Tesla Sales Falling: Are Elon Musk’s Antics to Blame for It?

| Updated on 5 April 2024

For the first time after the pandemic year, 2020, Tesla posted an annual drop in sales. This is due to the increase in electric vehicle competition from Chinese and Western automakers. 

The company reported that it built 433,000 vehicles but delivered only 387,000. Last year in the same quarter, Tesla sold 484, 507 vehicles. 

The competition from Chinese and Western automakers is eating into the demand for Tesla. They responded by cutting down the prices of their vehicles. While Tesla is more profitable than traditional car makers, they’ve been cutting down profit margins that helped boost the stocks. Investors are not happy with the way Elon Musk is dealing with the competition. 

Again, Tesla shares fell 5% on Monday. The company has lost more than a third of its value this year. 

One investor spoke at length about why Tesla shares are performing this way. Ross Gerber, the chief executive of the investment management firm Gerber Kawasaki wrote on X, “Basically, Tesla can’t sell its cars due to Elon’s behavior.” “Let’s stop blaming the Houthi rebels or German environmental terrorists. Or a recession that never came. Or interest rates. Only one person is responsible for this.”

He appeared to pin the blame on Musk’s antics on the X that has damaged the brand. Musk responded in his style saying, “Gerber is an idiot, who can’t even tell he’s an idiot.” Elon also pointed out the sales figures of Chinese EV makers, BYD, saying everyone is having a tough time this year. 

Elon Musk’s personality has a cult following that comes with a responsibility. Some experts believe that Elon Musk’s behavior on X is affecting Tesla sales, especially in the US, the biggest market for the EV manufacturer. 

Gaurav Pal

Tech Journalist

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