Home » Data Shows Elon Musk’s Tweets Might Be So Annoying They’re Pushing Away Potential Tesla Buyers

Data Shows Elon Musk’s Tweets Might Be So Annoying They’re Pushing Away Potential Tesla Buyers

Musk Mouth Tmd Ts2
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The great thing about this country is you can have your own views — whatever they are — and tell anyone you want about those views. You can even have a blog where people can read those opinions, even if they disagree (not everyone, it seems, agrees with me that Škoda is VW’s best brand but I will not be silenced). Where it gets muddled is when it comes to the consequences of those opinions and who, or what, is allowed to experience them.

Tesla’s CEO Elon Musk has views. A lot of them. Maybe you agree with all of them, maybe you find them odious, or maybe you don’t care. As Tesla sales slow it’s easy to point fingers at infrastructure, or interest rates, or growing competition. A group of analysts, backed by consumer sentiment data, are pointing the finger at an increasingly unpopular Elon Musk.

Vidframe Min Top
Vidframe Min Bottom

Do you know who the head of China’s biggest automaker is? It’s SAIC Motor Corp’s Wang Xiaoqiu. Do you know Wang Xiaoqiu’s politics? Probably not, although you might think an executive in a Chinese state-owned company is really only allowed to have one type of politics so it’s not a difficult guess. The company is having a rough go of it lately amidst a brutal Chinese EV price war and economic uncertainty. The solution? Try to force out a bunch of employees.

Ford wants to make EVs profitable, but first it needs to get rid of some old models. If you want more proof that EVs have a pricing issue, Ford’s sudden price drop for the Mach-E seems to have moved the needle on the company’s EV sales.

And, finally, the EPA has followed its softening of light vehicle emissions regulations with regulations for big trucks that still seem like a big swing.

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‘Consideration’ Of Tesla Drops To 31% As It’s ‘Very Likely’ Musk Is Contributing To Tesla Reputation Hit

front three quarters

Free speech is often misunderstood. As an enumerated right in the U.S. Constitution, i.e. one that’s specifically called out, the government is specifically restricted from abridging it in most cases. The key word there is “government.”

Some people, especially powerful people, tend to be surprised when, in a free country, they suffer consequences for what they say. But that’s how freedom of speech is supposed to work.

If I call yo mama fat, it is my legal right to do so. If you respond by punching me in the face I could maybe appeal to the authorities for help, but you could also argue I had it coming.

This tweet pretty much sums it up:

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Tesla CEO Elon Musk managed to grow to almost hero status for a large portion of the population, inspiring Robert Downey Jr’s portrayal of Tony Stark, dating actresses, building rockets, and saving the world.

And then Musk bought Twitter, called it X, and subjected everyone to his increasingly angry-divorced-dad skeptic energy. Even worse, the self-created echo chamber only seems to encourage him to share more.

That’s his right and he’s still one of the richest men in the world and is head of the most valuable car company (by market cap) in the world.

As soon as tomorrow we’re likely to get an earnings report from Tesla and it should show if sales growth has continued to slow, which could see Tesla’s share price drop even further if not matched by margin improvements or some other good sign. There will be finger-pointing.

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Up first is a big story from Reuters that heavily implies some consumers don’t love hearing Elon Musk imply that the government is bringing in violent undocumented immigrants so they can gain votes, as one example, or that planes could be less safe because airlines/aviation companies are putting effort into hiring people of color and women to be pilots, which is a thing he seems to believe.

The ranks of would-be Tesla buyers in the United States are shrinking, according to a survey by market intelligence firm Caliber, which attributed the drop in part to CEO Elon Musk’s polarizing persona.

[…]

Caliber’s “consideration score” for Tesla, provided exclusively to Reuters, fell to 31% in February, less than half its high of 70% in November 2021 when it started tracking consumer interest in the brand.

But that’s Musk. Certainly, people can’t connect Musk and Tesla. One is a car company and Musk is just one person. Well…

“It’s very likely that Musk himself is contributing to the reputational downfall,” Caliber CEO Shahar Silbershatz told Reuters, saying his company’s survey shows 83% of Americans connect Musk with Tesla.

