Elon Musk’s Twitter Is Full of People Swearing Off Tesla

The Twitter chatter of Ford Chief Executive Officer Jim Farley is good vibes only: factory photos, race tracks, corporate boosterism and a lot of retweets of Ford customers gushing about their vehicles. It’s all cars, and it’s all anodyne.

Elon Musk, among Farley’s chief rivals, has taken a decidedly different tack. Since the Tesla CEO also became CEO of Twitter at the end of October, he has dismissed or scared away almost 5,000 Twitter employees (and asked some to return), declared that the social media site may slide into bankruptcy, alienated many of its advertisers, botched a product rollout that allowed brand impostors to proliferate on the site, mocked a US senator, told his followers to vote Republican and invited former US President Donald Trump back onto the platform. All the while, he’s tweeted a play-by-play of the saga alongside a steady stream of lewd memes and score-settling burns — many aimed at his new employees.

This belligerent and erratic performance in his new role as “chief Twit” has raised Musk’s already stratospheric public profile to new heights. If Twitter is a global town square, Musk has transitioned overnight from one of its loudest orators to equal parts mayor and sheriff, with the potential to irritate far beyond the echo chamber of his 118 million followers. For owners and potential buyers of Tesla cars, it has become all but impossible to find neutral ground on the controversies that surround Musk.

Tesla’s lead in the EV market is unquestionably strong — particularly in the US, where the carmaker has steadily sold more vehicles over the course of this year. But there are some signs that the lead is starting to slip. Tesla’s share of new US EV sales dipped to 64% in the third quarter from 75% in year earlier period, according to estimates from Cox Automotive.