I'm embarrassed to drive my Tesla now because of Elon Musk

Mary Anne Squeo

Anne Marie Squeo, a 55-year-old marketing and communications professional, felt as though she had joined a special "club" of people who were doing something to help the environment while still driving with style when she received her fiery red Tesla sports utility vehicle in 2020.

But Anne Marie's satisfaction turned to shame last year as Tesla CEO Elon Musk shared right-wing conspiracy theories on Twitter, posted a picture of guns by his bedside, and proposed terms to end the war in Ukraine that were vehemently rejected by many of the nation's top leaders.

Former Connecticut-based journalist Anne Marie, who wrote an article about her discomfort, claims that it has been very depressing and occasionally embarrassing to be driving this car around. "I questioned whether others were forming an opinion of me that I wasn't seeking. ".

Elon Musk, who was once credited with being the key to Tesla's success, is now seen as one of the company's biggest issues as a result of his constant stream of politically charged social media posts that alienate significant segments of Tesla's customer base. This is happening at the same time that increased competition is beginning to threaten Tesla's hegemony in the electric vehicle market.

The value of Tesla shares fell by roughly two-thirds last year, which was the biggest drop since the company went public in 2010. This was due to worries about production interruptions, the impact of high borrowing costs and a weaker economy on demand, as well as other issues.

Major investors, many of them Mr. Musk's longtime allies, raised alarm in December when they claimed he had abandoned Tesla after buying Twitter for $44 billion (£36 billion) in October, harming the reputation of the automaker.

A line chart showing the price of Tesla stock, which peaked at $410 in November 2021, is now $172 per share.

It didn't help that Mr. Musk sold $20 billion worth of Tesla shares last year, sales that hurt the stock and may have been influenced by the Twitter acquisition, at least in part.

Everyone paid a huge financial price for it. Investor Ross Gerber, who is running for a position on Tesla's board of directors and calling for changes, asserts that it didn't safeguard Tesla shareholders. He also calls for Tesla to start spending money on advertising, something the company has long taken pride in being able to do without.

As the stock has fallen, Mr. Gerber, the head of Gerber Kawasaki Wealth and Investment Management and a self-described friend of Mr. Musk, says he has increased his firm's holdings because he is still optimistic about the company's future.

However, he claims that the business needs a committed CEO to give it a voice that is separate from Mr. Musk's.

He claims that it's "very difficult to believe now that Elon is a positive advertising force for Tesla.".

According to Mr. Musk, who has more than 127 million Twitter followers, his large following "speaks for itself," and he this week rejected claims that his unfiltered social media style was harming the Tesla brand.

But in recent weeks, in response to worries about consumer demand, Tesla announced significant price reductions in the US, Europe, and China – running as high as 20% on some models in the US. .

Analysts anticipate that the decision will lessen some of the brand damage because consumer moral concerns are outweighed by financial considerations.

However, the decision will reduce the company's profit margins, and some car buyers will be stuck with it.

As an insurance professional in New Zealand, Indie Grant passed on a Tesla last year in favor of a Peugeot because of Elon Musk's political views. .

Indie Grant
When buying an electric car last year, Indie Grant ruled out a Tesla.

Considering how closely associated he is with the company, purchasing a Tesla resembles a regular, passive declaration that one likes Elon Musk. I adore everything he does," the 35-year-old exclaims.

With so many options, taking that out of the running really didn't have a big impact on the messages we were trying to convey. " .

According to Indie, there isn't much that would make someone buy a Tesla right now. Only if he were no longer connected to it would my opinion of Tesla change. ".

Mr. Musk has previously gotten in trouble for his social media posts.

Elon Musk
In a legal case brought about by one of his tweets, Elon Musk made an appearance this week in a San Francisco court.

One of them—about considering going private with Tesla in 2018—sparked fraud allegations from regulators, which the company and Mr. Musk each settled for $20 million. This week, he was back in court to defend the article in a class-action lawsuit brought by shareholders who claimed they lost money as a result of the share price swings that followed its publication.

Another, in which Mr. Musk referred to a man helping to save Thai schoolchildren as a "pedo guy," resulted in a defamation lawsuit, which he ultimately won after claiming he didn't believe the insult would be taken seriously.

But as the platform's owner now, Mr. Musk is more than just another tweeter.

This has increased the chance that his political views, which he expresses more frequently, will influence how Twitter moderates the content on its site, a matter that many, including Mr. Musk, believe is crucial to American democracy.

Following his appointment, Mr. Musk moved swiftly to lift the ban on the former US President Donald Trump. He also tweeted, "My pronouns are Prosecute/Fauci," in reference to Dr. Anthony Fauci, the public face of the US Covid-19 response, which infuriated liberals who are the most likely to purchase electric vehicles in the US, Tesla's largest market.

"This is largely a political story," asserts Jordan Marlatt, a tech analyst at Morning Consult, which monitors public opinion of thousands of US brands and has noticed a sharp decline in Democratic support for Tesla since Mr. Musk first announced the Twitter deal in April.

He has become much more vocal about his personal politics than he previously has, and this is impacting consumer sentiment. ".

Brands typically recover from damage caused by politically charged incidents, according to Mr. Marlatt, within 90 days.

The constant drumbeat, he claims, "is what makes Twitter and Tesla different.". "Almost every hour of the day, actually. ".

Prior controversies, according to Anne Marie, who has cast ballots for both Democrats and Republicans, felt like isolated incidents, but the deluge of commentary last year demoralized her.

Elon Musk's reputation as a bit of a wild card is not new, the speaker claims. "What was different was this level of consistency in doing it every day and the fact that he was really tackling social issues with the apparent intent of agitating people. ".

She claims that at this time, she is unable to envision getting a Tesla the next time she needs a vehicle.

After all, there are many options available. Would you really align yourself with a business that, perhaps, no longer reflects your values? I wouldn't feel comfortable doing that.

. "

Source link

You've successfully subscribed to NewsNow
Great! Next, complete checkout to get full access to all premium content.
Welcome back! You've successfully signed in.
Unable to sign you in. Please try again.
Success! Your account is fully activated, you now have access to all content.
Error! Stripe checkout failed.
Success! Your billing info is updated.
Billing info update failed.