Reuters spoke to five marketing, polling and car experts who said controversies surrounding Musk’s increasingly right-wing politics and public statements are weighing on Tesla’s brand and demand.

Until there are studies that show explicitly the connection between people buying something else there’s a little bit of inference here, but it’s a reasonable inference, especially now that a survey cited in the article shows more people have an unfavorable view of Musk than either a neutral or favorable view. There’s a known partisan bias when it comes to views on buying EVs and it doesn’t favor Musk at the moment.

I still think that, ultimately, most people do not make major purchasing decisions based on politics. I have two very liberal friends who despise Elon Musk and ended up with a Model Y because it was just the best deal.

But with increasing competition and higher net costs due to interest rates, plus an increase in Model Y prices as of today, it’s certainly not helping.

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SAIC To Put Its Workers In ‘Uncomfortable Positions’

Saic Vw Lamando

SAIC Motor Corp. is China’s largest automaker, with tie-ups to both GM (SAIC-GM-Wuling) and Volkswagen (SAIC-VW). The company has long benefited from support from the Chinese government, which means that it hasn’t exactly been the first company to start laying off its workers.

SAIC has found itself facing sliding sales and profits as it has to battle with a product mix that isn’t as EV-focused and appealing as what BYD is offering while in the midst of a price war with upstarts like Xiaomi.

Because it seemingly doesn’t want to (or can’t) just fire people, there’s another big Reuters report today that, based on a number of sources, says the company is instead looking for cause to get people to quit.

From the article:

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One of the sources said most of the reductions at SAIC-VW would come through payouts offered to resigning low performers.

SAIC rates workers on a scale from A to D. In the past, the company has rarely handed out C or D ratings, the two sources said. For 2023, however, about 10% of SAIC-VW employees received the lower ratings, one of the people said.

D-rated employees are being offered payouts to quit, and C-rated workers are being put in “uncomfortable positions” intended to encourage resignations, the source said.

Uncomfortable positions? Like in the back of an SAIC-Volkswagen? Of course, SAIC has denied this report, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t true.

Mustang Mach-E Sales Surging After Price Cut

2023 Mustang Mach E Premium Front
Earlier this year, Ford dropped the price of its Mustang Mach-E electric crossover by as much as $8,100 on 2023 Mach-E models still on the lot.

Did it work? Yeah, big time according to analytics firm Cloud Theory. From Automotive News‘s article on the data:

“Across the board, there’s a need for, and a direction toward, a reduction in pricing at a time where that doesn’t make a lot of financial sense for the OEMs,” Rick Wainschel, vice president of data and analytics at Cloud Theory, told Automotive News. “I think Ford had to do what they did; they’re really in a bit of a bind to clear out those Mach-E’s. It was a necessary evil, in a way. But it worked.”

Mustang Mach-E sales fell by more than half in January, when the crossover lost eligibility for a $3,750 federal tax credit as the Biden administration tightened sourcing rules. But since Ford announced the discounts in late February, Cloud Theory said, movement of Mach-E inventory has nearly tripled, based on its daily monitoring of dealership data. It said inventory has declined 9 percent.

“We saw an immediate bump,” Wainschel said. “It started to really catch fire over the last couple of weeks in particular.”

It’s almost as if the EVs are too expensive. Wow. Crazy. Wild thought.

EPA Makes Strict Standards For Buses And Big Trucks

0x0 Semi 02
Photo credit: Courtesy of Tesla, Inc.

The EPA’s new emissions calculations place some fairly strict standards on the makers of light passenger vehicles, but they’re not as stringent as originally proposed. The response from automakers has been fairly muted.

On Friday, the EPA unrolled its standards for big trucks and buses and the rules are pretty strict.

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Per the AP:

The new rules, which take effect for model years 2027 through 2032, will avoid up to 1 billion tons of greenhouse gas emissions over the next three decades and provide $13 billion in net benefits in the form of fewer hospital visits, lost work days and deaths, the EPA said. The new standards will especially benefit an estimated 72 million people in the United States who live near freight routes used by trucks and other heavy vehicles and bear a disproportionate burden of dangerous air pollution, the agency said.

Unlike automakers, the groups representing the trucking industry have not reacted quite so calmly.

