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Elon Musk holds quarterly “investor day” calls to talk about the future of Tesla. A call earlier this year backfired when his investors demanded to know if the backlash against his actions, such as buying Twitter and attempting “political influencing” using the platform, has hurt vehicle sales.

Elon Musk’s controversial use of Twitter

A screenshot of Elon Musk's twitter profile.
Elon Musk’s Twitter profile | Chesnot/Getty Images

At the end of October 2022, Elon Musk bought Twitter for $44 billion. He immediately fired many employees and restructured the company.

He reinstated accounts for some canceled celebrities and thousands of users suspended for racism, harassment, and misinformation. At the same time, he removed the New York Times’ verification, calling its feed “diarrhea.” He made other companies and celebrities pay a $1,000/month fee to keep their blue checkmark.

But Elon Musk did not stop at restructuring Twitter. He used his personal account to suggest Ukraine cede control of Crimea to Russia. He also Tweeted that his factory workers would “give up stock options” if they voted to unionize before a judge ordered him to take down the illegal, intimidating message–according to Teslarati.

Tesla investors are worried about Musk’s actions hurting sales

A dock full of Tesla Model Y EVs being exported for sale in China, a boat visible in the background.
Tesla Model Y | Shen Chunchen/VCG via Getty Images

According to Vanity Fair, Elon Musk’s actions could be responsible for Tesla’s 70% stock value nosedive. The publication cited one famous media personality who owns a Tesla, saying that after the CEO’s latest actions, “I found myself not wanting to be associated with anything related to Musk.”

Tesla has 27% of its dealership in the historically liberal state of California. So Vanity Fair’s assertion that “Musk’s antics on Twitter seemed to quickly sour Democrats’ feelings about Tesla,” was understandably concerning for businesspeople invested in the automaker’s success.

According to the BBC, one investor put the question directly to Elon Musk. During January 2023’s quarterly investor call, the CEO was asked if his “political influencing” on Twitter was damaging the Tesla brand.

Musk feels his Twitter actions are “driving demand” for Teslas

Elon Musk dressed in a Tuxedo, the met gala dinner behind him.
Elon Musk | Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for The Met Museum/Vogue

Musk quickly told his investors, “I think Twitter is actually an incredibly powerful tool for driving demand for Tesla.” The CEO feels other companies should be following his lead:

“I would really encourage companies out there of all kinds, automotive or otherwise, to make more use of Twitter and to use their Twitter accounts in ways that are interesting and informative, entertaining, and it will help them drive sales just as it has with Tesla.”

Elon Musk

Musk added that his 127 million follower count on Twitter “suggests that I’m reasonably popular.”

In the past, Musk has told Tesla’s investors that his only mission is to increase production because the demand for his vehicles is nearly “infinite.” This could be why he doesn’t bother with traditional advertising or even having a media relations team. But in January’s investor call, Elon Musk also announced that he would be slashing the MSRP of several Tesla models. When asked about why he said, “Price really matters.”