DETROIT -- Among the unspoken rules that automakers typically follow at an auto show:
- Don't put an executive onstage holding note cards.
- Don't tell the world you plan to be reckless.
- Don't hand the microphone to journalists who want to ask about vehicles catching fire and a new recall.
- Do show a new car.
Tesla Motors broke all of those rules Tuesday with perhaps the least rehearsed, most amateurish-looking press conference of any automaker at this year's Detroit auto show.
The consequences? Its stock surged 16 percent.
Meanwhile, shares of Ford Motor Co., which spent millions of dollars and countless hours orchestrating a blockbuster reveal of its new, aluminum-clad F-150 pickup, barely moved afterward.
Clearly, investors don't care about auto-show theatrics. And many of Tesla's fiercely loyal, enthusiastic customers don't mind that the maker of their auto doesn't try to act like any other automaker.
"We're a startup -- a small company from California," Jerome Guillen, Tesla's vice president of worldwide sales and service, said during Tuesday's press conference in Detroit.
Tesla's press conference consisted of nothing more than Guillen and another vice president, Diarmuid O'Connell, standing on a bare white platform in front of a large crowd of media.
Guillen occasionally looked down at notes in his hand and sounded as though he hadn't thought much about what to say until the plane ride to Detroit.
Seven minutes after Guillen started speaking, Tesla's stock had risen $10 a share.