Elon Musk Still Wants To Release His Teslaquila But He Doesn’t Seem To Be Making It Happen
Love it or hate him, there is no denying that tech billionaire Elon Musk is a real disrupter. He is one of the minds behind the groundbreaking online transactions system PayPal, among other successful digital ventures. He has also revolutionized the car industry with his clean Tesla models and is in the run to be one of the power players in the private space industry with his project SpaceX.
So what is next for this mogul who is famous for his sometimes overwhelming frankness and for almost always getting his way? Musk is the man who famously said: “When something is important enough, you do it even if the odds are not in your favor” and “I could either watch it happen or be a part of it”. So the story you are about to read does not fall out of character for this man born in Pretoria, South Africa, in 1971, and who graduated from the University of Pennsylvania.
Read on to find out what the new goal is for this modern-day Citizen Kane. Sign with us: “Tequila! nana nara na na na na”.
This might sound like an April Fool’s joke, but it isn’t: Elon Musk actually wants to release a tequila-like drink.
On October 2018 the technology mogul announced that he was developing Teslaquila, a drink derived 100% from Blue Agave, the plant that tequila comes from. We mean, the word “Teslaquila” is adorable and smart, but isn’t tequila supposed to be produced in Mexico only? Isn’t making a tequila that has nothing to do with Mexico a sort of cultural appropriation? Tequila, es importante decirlo, has a Denomination of Origin, which means that it can only be produced in the region of Tequila, Mexico. Problems ahead for Elon and his company, as the tequila industry is a tightly knit group that has resisted production outside of Mexico for decades.
And of course, social media wasn’t taking it too seriously. Musk in the tequila business, seriously?
Memes started to come out about Elon’s new project. Fake bottle designs such as this one, featuring a gringo having a siesta by his Tesla, soon started to populate social media. We all had a good laugh about it, but when Musk sets his mind on something things usually are set in motion.
Hey, Elon, shake those maracas, muchacho!
Some fake bottles were more on brand, such as this one of Elon’s silhouette while shaking a pair of maracas and being serenaded by a mariachi band. A little too much gringo-cinco-de-mayouuuu for us.
Although some of Elon Musk’s fanboys couldn’t wait to crack a Teslaquila bottle open!
Musk has legions of hardcore fans, particularly men who venerate him like a god. Of course, the idea of having a Teslaquila-infused fratboy party really got their juices flowing, and some even created artistic odes to Elon Musk’s new great idea. Online transactions, cars, the new space age… tequila!
Here is the approximate design, pretty much in the same high tech style of the rest of the Tesla emporium
Elon even released this approximate design for the bottle. It looks high tech and kind of cool, to be honest. Will we ever see those on shelves? First Elon needs to solve a “little” problem.
But they couldn’t so they are involved in a trademark dispute, because tequila has to be produced in a specific part of Mexico.
The Tequila Regulatory Council made it very clear in November 2018 that Musk’s Teslaquila would not fly, even if the billionaire vowed to fight “Big Tequila.” As reported by SyndiGate Media, the council asserted that: “If Tesla wants to make Teslaquila viable as a tequila it would have to associate itself with an authorized tequila producer, comply with certain standards and request authorization from Mexico`s Industrial Property Institute. Otherwise, it would be making unauthorized use of the denomination of origin for tequila”. Ouch, that must have hurt the ego of a man who is famous for almost always getting his way.
They have files to register the trademark but it is useless without the rights to call it tequila.
Thus is the actual attempt by Musk to take Teslaquila off the ground. Not so quick, mister. It seems, however, that the Musk will be a good boy and follow the rules. In November 2018 The Toronto Sun published: “A Tesla spokesperson said the CRT’s worries are unfounded and that Teslaquila will comply with all the organization’s necessary standards and requirements. The spokesperson added that Teslaquila will be made in the Mexican state of Jalisco, and Tesla expects to get the CRT’s approval for the beverage”. So did the Tequila Chamber and journalists jump the gun in anticipation of a long and costly legal fight.
But as Musk found out, making real tequila is not that simple, legally or otherwise. Everything is at a standstill.
The authorities have been clear. As reported by CE Noticias Financieras on March 28, 2019, no brands, including Teslaquila, can use the word tequila because this is reserved to the alcoholic beverage derived from blue agave produced in the Tequila region, in the Mexican state of Jalisco. “We are going to have, without any doubt, all the possibility of being able to take them out of the market and take corresponding legal actions. This recognition will give much greater certainty to the industry. I practically believe that it makes tequila one of the most protected products in Europe and in Latin America, “explained Ramón González Figueroa, president of the Tequila Regulatory Chamber, to CE Noticias Financieras. This Chamber has been successful in cases against “fake tequila” in countries like Japan and Chile, where Mariachi Tequila was defeated in the courts. “Teslaquila” is too close to “Tequila” to be considered a different product.
Musk is ready for a fight, or so he says and we are still waiting to see that fight.
Elon is a legendary underdog and he loves a big fight. One of his mottos is: “Persistence is very important. You should not give up unless you are forced to give up”. He has vowed to fight what he calls “Big Tequila”. We think that this attitude is a bit colonial and, honestly, a little disrespectful. He has it all and wants more, even if it is in detriment of tequila producers who actually live and work in… you guessed… a little place called Tequila! Is this what we would call cultural appropriation? Maybe.
In the meantime, other celebrities North of the Border have successfully announced their plans to launch tequila brands.
Recently, Breaking Bad protagonists Aaron Paul and Bryan Craston teased a reunion, which had fans of their iconic TV show drooling at the possibility of a new adventure. But nah, they are touring Mexico looking for the perfect conditions to produce and release their own tequila. It must really sting for Musk to see other people doing it the right way and getting to make their tequila dreams a reality. Obviously, Musk fans brought up the still plausible possibility of Teslaquila. Hey, Elon, we got a slogan for you: “Teslaquila: a drink that will electrify you!”