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Dennis Levitt received his first blue Tesla Model S in 2013. He absolutely loved it. “Pretty much better than any car I’ve ever driven before,” said Levitt, 73. He decided to buy the Model S both because of the Tesla brand and because of Elon Musk – the CEO of this company. Mr. Levitt’s passion was so high that the following year he bought another Model S and drove it across the United States.
In 2016, he stood in line again at a Tesla showroom near Los Angeles with the goal of being one of the first to order a Model 3s — one for him and one for his wife. “I used to be a true Musk fanboy.”
Levitt said “used to be” because even now, although he still loves his Teslas, he is too bored with Musk. “Over time, his public statements really bothered me,” Levitt said, referring to the controversy between Musk and US President Joe Biden. “He acts like a seven-year-old boy.”
There was an article about him having a suspicious relationship with the wife of Google co-founder Sergey Brin, which he later denied. First, he was aggressive about buying Twitter, then there was no deal. Then it was revealed that he was the father of the twin children of a female leader in Neuralink.
SpaceX has been plagued with layoffs, who say Musk is a “regular source of trouble”. His daughter changed her name and renounced her bloodline. There were also reports that SpaceX paid an employee $250,000 to settle a sex scandal with her, but Musk denied it. Musk’s unusual behavior has confused prospective Tesla customers and confused some Tesla owners.
This is evident in market and consumer research reports: Tesla has high brand awareness, interest, and loyalty, and customers are mostly satisfied with their vehicles. But does Musk’s annoyance go the other way? Such actions yield nothing.
Creative Strategies, a California-based consumer experience solutions company, addressed its frustrations with Musk in a study published in April. A year ago, research firm Escalent discovered Musk was a The most negative influence on the Tesla brand in a survey of electric car owners. “We’ve heard from Tesla owners: Look, I love my car but I really don’t want to have to respond to my friends and family about his latest tweet,” according to Tesla. MikeDovorany – who has talked to thousands of electric vehicle owners and potential buyers over the course of 2 years.
Tesla has so far not had any trouble growing their way through a lot of Musk’s arguments. Last quarter marked the first consecutive drop in vehicle deliveries since the start of 2020, but it was largely related to the blockade in Shanghai that forced the factory to close for weeks. Competitors that have been chasing the company for a decade may still take years to catch up with Tesla’s EV sales.
Musk’s KOL power, built in no small part by his activities on Twitter – also the forum where he is at the center of attention – contributes to Tesla’s troubles, especially since the company This doesn’t have a traditional public relations department.
The frequent public jokes online, combined with the frequent grand announcements, makes Tesla always appear in the newspapers. In the company’s early days, trolls and accolades allowed Musk to shape media coverage and make him the leader of his legion of fans. Tesla.
But after turning Tesla and himself together, Musk plunged into political strife, tried to buy one of the world’s most influential social media platforms, and struggled to fight back. Bad news about his personal life. That puts Tesla’s increasingly valuable brand at risk.
Jerry James Stone, a 48-year-old chef in Sacramento, California, drives a Volkswagen Beetle convertible and plans to buy an electric car instead. He’s still not sure which model he’ll choose, but insists it won’t be a Tesla.
Stone said: “Elon has tarnished that brand so much that I don’t even think I would buy a car from them. Elon Musk is the richest guy in the world, owns a giant speaker and uses use it to call someone a pedophile (even if it’s not), or to criticize someone. All of these actions are gross.”
According to Strategic Vision, an American research firm that advises auto companies, about 39% of car buyers say they wouldn’t choose a Tesla. That’s not exactly unusual – almost half of respondents said they wouldn’t mention German luxury brands. But Tesla lags behind mass-market brands: Toyota, for example, only 23% of drivers say they won’t buy a car from the company.
Emma Sirr, a 28-year-old cloud worker who lives in Bozeman, Montana, was hanging out with her partner and their two dogs in a 2004 Nissan Frontier. They’ve been researching electric vehicles for about three years. and until recently they considered Teslas the only viable option, given their range and the charging infrastructure the company has built in their region. But in the end, they refused to buy the car because of Musk.
“We ripped Tesla off from the start,” Sirr said. She and her partner had eyes on the Kia Niro and Chevrolet Bolt as possible alternatives. “As consumers, our power is what we buy. I think the younger generations in particular will vote with their wallets, and I feel the future will pay for choosing Tesla. “.
For much of the last decade, Tesla lacked competitors that matched the battery range and other performance metrics of its models. Consumers don’t like Musk’s mischief, but there aren’t many other EVs to choose from. But the situation has changed, as older automakers introduce more capable electric models, Tesla will have many difficulties to overcome.
Levitt, Musk’s former fanboy, went for a test drive of a Lucid last month. He said he was not satisfied, partly because the car did not have enough storage space for his golf equipment. Levitt is still waiting for another automaker to “rob” him of Tesla.
“If you take the Musk factor and his antics out of the equation, I’m 98% sure my next car will be a Tesla,” Levitt said. “His antics got me into action.”
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