Here’s what the American Trucking Association said in response:

“ATA opposes this rule in its current form because the post-2030 targets remain entirely unachievable given the current state of zero-emission technology, the lack of charging infrastructure and restrictions on the power grid,” said ATA President and CEO Chris Spear. “Given the wide range of operations required of our industry to keep the economy running, a successful emission regulation must be technology neutral and cannot be one-size-fits-all. Any regulation that fails to account for the operational realities of trucking will set the industry and America’s supply chain up for failure.”

While EPA’s final rule includes lower zero-emission vehicle rates for model years 2027-2029, ATA says forced zero-emission vehicle penetration rates in the later years will drive only battery-electric and hydrogen investment, limiting fleets’ choices with early-stage technology that is still unproven.

“The trucking industry is fully committed to the road to zero emissions, but the path to get there must be paved with commonsense,” Spear said. “While we are disappointed with today’s rule, we will continue to work with EPA to address its shortcomings and advance emission-reduction targets and timelines that are both realistic and durable.”

I have to say, “the path to get there must be paved with commonsense” is a good line.

What I’m Listening To While Writing TMD

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The new Waxahatchee album is out and it’s so good. Go listen to it. The best country/folk music right now isn’t coming out of Nashville is all I’ll say.

The Big Question

Without getting into your specific politics, on a scale of 1-10 where 1 = WHO CARES and 10 = I CARE VERY MUCH how much does politics influence your consumption?

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Loudsx .
Loudsx .
17 days ago

props to the mallrats reference…

Stryker_T
Stryker_T
18 days ago

I don’t want to buy a Tesla mainly because their whole interior design and driver control/display setup is fucking awful.

Elon being a bratty man-child is also a good bonus reason that just further supports this decision.

Vetatur Fumare
Vetatur Fumare
18 days ago

“how much does politics influence your consumption?”

A ton – not only because it’s often the moral thing to do, but putting limits in place also keeps my spending down and is probably good for my health.

I_drive_a_truck
I_drive_a_truck
18 days ago

“Uncomfortable positions? Like in the back of an SAIC-Volkswagen?”

Bravo for the reference here. BRAVO

M K
M K
18 days ago

“…If only there was a way to build a network of overland conveyance. Maybe some type of leader/follower thing that could efficiently move 15,000 tons of people and cargo with a limited crew.” – Said someone in the 1840’s

“..Oh, what if we make it electric, then it would be clean, quiet, and not need to stop or carry any fuel..” – Said someone in the 1890’s

“ATA opposes this rule in its current form because the post-2030 targets remain entirely unachievable given the current state of zero-emission technology…” Said someone in 2024!

Wuffles Cookie
Wuffles Cookie
18 days ago

Okay, I’m going to avoid the whole topic of Musk who causes otherwise reasonable people to lose their shit, but I need to point out that this entire article is playing into clickbait.

Autopian, you need to vet your sources better- you’re quoting Reuters but that unfortunately does not guarantee any sort of disclosure or integrity (despite the prominently placed “Trust Principles”). So what’s the issue? The Reuters article is primarily based on a report issued by and quotes from the CEO of a company called “Caliber”. Who is a Danish firm who’s primary line of business is…. selling corporate reputation management.

Now maybe they are simply providing this data for free (and exclusively to Reuters!) out of the goodness of their hearts. Or maybe it’s like a man with a strong Sicilian accent explaining how it would be a shame if another fire started on your business premises, but for a low weekly fee he can make sure no other “accidents” happen. Non-disclosure of the very real financial incentive Caliber has for making these very public claims is on very shaky general ethical grounds. I’m not blaming you directly because the story is Reuters’ (and a hilarious violation of aforementioned “Trust Principles”, but those are a bad joke anyway), but at the very least you should note that Cailber is in the business of selling reputation management.

Last edited 18 days ago by Wuffles Cookie
Marteau
Marteau
18 days ago

Real question :
Is Elon more, or les annoying than the fucking autoplay and pop-up on this website ?

I_drive_a_truck
I_drive_a_truck
18 days ago
Reply to  Marteau

Less, because I don’t get on twitter every day (actually, ever…) but here I am, racing with my mouse to pause that video on every article. Heaven forbid if I scroll back up and re-read something and have to do it again.

