Elon Musk didn’t drive away Tesla buyers, at least before his latest big blunder

A new survey shows that Elon Musk isn’t driving away Tesla buyers with his Twitter drama, but that was right before his latest and biggest blunder.

Ever since his acquisition of Twitter, Elon Musk seems to be getting into one controversy after another. There have been some serious concerns about his drama negatively affecting Tesla’s sales.

This summer, a survey of 5,000 Tesla owners showed that the No. 1 reason owners were walking away from the brand was “disapproval of Musk.” It added to the frustration of Tesla fans and shareholders after the CEO started to not only spend less time on the electric automaker but also seemed to affect it negatively purely on reputation.

But now Heatmap posted a new independent survey of 1,000 Americans that shows that Musk still has a positive impact on Tesla buyers and it is improving:

In the weeks leading up to Elon Musk’s latest round of controversies, 27% percent of Americans who reported wanting to buy an EV in the future said that the billionaire’s behavior made them less likely to pick a Tesla, down from 36% who said the same in February. On the other hand, 35% of prospective EV buyers said that Musk had made them more likely to purchase a Tesla — a reversal of the results from the last time Heatmap took Americans’ temperature on the controversial CEO, when more people were put off by Musk’s behavior than swayed by him.

You are likely going to see a lot of reporting on this survey today:

But the most important thing to note is that the survey was conducted right before Musk’s latest and biggest blunder: agreeing with an antisemitic tweet, which led to an advertiser exodus and a lot of negative media attention.

If the survey were conducted a week later, the results would likely be very different.

Electrek’s Take

The sentiment on Elon is likely changing fast depending on how big his latest controversy is, and I think the timing of that survey is very convenient for him. I hope his fans won’t use it to try to disprove the clear negative impact he has had on the Tesla brand lately.

The previous survey of 5,000 Tesla owners is likely much more representative of the impact on the brand. As you can see on the new survey, “no impact” is still the biggest answer, but Tesla owners are more likely to follow the situation more closely, and more of them are now saying that they won’t be buying another Tesla.

It’s a problem.

Tesla has so far been enjoying extremely strong customer loyalty, and the most recent survey shows Elon has negatively affected that, even if not so much in the wider population, at least until the latest controversy.

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