EV/Musk speak begins at the 4:00 mark)

Leno said:

“People think he (Elon Musk) makes 2,500 cars a year. He builds 60,000+…. He sells more cars than Porsche. And yet any time one has the slightest problem, people say it is terrible.”

Leno owns a Tesla himself and is adamant about his love for the car and the direction for the future of electric vehicles. He shared:

“I’ve got a [Model S] P90D, it’s a fantastic car. I don’t understand why people attack this car. It is made in America, by Americans. It is built local. You know we are becoming like the British — we like noble failures more than we reward success. I don’t know why that is.”

“I think in the future everybody will drive an electric car because of traffic, and on the weekend you use your Ferrari or your Hemi Barracuda. It’s kinetic artwork. It’s artwork that moves and rolls and explodes and makes noise. That’s the way I look at it.”

Leno was quite critical of the media and certain analysts. He is bothered by the fact that success of starts-ups, new OEMS, and local entrepreneurs is not credited and often shunned. Leno explained:

“I am one of those people who believe engineers will save the world… I am very optimistic, I’ve seen Elon putting a rocket in space and then it landed. And I watched the news and they showed the one that blew up. Why don’t they show the one that was successful? I don’t understand why we don’t celebrate entrepreneurship more and success in this country.”

It’s a cutthroat market and most are more than willing to complain, find fault and “backstab” others for their successes rather than reveling in the positive direction of future pursuits.

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26 Comments on "Jay Leno Discusses Tesla & Elon Musk – Video Interview"

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The politics and the media are so well tied to the big oil/ICEcar and banking cartels for which money matters way more than anything else, including the survival of the human race and all the living on this small planet.

As a result, we are continuously misinformed about the electric transportation and renewable(solar/storage) revolution coming faster that most people are aware of.

Those propaganda induced delays maybe all it takes to see an arithmetic growth of the global warming… and the end of civilization as we know it.

Scupid human race!

It is called Information Age for a reason – everything is related to information. Information is the first step towards any change. That is why Information Warfare is of utmost importance – this is why we taught to memorize in schools but not to discern. It is considered unpatriotic and unscientific to be critical, to have your own thoughts.

Perhaps it would be more aptly called the misinformation age?

Yup. Just recently, my father in law and I were talking about EVs, and he mentioned that he had heard how dangerous the Model S is — battery catches fire in accidents. Arrrghgghgh!

I agree that tesla is à good car but tesla do not sell more car than Porsche. Porsche sold 65000 911 last year and 220000 cars in total

Great! So Jay Leno was off a bit, as in he was non specific in that Tesla sells more than which Porsche model!

However, what is Porsche’s sales growth rate? Is it climbing, or shrinking? (With sales lost to Tesla?)

Anyway, his real point was that so many people are not realizing that Tesla is not the same today that it was in 2008, and instead of 2,500 cars a year, they are rapidly closing in on 2,500 vehicles a week! Elon already has his sights on a goal of 2,500 vehicles per day!! (1 million per year!)

Also, people still ask me “Who makes the Tesla?” “Where is it made?” As if the internet didn’t exist!

I am guessing he was referring to US sales, not worldwide sales.

Nice job Jay.

Rupert Murdock at his finest (when his people aren’t hacking into people’s phones).

Can’t wait to see what his Faux News says.

i can not se the video, might be because i am not in the us?

Hey Kalle,

Yes, original CNBC video was a bit finicky to play. We have just replaced it with a more Internet/location friendly YouTube version.

…apologies on your earlier troubles watching

I’ve seen Leno in the past indicate that his personal preference is for vehicles that burn fuel. He was a car mechanic before he was a comedian and he likes the hands-on maintenance of combustion powerplants. But he collects all different technologies that move cars, including Wankels, early electrics and steam cars. He even worked with GM on a turbine-powered concept car, the EcoJet.

However, his advocacy for Tesla is more about his concerns that Americans are losing the ability to deal with engineering and industry. He wants Americans making stuff again, and he wants kids in love with cars again. I think he will also give the Chevy Bolt much love on his video series.

Didn’t you hear what he said?


For the past several years Jay’s daily driver has been a Chevy Volt. He loves the sound of his ICE fleet of cars, but when he was driving to work he drove a Volt.

It is very simple, you have to pay for favorable coverage just like everyone else does. TV and Newspapers depend on ICE advertising to survive. Tesla does not advertise (and cannot afford to outbid every ICE car company out there for favorable coverage). The result is media coverage begging to find anything wrong. In fairness, media companies are happy to use any mistake to shake down people/ companies any time bad news comes along. I have seen negative stories about Hillory get pulled from the front page of NY Times just as ads for Hillory show up. I am sure they were total coincidences

Did that Cramer guy have a ‘road to Damascus’ moment?


I’d be OK if Cramer never got air time again.

Well I’m sure the Model S is outselling the Panamara Sedan. Perhaps that is what Jay was talking about, the direct model to model comparison.

@Jay Leno:

Well said, sir!

Wonderful to see that there is at least one well-known car enthusiast who isn’t a diehard gear-head, and is willing to give Tesla Motors the praise it has earned and deserves.

Dr. Miguelito Loveless

Seems to me the media doesn’t like Tesla since Tesla doesn’t spend money advertising.

The media in general pushes the global warming agenda like there’s no tomorrow (pun not intended). Whether you agree with / believe in AGW is not the point. The point is you would think the media would really promote Tesla and all BEVs in order to remain consistent with their promotion of AGW. So what gives?
Simple: “if it bleeds, it leads.” The media has devolved into an entertainment business and no longer pursues truth or attempts to provide unbiased information to the public. So they promote AGW because it is a catastrophe waiting in the wings. And they push negative stories about Tesla for the same reason. It is, unfortunately, consistent with their entertainment based business model.

Quod Erat Demonstrandum



Yes, it’s the downside of capitalism. Some things require objectivity (no conflicts of interest), and therefore cannot be based on profit motives: medical care, research of any kind, judicial system, regulation (gov’t), law enforcement/incarceration, and news. It still strikes me odd that there isn’t really any place on the internet where you can get clear, objective information without being concerned about who is making the decisions.

While capitalism may not be perfect, it is certainly pretty good. And the profit motive has been a tremendous benefit to many people in the world of medical care and research. Big Pharmacy is demonized on a regular basis, yet they sink billions into R&D trying to find ways to treat previously untreatable medical conditions, and often they succeed. Without the profit motive it is highly likely we would be without many of the advances we currently enjoy in modern medicine and other areas of our modern society.
I think Churchill said it best when he said (and I’m paraphrasing), the primary vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings while the primary virtue of socialism is the equal sharing of misery.