Heard of Elon Musk?

Sure, you have. But would you base your purchasing decisions on your respect/admiration/belief/enthusiasm for him?

Most say no.

According to a survey from research firm Escalent, the Tesla product itself is far more appealing to the customer than the company’s high-profile CEO.

Most people simply like the cars.

In a story from Car and Driver, an Escalent vice president said Musk is on the bad side of the pros and cons ledger when it comes to consumer behavior.

“In fact,” Mike Dovorany said, “among respondents who are shopping for or already own an EV (electric vehicle) — Tesla or otherwise — Elon Musk is among the top (negatives in) their consideration of the brand.”

Let’s take a step back. Who are these Musk non-believers? Some two dozen or so critics who don’t like his occasional spotlight-seeking persona? 

Nope. 

The research from Escalent, conducted as part of its “EVForward” program, drew from a national sample of 1003 respondents between Dec. 21, 2020, and Feb. 19, 2021. Respondents were 100 Tesla owners, 100 owners of other electric vehicles, and 803 drivers who do not currently own EVs. 

The results revealed these folks – EV owners and those who said they intend to buy an electric car within five years – appreciate Tesla vehicles.

They like the styling, performance and acceleration.

And Musk? Too much activity on Twitter, but overall, non-Tesla owners believe his contributions outweighed those negatives.

So, how about owners of Tesla vehicles? They see Musk as not so much a detriment to the brand, but he’s not helping.

One response said Musk is “a genius, but an outspoken, obnoxious one.”

Belief in the company is paramount, and Musk will have to content himself with that for now.

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