Greensoul
Greensoul
18 days ago

When is the EPA going to do away with the crazy footprint rules and go after the true culprits of wasteful consumption, AKA huge trucks and SUV’s? My sister has had a Tesla for 4 years and likes it but wants to sell it now because Elon can be such a douche and she doesn’t want any association with him of any kind.

Lost on the Nürburgring
Lost on the Nürburgring
18 days ago

Is this new news? The guy was spouting fascist and anti-Semitic memes months ago. Our next car will be an EV and *I would never buy a Tesla* under any circumstances.

RidesBicyclesButLovesCars
RidesBicyclesButLovesCars
18 days ago

I think we should leave the over the road trucks out of the electrification push for now. However, pass a trigger law that states when EV tech can replace diesel, the countdown clock on electrification starts. I would base the trigger law off how long a tandem driver team can cross the country in a diesel. When a commercially available EV truck can get within 5% of that, it’s time to switch.

Medium duty trucks, school buses and line haul trucks can be electrified with current technology. The manufacturers just need to get the costs down.

Space
Space
18 days ago

Heavy trucks: everyone said hydrogen wouldn’t be a thing but these rules will force it. The demand pressures for BEV components will mean they will be used for passenger vehicles first.
More likely: the rules will be softened or overturned.

Freelivin1327
Freelivin1327
18 days ago

Truthfully, it depends…well, across the board it would be a 1 for who cares since I care more about the actual car and have specific opinions about every type- but I think the brand does come into play there- just not so much w/ politics. I’ll list the 2 times where I would say 10- I DO care.
-Tesla, 100% against and melon husk is 100% linked together and can’t stand even seeing his pic anymore
(Oh, I could go on but trying not to be negative on this awesome site)
-China, everyone knows how China is set up and everything, so it should be something that we should be 100% against, at least I am (We’re talking about cars- I’ve heard all about the oh, but phones, consumer products, etc are made in China! Well, duh)

James Carson
James Carson
18 days ago

Musk is just a larger than life tech bro asshat. Every one of this ilk I have worked with or around are insufferable narcissists. The sooner his xitter gamble fails and he shutters it or sells it on the better. Tesla can go the same route as far as I am concerned. The entire EV clownshow can do the same. We do not need EV’S now, we need tire shredding phallic substitutes even less. What is needed are sensible long range hybrids and phev as the infrastructure to support an EV future is built out. Governments have stoked this bonfire with the prodding of Musk et-al and will eventually will figure out they have been scammed yet again.

Mr E
Mr E
18 days ago

Ignoring for a moment that I am an employee at a Ford dealership, my disinterest in Tesla has nothing to do with Musk and everything to do with their interiors.

I love minimalism in art and in the way we decorate our home. In my car, however, I want some actual fucking stalks to signal a lane change, thank you very much.

Space
Space
18 days ago
Reply to  Mr E

Yea I hate the interiors, sadly it seems many new models are following this trend, especially for EV’s.

Zipn Zipn
Zipn Zipn
18 days ago

We purchased 2 brand new EVs last year (granted they were Chevy Bolts and a steal) – BUT We absolutely disqualified giving any money to Musk since I think he’s a f&*#ing sociopath. WOULD NEVER CONSIDER A TESLA as long as he’s involved. Full stop.

For someone so rich, he sure is an as^@)$e.

Hugh Crawford
Hugh Crawford
18 days ago

You know, Steve Jobs by all accounts was a visionary and a jerk, but he sort of kept the jerk part on the down low and people thought he was great and bought Apple stuff.
Musk is also a visionary and a jerk and insists on rubbing everyone’s nose in it. Over and over.
Ford doesn’t remind everyone that the founder was a crazy racist. Porsche kind of avoids the whole Hitler’s favorite engineer thing. Mercedes, well there’s all sorts of stuff they don’t talk about. Elon just won’t stop insulting the people most likely to buy his car. It’s too bad because he’s doing some pretty amazing stuff.

I dunno, maybe it’s a ploy to get the maga (Subtly scatological plural noun goes here) to buy Teslas?

