A look at the headlines surrounding Elon Musk and Tesla would probably show a number of negative articles speculating on the negative impact of the CEO’s current behavior to the EV maker’s brand. Musk has always been controversial, but since he acquired Twitter and rebranded the social media platform to X, the negative attention that Musk has attracted has become more notable.
So controversial has Elon Musk become that it would not be too difficult to find reports claiming that his recent behavior has negatively affected Tesla. Indeed, even among avid Tesla fans, Musk’s penchant for sticking himself in controversial situations has become a very polarizing topic. Yet as per a study from Heatmap, it appears that Musk is becoming less of a factor for those who are considering an electric car purchase.
As per Heatmap, in the weeks leading up to Musk’s recent round of controversies, 27% percent of Americans who reported that they are looking to purchase an EV in the future stated that Musk’s behavior made them less likely to pick a Tesla. Back in February, this number was at 36%. What’s more, 35% of prospective electric car buyers noted that Musk actually made them more likely to buy a Tesla.
Heatmap’s survey was conducted by the Benenson Strategy Group between November 6 and November 13, 2023. Granted, this period does not cover Musk’s most recent controversies, but the reports surrounding the CEO during this time were quite negative already, from SpaceX’s alleged bias against non-US citizens and his conflict with the Anti-Defamation League.
The firm noted that overall, about 39% of Democrats and left-leaning independents noted that Elon Musk has made them less likely to consider a Tesla, but this number was also an improvement from the 44% who shared the same sentiments in the firm’s February 2023 survey. Things seem better among conservatives, as only 17% of Republicans and right-leaning independents stated that Musk has made them less likely to purchase a Tesla.
More importantly, 46% of the survey’s respondents stated that the Tesla CEO has “no impact” on their decision to purchase or not purchase a car from the electric vehicle maker. Apart from this, 35% of men and 15% of women actually noted that Elon Musk has made them more likely to acquire a Tesla. This suggests that in the grand scheme of things, perhaps Musk and concerns about his alleged adverse effects to the Tesla brand may have been blown out of proportion.
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