Having lost 70% of its value in the last year, Tesla’s stock sees some gains in early 2023. But the same cannot be said for the brand image of the leading electric vehicle maker, as it loses consumer preference amid Elon Musk’s chaotic takeover of Twitter, according to a new survey.
Currently only 13.4 percent of American adults view Tesla positively, compared with 16 percent the previous month and 28.4 percent in January 2022, according to data from The Morning Consult Brand Intelligence survey. This is a drop of 15%.
Tesla’s decline is driven by its loss of popularity among people who identify as Democrats. Only 3% of these adults have a positive view of Musk’s company, in line with 10,3% in December 2022. This is something to emphasize, given Musk’s erratic comments on twitter and Tesla investors ‘ concern that he places too much importance on the social networking platform.
During the last year, Musk has expressed partisan political views-a practice typically avoided by CEOs of large corporations – explicitly encouraging Americans to vote Republican instead of Democrat during the recent midterm elections and expressing support for Florida’s Republican governor Ron DeSantis as a potential presidential candidate.
During his tenure as Twitter CEO, in addition to cutting thousands of jobs and losing major advertisers, he loosened guidelines aimed at preventing false information about vaccines and the coronavirus, and welcomed back controversial public figures, including former President Donald Trump and individuals and accounts such as Michael Flynn, a former national security adviser, linked to the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol, as well as with conspiracy theories about the results of the 2020 election.
That prompted some Tesla owners to announce on Twitter that they are getting rid of their vehicles and would-be customers to cancel scheduled purchases.
“Because of the recent revelation of Elon Musk’s political views-which I detest – I’m starting to worry about what kind of political statement the car is. Will people see me as a symbol of right-wing climate activism, a living oxymoron?
“Musk has turned Twitter into an uncontrollable playground for neo-Nazis and other random hate traffickers and crazy QAnon fans, embraced everything Trumpian, and responded feebly to Kanye West’s outrageous flirtation with Hitler.”
The Morning Consult investigation did not explicitly identify Musk’s behavior as a reason for the dip in Tesla’s brand image. But its recent report measuring U.S. adults ‘ views of CEOs found that preference toward Musk fell to 9 points in November 2022 from 16 points a year earlier and from 22 points in February 2021.
The company’s stock has rallied more than 14% so far this year. On Thursday it had a slight change on the Nasdaq, closing with a rise of less than 1% to $ 123.56.