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Elon Musk’s reputation is falling — and it’s taking Tesla with it

Elon Musk gives a thumbs-up while smiley faces melt in the background
Studies show that consumers associated Tesla with Musk, which might be damaging the EV brand’s bottom line. | Illustration by Kristen Radtke / The Verge; Getty Images

Elon Musk’s controversial behavior in recent years is “very likely” to be a contributing factor in Tesla’s declining sales, according to corporate reputation tracking firm Caliber.

Survey data reported by Reuters found that Tesla’s “consideration score” — a metric used by Caliber to track consumer interest in brands, based on how they respond to the prompt “I would buy, or continue buying, products and services from Tesla, if given the chance” — has fallen to 31 percent from its 70 percent high in November 2021, tumbling by 8 percent alone this January. Caliber’s consideration scores for rival EV-producing manufacturers Audi, BMW, and Mercedes, meanwhile, increased slightly during the same period, reaching between 44–47 percent.

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