For the first time ever Tesla’s consumer approval rating has fallen into the negative category. The EV maker has had the highest brand loyalty for years. With its almost rabid-like fans of the cars, the company, and its CEO Elon Musk sing its praises. Even quality issues and continually falling short of new model delivery dates haven’t hampered its reputation to the public. But not anymore.
How much has the Tesla approval rating fallen?
According to brand researchers, YouGov, which tracks things like, Tesla’s approval rating sank in just a few months this year. From a high of 6.7 percent in May, it is now at negative-1.4 percent. That’s a downturn of consumers’ positive opinions of more than eight points in just a few months. YouGov has been tracking the company’s approval rating since 2016.
The elephant in the room is Musk. His tweets against liberals have raised interesting debates as most EV buyers tend to be in that category. So the debate is over why Musk won’t just keep his opinions of the political bent of his customers to himself. But his incendiary comments belie pragmatic business acumen, whether you agree or disagree with him.
Have other company approvals dropped as much as Tesla’s?
“Self-described liberals now view Tesla more negatively than conservatives, though conservatives also have a negative view of the brand on average,” says The Wall Street Journal. And YouGov says other automakers have retained their approval ratings in 2022.
Researchers at Morning Consult also add that just since October, favorability ratings of those who identify as Democrats fell 10.4 percent. “It seems like Tesla is on its way to becoming a partisan brand,” Jordan Marlatt, a tech analyst at Morning Consult, told the WSJ.
And there are other factors chipping away at Tesla’s rep. Those investigations by both the feds and securities regulators of its autonomous driving technology and one. The Tesla Autopilot system inquiry looks at whether Musk misled consumers and the feds about its capabilities.
Is Elon Musk the problem?
Tesla is also losing market share as the legacy and startup companies begin unleashing their plethora of products. Its share of the EV market has sunk from 71 percent earlier this year to 61 percent now. That figure will continue to get smaller.
And much of these occurrences are reflected in Tesla’s stock price. It tanked 50 percent in 2022. That’s 20 percent more than the overall drop in the Nasdaq index.
It appears that with Elon Musk being so closely associated with Tesla, his tweets are now toxic to the brand. It’s not our problem, nor should it be yours, unless you’re one of those who has seen their Tesla stock value cut in half. Maybe all of you can convince Musk that silence is, literally in this case, golden.