Tesla CEO Elon Musk said that media negativity isn’t something that he worries about because “enough people have the product” that it doesn’t resonate.
“Fud still happening a little, but doesn’t resonate when enough people have the product,” Musk said in a Tweet on Wednesday.
FUD is an acronym for Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt and is commonly used within the Tesla community to refer to media negativity. Unfortunately, Tesla is all too familiar with the negativity spread in the news and falsified, or stretched truths are often reported as fact, which then skews public perception of the company in a negative way. From things as simple as unconfirmed delays in production to things as severe as Elon Musk’s rumored “emerald mine” that apparently financed his entire life, many media outlets take these stories and run with them.
One of the most common pieces of FUD that the entire electric car industry has had to deal with is the rumor that EVs cause more emissions than gas cars. Although this has been debunked and proven to be false on numerous occasions, it is still a commonly used argument tactic that is often communicated by people who do not believe in electrification.
In recent times, most of Tesla’s media negativity has been portrayed in the form of production delays or construction projects that are being prolonged. One of the most notable was a report from German media outlet Automobilewoche, who stated that a member of Elon Musk’s inner circle said the Giga Berlin plant would be delayed six months. Many media outlets took this as fact and reported it, not doing their due diligence and finding facts or talking to knowledgeable sources.
Teslarati reached out to Brandenburg Economic Minister Jörg Steinbach, who said that Tesla Giga Berlin could begin production as soon as late-Summer or early-Autumn. He was confused about the reports of an early 2022 start.
He told Teslarati:
“I don’t have the faintest idea of how anyone can come up with a six-month delay. If nothing happens out of the ordinary, I still expect a start of production in late Summer or Early Autumn.”
Since its announcement, Steinbach has been close to the Giga Berlin project and has been a vocal supporter of the company’s presence in Germany. Despite being identified in the article and having credibility because of his relationship to the project, media outlets did not report Steinbach’s quote.
Tesla has also been the subject of numerous attacks in China, especially a recent campaign that alleged a Model X of having faulty brakes. This was recently revealed to be a concerted effort to defame Tesla’s image, and an apology was issued recently by the perpetrator. The incident was revealed to be a skit on TikTok.
Tesla owners are certainly a breed in their own right. A group that loves their all-electric cars and all that comes with them, they are very aware of the media’s constant efforts to derail the company’s momentum and Tesla’s Wall Street performance. Despite an extended string of seven straight quarters of profitability, Tesla stock has not performed well in 2021. In 2020, the stock rose over 700%.
Tesla’s sub-par market performance could be attributed to the media’s coverage of the company in 2021. Despite profitability, record deliveries, and refreshed vehicle designs, Tesla remains a main source of criticism from many media outlets.