A survey of Tesla owners shows that sentiment over Elon "Pedo Guy" Musk's performative management of his various companies is the largest factor in retaining their business. People who don't want to be associated with the free speech absolutist, or have to discuss him every time someone finds out they drive an Elon Mobile, are far less likely to buy another Tesla than a QAnon-loving wingnut who loves Xeeting on X.
But a notable minority say they're done with Tesla, potentially costing the company not only repeat business, but also some of the word-of-mouth goodwill that helped establish the brand. Model 3 owners who sold off their Teslas in the last few years cited disapproval of the CEO as the most frequent motivation.
Maybe Musk has made the calculation that a shift in sentiment among Republicans will offset any rise in dissatisfaction from his early customer base. At this point, there's more room for market expansion in Texas than in California, where Teslas already crowd the streets.
Whatever the case, there's probably never been an automotive CEO whose personal brand was so closely entwined with vehicle demand.
"I'd prefer he not be so tied to the image of Tesla. I don't want my car to be an Elon Musk conversation starter."