Over the last year, CEO Elon Musk has made headlines for a range of controversies. Still, the world’s leading EV maker, Tesla, may be reaping the consequences of Musk’s messy Twitter takeover and unfiltered online persona.
According to a new survey ranking of the U.S.’s most reputable brands, Tesla fell 50 spots to number 62 out of 100 companies on the list, putting it in the “good category” on the score guide.
Tesla’s drop comes as rival Ford jumped nine spots to land at number 32.
Meanwhile, respondents to the survey ranked Patagonia and Costco as the top two most trustworthy companies in the U.S. The companies had a more unfavorable impression of one of Musk’s businesses, rating Twitter at number 97, only three places better than the survey’s bottom-dweller, The Trump Organization.
According to the survey results, Tesla received “Fair” ratings regarding citizenship, trust, and character. It’s important to note that Tesla’s reputational ranking has been trending between “Excellent” and “Vey Good” since 2016.
From March 13 to March 28, 16,310 “nationally representative” Americans were questioned for the Axios Harris Poll 100. The initial step of the procedure entails “surveying the public’s top-of-mind awareness of companies that either excel or falter in society.”
Survey respondents are asked which two companies, in their opinion, stand out with the best reputation and the two that have the worst reputation.
The responses were gathered to reveal the businesses with the greatest visibility. The top 100 companies were rated on nine criteria, including character, trajectory, and trust.
Most of the focus on Tesla CEO Musk has been on his management of Twitter, which he acquired for $44 billion last October. This has alarmed some Tesla investors who believe Musk is overcommitted and distracted by his other businesses.
On April, 17 Tesla shareholders wrote an open letter to board members Ira Ehrenpreis and Robyn Denholm, saying, “The Board enabled the CEO to be overcommitted when the firm faced severe issues. If a chief executive seems preoccupied with other projects or seems distracted, corporate boards can and should step in.”
Customers who were outraged about the EV company lowering the costs for certain of its models have also criticized the company, claiming they felt “cheated” and “taken advantage of.” According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, a problem with its Full Self-Driving software forced Tesla to recall more than 362,000 of its vehicles earlier this year. This problem “increases the risk of a crash” and might make the vehicle “act unsafe around intersections,” according to the NHTSA.
Ultimately, the top-ranked automotive company on the Axios Harris Poll 100 was Toyota, ranking sixth among the 100 most visible brands. Tesla was outperformed by Honda, Subaru, BMW, Ford, General Motors, and Volkswagen.