This week, Bloomberg released the results of its study of 5,000 Tesla Model 3 owners. Bloomberg’s study included an analysis of why some Model 3 owners sold their cars and switched to other brands. The study found that the top factor influencing this decision was customer disapproval of Tesla CEO Elon Musk.
21.5 percent of respondents stated that Musk’s leadership led them to choose a different car for their next purchase. Another 18.7 percent of respondents mentioned concerns about the Model 3’s quality or Tesla’s customer service. Additionally, 17.8 percent of the participants cited their dissatisfaction with Tesla’s brand.
Bloomberg attributes Musk’s unpopularity to his controversial comments on hot-button issues since his 2022 takeover of Twitter. The falling popularity of Musk is the biggest change that Bloomberg noted relative to its 2019 survey of Model 3 owners. Model 3 owners now have an even lower opinion of Musk than they do of Tesla’s notoriously unreliable customer service department.
One survey respondent said, “I love the vehicles but do not want to support someone who has such vitriol and a low opinion of the very people who have made Tesla a success.”
Another common sentiment was a desire for Musk to be less tied to the identity of Tesla. Many Model 3 owners were concerned about their cars becoming the source of contentious conversations.
However, although some Model 3 owners are leaving Tesla, the majority of survey respondents were content with their purchases. Around 75 percent of respondents who were thinking about buying a new car in the next two years said they were considering buying another Tesla. Among the upcoming Tesla models, the Cybertruck was the most popular choice, followed by the Model Y and the Model 3.
The survey also indicated a clear link between owners’ opinions of Elon Musk and their willingness to stick with the Tesla brand. Of those who had a positive view of Musk, almost all (96 percent) expressed their intention to buy another Tesla vehicle. Conversely, 91 percent of respondents who wouldn’t buy another Tesla held unfavorable opinions about the CEO.
In short, although Elon Musk’s personality has cost Tesla some business, Tesla is maintaining its status as the king of the EV market.