Igniting The Fire: Caliber CEO Hints Elon Musk Might Not Be A Good Poster Boy For Tesla

By Alan Hume | Wednesday, 03 April 2024 04:30 PM
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Elon Musk's controversial public persona is reportedly causing a decline in Tesla's appeal among potential buyers, according to market intelligence firm Caliber.

Shahar Silbershatz, the CEO of Caliber, told Reuters that it is "very likely" that Musk's actions are contributing to the diminishing interest in Tesla's electric vehicles (EVs) in the United States.

Caliber's data revealed a significant drop in Tesla's "consideration score," a metric that gauges consumer trust and likability of a brand and their willingness to purchase its products. In February, Tesla's score plummeted to 31%, a stark contrast to its 70% high in November 2021.

Musk's recent comments on a variety of contentious issues, including immigration, diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) policies, the war in Ukraine, and trans rights, have been a source of controversy. On April Fool's Day, Musk humorously announced on X that he was "excited to join Disney as their Chief DEI Officer. Can't wait to work with Bob Iger & Kathleen Kennedy to make their content MORE woke!"

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His acquisition and rebranding of Twitter as X have further amplified his public visibility, leading to increased scrutiny. Critics have expressed concerns about his decisions regarding X, such as mass layoffs and the removal of journalists from the platform.

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As the face of Tesla, Musk's actions outside the company can directly impact its reputation. Caliber's research found that 83% of Americans associate the billionaire with the EV manufacturer.

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Some Tesla owners have already voiced their intentions to abandon the brand due to Musk's behavior. Three Tesla owners told Business Insider that Musk's erratic online presence and political commentary have caused them to reconsider their relationship with the brand.

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Tesla, which did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Business Insider, is also grappling with problems beyond its CEO's public image. The company reported the delivery of approximately 387,000 vehicles in the first quarter of the year, marking the first year-on-year decline in nearly four years.

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