Buyers Avoid Tesla Because Elon Musk Has Become Toxic

Buyers Avoid Tesla Because Elon Musk Has Become Toxic

Elon Musk‘s toxic behavior is seriously starting to affect Tesla’s bottom line, experts say.

According to a recent survey by corporate reputation management platform Caliber, as first reported by Reuters, the carmaker’s reputation is plunging in part due to Musk’s off-putting and problematic behavior, putting off potential buyers.

The slide is happening in real time. The values for Tesla’s “consideration” and “trust and like” scores put together by Caliber have fallen eight percent from January — while those of German automakers including Mercedes, BMW and Audi rose during the same period.

In other words, Tesla’s sluggish sales aren’t just the result of rising interest rates, a surge in competing offerings, and a slowing overall demand for EVs.

“It’s very likely that Musk himself is contributing to the reputational downfall,” Caliber CEO Shahar Silbershatz told Reuters.

Musk has increasingly used his substantial platform to further an extreme right-wing agenda, making outright racist statements and furthering ludicrous conspiracy theories.

There are plenty of reasons that Musk is dragging the reputation of his EV maker down with his own. Other car and marketing experts Reuters spoke with also corroborated Silbershatz’s conclusion.

“It is hard enough to win sales without getting into politics,” Northwestern University marketing professor Tim Calkins told the news agency.

Musk’s self-sabotaging behavior couldn’t come at a worse time for the carmaker. The company’s shares started plummeting earlier this year following an earnings report that fell well short of expectations. At the time, Musk warned that vehicle volume growth in 2024 “may be notably lower.”

New Tesla registrations in California dropped for the first time since the pandemic in Q4 of last year, indicating potential losses in one of the company’s biggest US markets.

With rising competition, a floundering effort to realize its vision of “Full Self-Driving,” and a distracted and unpredictable CEO, Tesla is expected to have a terrible year ahead.

Musk, though, is adamant that his amateur punditry has nothing to do with it.

“Whether you hate me, like me or are indifferent, do you want the best car, or do you not want the best car?” he told audiences at an event in November.

Judging by the latest data, however, customers are willing to ditch his brand over his antics — especially now that there are plenty of worthy alternatives on the market.

“It’s hard to drive the car associated with him,” climate activist Kat Beyer, who bought a Tesla Model Y, despite of Musk’s antics, told Reuters. “But I can’t go back to gas.”

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