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Elon’s Pretentious Tweets and Cavalier Attitude is Frustrating Tesla Buyers

  /  Latest News   /  Elon’s Pretentious Tweets and Cavalier Attitude is Frustrating Tesla Buyers

Elon’s Pretentious Tweets and Cavalier Attitude is Frustrating Tesla Buyers

This is how Elon Musk’s actions are discouraging potential customers and irritating Tesla owners

Dennis Levitt purchased his first Tesla, a blue Model S, in 2013 and fell in love with it. It was so much better than any car he had ever driven, says the 73-year-old executive of a self-storage company. He, like Elon Musk, Tesla Inc.’s charismatic CEO, bought into the brand, purchasing another Model S the following year and driving the first one across the country. In 2016, he waited in line near his suburban Los Angeles home to be one of the first to order two Model 3s one for himself and one for his wife. He was a complete Musk fanboy because, while Levitt still enjoys his Tesla, he has grown dissatisfied with Musk. Over time, his public statements have really come to bother him. The CEO’s spats with US President Joe Biden behave like a seven-year-old.

Before it was reported that Musk had an affair with Sergey Brin’s wife, which he has denied; before his shoddy deal, then no-deal, to acquire Twitter Inc; before the revelation that he fathered twins with an executive at his brain-interface startup Neuralink; before SpaceX fired employees who called him a frequent source of distraction and embarrassment, before his daughter changed her name and legal gender after his history of mocking pronouns; before an article claimed that SpaceX paid an employee US$250,000 to settle a claim that he sexually harassed her, allegations he denies, Musk’s behavior and callousness are discouraging prospective customers and irritating Tesla owners.

One consumer survey and market research report, after another, has revealed the following trends: Tesla has a high level of brand awareness, consideration, and loyalty, and its vehicles generally satisfy customers. In April, Creative Strategies, a customer-experience measurement firm based in California, mentioned owner frustration with Musk.

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A year ago, Escalent found Musk to be the most negative aspect of the Tesla brand among electric-vehicle owners polled.

Tesla has had no trouble growing despite Musk’s numerous controversies. The drop in vehicle deliveries reported by the company last quarter was its first sequential decline since early 2020, and it was largely due to Covid lockdowns in Shanghai, which forced its most productive factory to close for weeks. Competitors who have been chasing the company for a decade may be years away from catching up in EV sales.

Musk’s star power, fueled in part by his activity on Twitter, the same forum where he’s become such a lightning rod has been enormously beneficial to Tesla, especially since the company has shunned traditional advertising.

Tesla maintains a steady stream of online banter, punctuated by the occasional grandiose announcement or stunt. Trolling and snide comments were a feature, not a bug, in the company’s early days. They gave Musk control over media coverage and made him the face of Tesla’s legion of ardent online supporters. However, after making Tesla and himself synonymous, Musk has waded into political conflicts, attempted to buy one of the world’s most influential social media platforms, and struggled to counter unflattering coverage of his personal life, threatening the company’s increasingly valuable brand.

According to Strategic Vision, a U.S. research firm that advises automakers, 39% of car buyers say they would not consider a Tesla. That is not unusual; nearly half of respondents say they will not consider German luxury brands. However, Tesla lags behind more mainstream brands: Toyota, for example, is only off the shopping list for 23% of drivers. For much of the last decade, Tesla had few competitors who could match its models’ battery range and other performance metrics. Consumers turned off by Musk’s antics had few EV options. Tesla will have less leeway as legacy automakers introduce more capable electric models.

We’ve seen a greater willingness to take risks or put up with things that are out of the ordinary among early adopters. With incoming buyers, we’re not seeing that as much.

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To win this cohort, automakers must check every box, including hiring a CEO who does not share Hilter memes on social media. Last month, Levitt, a self-described former Musk fanboy, took a test ride in a Lucid. He wasn’t sold on it, he claims because it didn’t have enough cargo space for his golf equipment. He’s still waiting for another automaker to lure him away from Tesla, and he’s considering Audi, Mercedes, and BMW models.