A picture of a bumper sticker that mocks Elon Musk is again making the rounds on social media.
A Reddit post about the sticker sparked a debate on whether Tesla can be separated from its CEO.
Despite some concerns about Musk's behavior, Tesla delivered a record number of EVs last quarter.
A picture of a Tesla bumper sticker that pokes fun at CEO Elon Musk has been making the rounds on social media — and it's yet again stirring up a debate on whether the EV owners can truly separate the brand from Musk's persona.
In the picture that was posted on the "me_irl" subreddit, a Model Y is shown with a bumper sticker that says: "I bought this before we knew Elon was crazy." The post generated more than a thousand comments. The photo also has appeared in other Reddit threads.
It's unclear where the apparent bumper sticker originated, or whether there's more than one. There's a chance the image could even be computer-generated or otherwise manipulated. But whatever the case, the sentiment is triggering discussion. The Reddit users that posted the photo didn't respond to a request for comment from Insider. Tesla also didn't respond.
Several Redditors mocked the idea of avoiding Tesla because of Musk's controversial reputation, which has taken a negative turn for some since he purchased Twitter.
Over the past two years, Musk has gone on a series of political rants — sparring with President Joe Biden on Twitter, expressing anti-transgender sentiment, and calling Democrats the party of "division & hate," to name a few. Most recently, the billionaire threatened to sue the Anti-Defamation League on Monday, claiming the group was "trying to kill" his social media site after the ADL documented a rise in hate speech on X after Musk acquired the company in October.
As for the reaction to the bumper sticker, one user said people need to stop tying Musk so closely to Tesla. "It's idiotic," the user posted on a thread with a photo of the bumper sticker. "Elon is the CEO, but it's not like he single-handedly built the car. People need to stop trying to find their identity in corporations."
Another user joked that they'd have to start checking to see what the Starbucks CEO said every morning before buying their daily coffee if they followed this logic.
"If I made my purchases based on how much I liked the CEO of the company that made it, I would probably have a lot more money and own very little," another user posted on a thread of the photo.
Meanwhile, some Redditors said they have indeed been turned off to buying a Tesla because of Musk.
"I've been following Tesla since they were blogging about the OG Roadster development in impressive detail," one Redditor wrote. "I'm actually car shopping right now and had always thought I'd get a Tesla one day, but after his insanity the last few years I just can't support that."
Earlier this year, a Bloomberg survey of more than 5,000 Tesla Model 3 owners found that many of the Tesla owners had concerns about Musk's online presence and some of his controversial opinions. Still, many of the owners were very positive about the car itself, Bloomberg reported.
Meanwhile, earlier this year, a handful of Tesla owners told Insider's Tim Levin they'd ditched Tesla over Musk's antics. And last year, CNN reported that some drivers had backed out of buying a Tesla due to Musk's political views.
"I don't want Tesla cars to become the new MAGA hat," one Tesla driver who was considering canceling a second order, told CNN at the time. "I don't want to be seen as a rich jerk, and I don't want to be seen as a political conservative, libertarian free speech warrior."
But sales also speak for themselves: Tesla continues to dominate the EV market in the US and sales for the EVs have continued to surge amid a series of price cuts. The carmaker delivered a record number of vehicles last quarter.
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