• By The Financial District

Tesla Brand Threatened By Claim vs Musk, Criticism Of Democrats

Elon Musk has made a name for himself and Tesla by breaking the rules, but his latest comments on politics and a claim of sexual harassment against him that he said is untrue may hurt the brand in the eyes of some car owners and employees, Hyunjoo Jin and Paul Lienert reported for Reuters.

Photo Insert: #BoycottTesla was trending on Twitter on Friday and several people claimed they were canceling their car orders.

Musk on Thursday (Friday, May 21, in Manila) denied a report by Business Insider that he sexually harassed a flight attendant on a private jet in 2016, calling the person who made the claim a liar.

The previous day, the Tesla chief executive, in the midst of a contentious effort to buy Twitter Inc., said he would now vote Republican instead of Democrat and called the Democrats a "party of division and hate."

Tesla also was cut this week from the widely followed S&P 500 ESG Index, which an index executive said was due to issues including claims of racial discrimination within the company and crashes linked to its vehicles.

Musk responded by calling such ratings around environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues a "scam," and questioned how the index could drop an electric car firm while adding oil and gas producers. Tesla could not immediately be reached to comment.

All the news: Business man in suit and tie smiling and reading a newspaper near the financial district.

While Musk has made attention-grabbing headlines before - once calling one critic a "pedo guy" on Twitter - the latest controversies again raise the question of whether his outspokenness will tarnish his likeability. And - since Musk is so closely tied to Tesla - whether that will hurt the carmaker's sales, especially in California.

The left-leaning state is Tesla's largest market, accounting for nearly 40% of the company's US retail registrations last year, according to Experian data. Tesla sales in California were up almost 70% in the year and it had a 6.5% share of all vehicles in the state, according to the California New Car Dealers Association.

Government & politics: Politicians, government officials and delegates standing in front of their country flags in a political event in the financial district.

#BoycottTesla was trending on Twitter on Friday and several people claimed they were canceling their car orders.

"In the past, I admired him for working to build a green business that's transformational in energy use. But he is sadly becoming divisive as an attention-seeking troll and I no longer trust that he is dedicated to the quality of his products. I will cancel my Tesla order," said J Yeh, a Twitter user who describes herself as a lawyer who has lived in several cities including Los Angeles.

Business: Business men in suite and tie in a work meeting in the office located in the financial district.

"You lost a potential customer," a Twitter user named Ute Bauer from Germany said, adding in German: "To anyone reading this, cancel your orders."

Taylor Ogan, CEO of Snow Bull Capital, which owns Tesla shares, said "it's just disappointing when that is tainted by Elon Musk's antics. Elon Musk is the best thing for Tesla and the worst thing for Tesla."

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