Elon Musk has Lost His Damn Mind

December 27, 2022

In the last day, Elon Musk has been promoting a truly demented twitter thread by a Russian official predicting revolution, destruction and mass death in the United States in 2023.
Meanwhile, Tesla stock continues an epic tumble.

On one hand, making me feel better about not owning the stock.
On the other hand, has me wonderng,who is going to play him in the movie? (make suggestions below)

Farhad Manjoo in the New York Times:

Not long ago, Tesla’s electric vehicles were far and away the best on the market. If you wanted a stylish, long-range, easy-to-charge and feature-packed E.V., Elon Musk would be your most likely supplier — even if you hated his guts.

But not anymore. In the past year I test drove many fantastic new E.V.s that hit the market in 2021 and 2022 — cheap ones, expensive ones, big ones, small ones, strange ones, boring ones. Ford’s F-150 Lightning, the electric version of the longtime best-selling vehicle in America, and its Mustang were terrific inside and out, nicely designed, roomy and fun to drive. The Kia EV-6’s striking, futuristic exterior had strangers stopping me to ask what cool ride I was driving. There are also great models by Chevy, Mercedes and Rivian. Although I liked the Teslas I drove (the uber-expensive Model S Plaid, which can go from 0 to 60 m.p.h. in about two seconds, was terrific fun), the truth is that many of the best electric wheels on the market today are not made by Musk.

The new competition makes Musk’s recent role as the town crier for the red-pilled online right especially puzzling and, for his car company, perilous. His chaotic and polarizing tenure as Twitter’s chief executive — during which he’s embraced far-right tropesabout gender and journalism and public health and generally behaved like a rich bully on a power trip — already seems to be battering Tesla’s brand. The Wall Street Journal reported last month on a survey by Morning Consult showing that perceptions of Tesla have been falling steadily since May, shortly after Musk began his bid for Twitter; between October and November, the period when Musk took ownership of Twitter, sentiment among Democrats toward Tesla plummeted, while favorability among Republicans rose slightly.

“He’s talking people out of buying cars that they want to buy,” Ross Gerber, the C.E.O. of Gerber Kawasaki Wealth and Investment Management, told me.

Ann Marie Squeo in Fast Company:

To think a Tesla is just a car is to not understand the power of a strong brand and how quickly that loyalty is wiped out with consistently contrary behavior.

Elon Musk’s new supporters on Twitter and elsewhere have two things in common: They don’t drive Teslas, and they never will. They’re hardwired for gas-powered vehicles, and many don’t even believe in climate change. While Musk panders to this group, he is losing an increasing number of customers who helped build the Tesla empire that allowed him to make this wrong-headed acquisition, and that includes me.

I didn’t buy a new car in September 2020. I bought a set of beliefs that manifested itself in a sleek red Model Y. Picking it up after the first big surge of COVID gave me an exciting reason to leave the house, even if just to drive this fast, curb-hugging machine with an amazing sound system. Now, the car sadly has become a physical manifestation of my disgust, and I’m embarrassed to drive it. 

On Twitter, you see some of Musk’s new fans mocking people like me, chiding that we didn’t buy a car because of the CEO’s political ideology. But that just demonstrates how little they (and apparently Musk) understand the power of this unique brand and its associated beliefs. As former Ford CEO Mark Fields said in a CNBC interview in January 2020, “They’ve created a very iconic brand for electrification. He’s done a very good job with his organization of creating an aspirational brand for electric vehicles . . . beyond being just an automotive maker.”

brand is a living contract of sorts. It tells people who you are and what to expect from you. Companies, and even people, spend years and tens of millions of dollars building their brands in a consistent and reliable way that drives upside. Working inside such companies, a lot of attention is spent on protecting the brand and staying true to it. It’s worth noting that in Tesla’s case, the company’s brand grew strong without spending a dime on traditional advertising. Instead, they tapped into growing concerns about climate change, personal carbon footprints, and a desire to topple outdated power structures.

Of course, most of us didn’t buy the car because of one person; Musk has behaved erratically for years, sometimes amusingly, other times terribly. But those moments passedquickly, and the Tesla value structure remained intact. Many of us were proud to be part of a progressive group pioneering an entirely new auto industry, moving beyond a century-plus framework to one that put consumers in control. Tesla forged a new way of driving, much like Netflix launched a new way to view entertainment, so we put up with any shortcomings of the cars, and EVs generally, to be part of the movement.


9 Responses to “Elon Musk has Lost His Damn Mind”

  1. Ron Benenati Says:

    Mike Myers

  2. Anthony O'Brien Says:

    As much as the US looks like it wants to tear itself apart, Russia is going down that track far faster. Another billionaire has slipped and fallen from a height. https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2022/12/27/india-probing-wealthy-russian-politicians-fall-to-death-at-hotel. Criticise the war he did.

  3. gmrmt Says:

    Tesla still makes the majority of EV’s in the world and make the most profit per car. Competitors are making good cars but in small numbers and with higher prices than predicted so Tesla still has a lead if they can take advantage of it.
    Musk is finished though. get new leadership in that can concentrate on the things that need doing.
    Keep the pressure on new manufacturing capacity, keep improving quality and keep developing the model A (everyone else is working on their equivalent).
    I don’t see this being done consistently under Musk who I think has become bored with it all.

    • rhymeswithgoalie Says:

      For Q3 2022, BYD had a 19.7% world market share of plug-ins compared to Tesla’s 12.6%, based on brand, in part because they also offer hybrids.

      I do look forward to getting a good quality EV that is smaller (and has a lower curb weight) than my 2022 Leaf, since I’m a city driver who hasn’t had more than one passenger in many years.

  4. greenman3610 Says:

    starting to wonder if the Tesla Board can find their balls and fire or remove Musk, the fundamentals of Tesla are still good, and might give people a chance to buy in at bargain prices.

  5. redskylite Says:

    I see some irony in this thoughtless Tweet exchange, suddenly in my lifetime, with the event of “instant” news, technology and communication, serious news and things that are important to our lives, have been substituted for ad-hoc keyboard comments.

    Musk insists he was only joking, and he has such awful, crass, bad taste he surely was, just as Jeremy Clarkson says he was joking about Prince Harry’s wife, Megan, being paraded naked in the street for shit to be flung at her.

    Have we descended so low, to include this as news, to be incensed by utter trivialities and mood swings from people who should know better.

    No wonder we can’t dig ourselves out of the real hole we have dug for ourselves.
    Musk get yourself a PR man and shut up and run Tesla.


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