Vicente Perez
Vicente Perez
18 days ago

10, I care very much. Not as a political thing but as a social responsibility thing. I refuse to vote with my dollars by propping up people or organizations undermining the very fabric of our society with misinformation and demagoguery, whatever the side.

And as a long-time Tesla owner (years before Musk fully lost his marbles), it is exhausting having to answer questions about the CEO as almost the new baseline conversation starter. I still admire Tesla’s mission statement, but he seems to be actively torpedoing it on a daily basis.

Last edited 18 days ago by Vicente Perez
SubieSubieDoo
SubieSubieDoo
18 days ago

My wife and I purchased a Model Y dual motor as it was the best electric vehicle at the time. (We were also considering a Mach E, IoniQ 5, and Fisker Ocean.) She was ecstatic with the purchase when we made it as she drives about 6,000 miles per year and is super fast when she wants it to be and calm the rest of the time. What we didn’t realize we were also getting was a “value added freebie” of the future social stigma that comes with owning a Tesla.

If we had it to do again, we both agree that we wouldn’t make the purchase. I’d honestly prefer to have the soon-to-be unsupported Ocean than the sociopolitical mess that is Elon and his egotistical wake. The risk of owning that car might bring a little sympathy compared to the quiet loathing of your fellow drivers and friends looking at you driving around in an Elon-mobile.

Last edited 18 days ago by SubieSubieDoo
El Jefe de Barbacoa
El Jefe de Barbacoa
18 days ago

I absolutely would have bought a Tesla last year if Elon hadn’t turned into the pitiful mess he’s become. There’s zero chance now, and it’s tainted my enjoyment in the accomplishments of SpaceX as well. 8 out of 10 for me.

Myk El
Myk El
18 days ago

Not really wanting to get too deep into nuance. I think my ethical beliefs strongly influence my consumption as well as my politics, so there’s definitely some overlap. I’d put it on as an 8 out of 10.

Ca Hu
Ca Hu
18 days ago

I’m not a fan of telas design decisions around interiors but would still consider them. Elon should learn to shut up but his warped worldview has also been a big force to make viable evs and bring space launch costs down at least 10 fold. All the big corporations have plenty of devils and the oil companies are probably the worst in terms of lying to the public and buying policy. I also think there is some truth in Elon’s complaints.

Andy Individual
Andy Individual
18 days ago

‘Consideration’ Of Voting Republican Drops To 31% As It’s ‘Very Likely’ Musk Is Contributing To Maga Reputation Hit
FIFY

RataTejas
RataTejas
18 days ago

I’m out on Tesla because of Home Depot production fixes and the Teslarati. Musk being an ass-clown is just the frosting on top of a hard “no” shit sandwich.

SoWontLetMeKeepMyManual
SoWontLetMeKeepMyManual
19 days ago

I like to think politics matters to my purchasing decisions. There are soft times like I’ll probably prefer Patagonia to North Face because of their corporate structure, but if North Face offers something objectively better, I’d go with it. But, there are certain companies on my “not ever” list like Tesla and Uber (among others, but their rise was at similar times and for similar reasons).

Uber because they just came into various markets, clearly violating law, and were just like “i dare you to ban me.” I can’t stand that absolutely flagrant attitude, no matter my thoughts on how different jurisdictions were or weren’t handling ride hailing law.

With Musk/Tesla it was a similar flagrancy for every law ever that governs a publicly traded company. Tesla exists right now because of blatant, repeated fraud in the ramp up to the Model 3 and Y (and CT… and Semi…). They continuously misled investors and creditors stringing them along with complete falsehoods they knew to be falshoods regarding production numbers, price targets, and especially production dates. In today’s significantly more stringent regulatory environment it’s unclear if they would have survived that massive cash burn. That’s before getting into the stock juicing 420 scam, the wholly subservient BoD handing out the most unprecedented compensation plan in history, the environmental issues from Tesla plants, the astonishingly bad quality control, or the joke that is FSD. And I still haven’t even touched Musk’s personal politics.

EVs are awesome. I will never buy a Tesla.

getstoneyII (probably)
getstoneyII (probably)
18 days ago

While Uber certainly has its flaws, the rideshare concept that it pioneered has been a tremendous benefit in transit desert areas for the disabled.

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