Tesla bull: some consumers will have to settle for inferior cars because they dislike Elon Musk

Longtime Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) bull Ross Gerber of Gerber Kawasaki recently shared his thoughts on the electric vehicle maker’s challenges and CEO Elon Musk. During an interview with Yahoo Finance, Gerber, who has adopted a more critical stance on Tesla as of late, noted that the EV maker could see some risk to its sales because of Musk’s behavior. 

That being said, Gerber also stated that Tesla makes the best cars on the road today. This means that some consumers may end up settling for an inferior electric car because of their dislike of the Tesla CEO. Some consumers, however, would likely simply buy a Tesla because the company makes good cars. 

“I think if Musk’s behavior continues to get more and more extreme, that is a risk to Tesla sales. But the bottom line… it’s the best vehicle on the road. It’s the best value on the road, so consumers literally have to buy a lesser car because they don’t like Elon. And so I don’t know if consumers are going to do that or not. I know certain consumers are for sure. But there might be many others that just simply want the best car,” Gerber said. 

The longtime Tesla bull did give credit to Tesla for seemingly separating itself from Musk in social media. In the past, it was quite difficult to distinguish which are Musk’s and which are Tesla’s statements on X. As of late, however, Tesla has been posting more actively on its official X account, at times even responding and correcting negative media reports directly. This, Gerber noted, could result in Musk’s potential damage to the Tesla brand being reduced. 

“Tesla is Tesla and Elon is Elon. And I think the best thing Tesla can do is continue to differentiate its brand, you know, as Tesla. If you notice on Twitter, Tesla’s been tweeting more as Tesla. They’ve been defending themselves more. We’ve seen more attempts at advertising. And I think if Tesla goes full in on advertising and continues to build its brand, Elon’s effect will be less and less damaging to Tesla overall,” Gerber said. 

Inasmuch as Musk’s alleged damage to the Tesla brand has caught the news cycles, a study from Heatmap suggests that car buyers who are considering EVs do not really factor in Elon Musk that much in their purchase decision. As per Heatmap, in the weeks leading up to Musk’s recent round of controversies, 27% percent of its respondents stated that Musk’s behavior made them less likely to pick a Tesla. This was an improvement from February, when the number was 36%. 

Watch Ross Gerber’s Yahoo Finance interview below. 

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