US President Trump’s executive order to ban people from some specific primarily Muslim countries is having a significant backlash across the world.
The ban itself is directly affecting a lot of people, but in some cases, people’s reactions to the executive order are indirectly impacting companies. For example, Uber has been hit by an unsubscription campaign because of its CEO’s link to the Trump administration and the fact that its drivers didn’t comply to a call to halt pick-ups at John F Kennedy International Airport in protestation against the ban.
It looks like Tesla is also being the target of a similar – though apparently less significant – effort after comments made by CEO Elon Musk about Trump’s executive order.
Unlike Uber, voicing your disapproval of the company is not as simple as removing an app from your phone, but there are still ways to affect them directly.
Tesla has over 400,000 Model 3 reservation holders who each placed a $1,000 deposit to get a place in line when the vehicle enters production later this year.
Some of those reservation holders are now claiming that they are canceling their pre-orders following Musk’s comments on the executive order. Images of the cancellation form for Model 3 reservations, like this one below, have been circulating on social media:
Like Uber CEO Travis Kalanick, Musk is on President Trump’s Strategic and Policy Forum and he has been getting closer to the administration ever since the election. He met directly with the President on a few occasions and he also joined President Trump’s new manufacturing council last week.
What is particularly interesting is that Musk actually voiced his disapproval of the new executive order – though apparently not strongly enough for some people.
He took to Twitter over the weekend to say that it is “not the best way to address the country’s challenges”:
Later, he even crowdsourced possible amendments to the order that he said he would present to the advisory council and the President:
Some of Musk’s fans have been turning against him over the past few weeks and since his rapprochement with the Trump administration. Bloomberg’s Tom Randall published a collection of comments made by supporters yesterday that suggests an even stronger divide since his comments on immigration.
Last week, Musk admitted that the negative response since his rapprochement with the administration is “getting him down”:
Tesla’s CEO says that he is simply trying to keep the communication channels open and push his ideas. He even reportedly tried to push for a carbon tax in a recent meeting with Trump:
“This is something we need to strive for and the more voices of reason that the President hears, the better. Simply attacking him will achieve nothing. Are you aware of a single case where Trump bowed to protests or media attacks? Better that there are open channels of communication.”
Either way, it’s doubtful that a cancellation movement would gain enough momentum to dent Tesla’s backlog for the Model 3. Currently, the first full year of production is virtually sold out. A few cancellations would actually be welcomed by other reservation holders further back in line.
Tesla is expected to start production of the upcoming $35,000 all-electric sedan in mid-2017 and hit volume production toward the end of the year.