In yet another example of the way that Tesla seems content to forge its own unique path, rather than follow the precedents set by those before it, the company has made the rather interesting choice to cancel the Model X reservation of somewhat outspoken Tesla/Elon Musk critic.
The critic in question is Stewart Alsop. His blog post titled “Dear @ElonMusk: You should be ashamed of yourself” did the rounds late last September, following an unsatisfactory experience at the Model X unveiling. The crux of that article’s critique was primarily the seemingly unprofessional approach of CEO Elon Musk — the event began roughly an hour and a half late, as many will recall.
Speaking for myself, while some of the points made were sensible ones, the overall tone of the article did seem rather petty — like someone fishing for a response, or trying to push someone’s buttons.
It seems that Musk himself had a similar take — and took the article as a “personal attack,” according to a new article from Alsop (“Banned By Tesla!”). Here are some excerpts from that:
Dear @ElonMusk: Thank you for reaching out to me. I heard from our phone conversation that you feel that my post, “Dear @ElonMusk: You should be ashamed of yourself”, was a personal attack on you. I also hear that you are not comfortable having me own a Tesla car and have cancelled my order for a Tesla Model X.
…Anyway, the end result is that you have decided that I can’t own one of your cars, and I am terribly disappointed. I had outlined in the original post how excited I was at the prospect of owning a Tesla, especially the Model X and especially the configuration I ultimately ordered — the P90D in red with black leather seats and the Ludicrous Speed option.
I must also admit that I am a little taken aback to be banned by Tesla. When I wrote a blog post about my BMW X1 called “My Car Makes Me Feel Stoopid”, the CEO of BMW didn’t take the car back. And in the many articles and posts I have written criticizing products, companies and people, I have never been banned from doing business with any of the companies!
There’s more to the article of course, but you probably get the gist of it now.
I admit to feeling like I’m not getting the full story here — but you never do in these situations, do you? What do you think? Bad choice? Doesn’t matter? Why bother with customers who will give you bad press? Musk’s dictatorial tendencies are a good thing, and the key to the company’s success?
As a side note, according to “Johan” on the Tesla Motors Club forum, there’s currently a Norwegian who’s blacklisted as well. The situation in that case apparently is a bit more straightforward, though:
There’s also a Norwegian blacklisted. Apparently because Tesla thinks he has bought and sold too many Model S’s too quickly, pointing to the clause saying they won’t sell to people who they have good reason to believe is buying not to be the end user, but only to pass the car(s) on for profit.
I should add: This is one of the advantages of being production constrained. 🙂
That said it is a fine line to deny buyers.
(Tip of the hat here to “Auzie” on the Tesla Motors Club forum for sharing the story.)