It looks like Elon Musk's decision to join U.S. President Donald Trump's economic advisory group may be affecting Tesla Motors' vehicle sales.
Following the move, several Tesla enthusiasts have canceled their reservations for the Model 3 sedan. These cancelations are not widespread yet but they do pose the question on how political affiliations can severely affect businesses.
Before Donald Trump's election, Musk had indicated that he was against the former being elected as the President of the country.
"He doesn't seem to have the sort of character that reflects well on the United States," Musk had said in an interview.
However, after being elected as POTUS, Trump appointed Musk to serve on his Strategic and Policy Forum and the business magnate readily accepted the post. This move may have rubbed people the wrong way and possibly led to the sudden cancelations of their reservations for the Model 3.
Irate people took to Twitter to voice their thoughts and share that they have canceled the reservation for the sedan.
Reconsider working for this person. https://t.co/yFghApTQxv
— Thomas H. Ptáček (@tqbf) 30 January 2017
The Model 3 reservation has a $1000 refundable deposit and is Tesla's first mid-priced sedan which is all-electric. Tesla will begin production of the sedan later this year.
How Many People Have Canceled?
It is currently unclear just how many people have canceled their reservations due to Musk's association with President Trump. Tesla has nearly a year long backlog for preorders of the car.
That people are canceling their reservations owing to the association is an assumption. Musk's association with President Trump potentially having a huge impact on Tesla's revenue is based on speculations alone. Therefore, it is understandable that the company has not come out with an official statement or commented on the Model 3 cancelations.
However, it must also be mentioned that Musk has voiced concern and in a sense criticized President Trump's executive order to restrict immigration from seven Muslim majority countries. This suggests that Musk is not afraid of letting his opinions be known even if they differ from those of POTUS.
Currently, Tesla Motors and Elon Musk do not seem to be worried about these cancelations as they cannot be categorized as widespread. However, it brings to the forefront similar issues that other businesses may also face in the coming months.
Discrimination due to Musk's political preferences may indicate an underlying issue the whole country is facing due to people's differing opinions, views and political affiliations.
There is no definite answer as to how these issues will be resolved or when, but only time will tell if Musk's involvement with the President could impact not only sales, but also the brand image he has been able to create so far.
Photo: Sam Felder | Flickr