Musk and short seller Einhorn trade barbs on Twitter

One of Tesla Inc.’s most vocal detractors just got Twitter-burned by Elon Musk.

After short seller David Einhorn lashed out at Musk in a letter to investors, the Tesla CEO offered to take his antagonist on a tour of the electric-car maker’s facilities — and accompanied the offer with a gift of “short shorts.”

Einhorn’s hedge fund Greenlight Capital has lost money in recent months on its bet against Tesla shares, which have surged 50 percent since June 30. The stock jumped last month after the company reported a surprise quarterly profit.

“It is understandable that you wish to save face with your investors, given the losses you suffered from Tesla’s successful third quarter,” Musk posted. “You have our sympathies.”

Musk invited Einhorn to discuss the company in person, saying his investors “would appreciate you getting smart on Tesla.”

In August, Einhorn called on Musk to resign after Business Insider reported on a Tesla effort to replace faulty parts on its rooftop solar systems. He said on a conference call Thursday that Greenlight remains short on Tesla, even though the position hurt its performance during the period. He added that he’s been surprised by the stock’s resilience, given “relentless negative news and what appears to be an end of the company’s growth trajectory,” according to a Nasdaq transcript.

In his tweet, Musk addressed Einhorn as “Unicorn” and signed off as “Treelon,” a reference to his tree-planting donation. Musk accompanied the missive a reference to gifting Einhorn “short shorts.”

Musk further added that Einhorn made numerous “false allegations” against Tesla and offered “sympathies” for a drop in assets under management.

It wasn’t the first time the men have sparred. Last year, Einhorn acknowledged receiving an earlier transmission of shorts.

“I want to thank @elonmusk for the shorts,” Einhorn posted. “He is a man of his word! They did come with some manufacturing defects.”

Einhorn responded with an open letter on Twitter, asking the billionaire entrepreneur to be specific about false statements, so that Greenlight could correct them.

“By continually changing the narrative and narrowly averting crisis after crisis, you certainly have kept it interesting,” Einhorn said.

Einhorn said his hedge fund and Tesla had “some similarities and some differences”.

“We both struggled last year. However, a key difference is that Greenlight’s business has generated real profits for our investors since we began in 1996,” Einhorn said.

Einhorn welcomed the offer to learn more about Tesla.

“I think facility visits would be fun (can we start in Buffalo?). I might learn the difference between your alien dreadnought factory and cars made by hand in a tent.”

Reuters contributed to this report.