04.04.2024 06:56

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Elon Musk's reputation is falling, and with it Tesla

Elon Musk's reputation is falling, and with it Tesla

According to Caliber, a company that monitors the reputation of global corporations, Elon Musk's controversial appearance and, to put it mildly, special behavior in recent years, very likely had a significant impact on the decline in Tesla's sales.

Reuters published the data of a recent survey in which Caliber found that only 31 percent of those who had the option would buy Tesla services or products today. In November 2021, when Tesla recorded the highest score of 70 percent in this same survey, Musk's influence was not yet so great. This January alone, Tesla's reputation fell by 8 percent. For comparison, we can say that rivals in the field of sales of electric vehicles, for example Audi, BMW and Mercedes, increased their result or reputation and all scored between 44 and 47 percent.

A separate survey by analysts at CivicScience, which tracks approval of Musk among American consumers, shows that 42 percent of respondents currently disapprove of Musk. When it announced its acquisition of Twitter in April 2022, that figure was 32 percent. Since then, Tesla's CEO has been embroiled in numerous scandals, from various X-related practices to frequent communications about conspiracy theories and other instances of damaging rhetoric.

Caliber claims that 83 percent of Americans surveyed associated Tesla with Musk, with Caliber CEO Shahar Silbershatz telling Reuters that "it's very likely that Musk himself is contributing to the decline in reputation." Additional data provided to Reuters by brand valuation consultancy Brand Finance shows a similar drop in Tesla's reputation among consumers in the Netherlands, the UK, France and Australia.

If Musk's polarizing behavior affects Tesla's sales, it will be one of the key factors in the underperformance this year. The company already warned in January that their growth in 2024 "may be much lower" than last year. They are currently preparing their vehicle lineup for 2025. Tesla is also facing increasing competition from electric vehicle providers such as Rivian and China's BYD. In its first-quarter production report, it attributed the decline in sales to production delays and supply disruptions.

More than a year ago, Bloomberg looked for similar connections between Musk's declining reputation and Tesla's volatile stock price. Since then, Musk has done practically nothing useful for his personality.

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