Tesla Motors: Has voice, will use it
Some controversy this week after Tesla Motors and the New York Times locked horns over the performance of the car manufacturer’s Model S. NY Times journo John Broder claims the car conked out short of its projected range. Tesla says that hooey. A war of the words has ensued.
Regardless of the ins and outs of the argument, what’s interesting is the way Tesla has dealt with the incident in the social sphere. First up, they published a very open, honest blog post that examined Broder’s claims in detail and corrected where they felt was necessary, dumping a whole load of supporting data on the argument.
Then they took to Facebook and Twitter, splashing their post around and inviting feedback. While the main @TeslaMotors account was fairly diplomatic, Tesla co-founder @elonmusk took a more tactical and aggressive approach, openly refuting Broder’s claims, retweeting praise for his brand, cavorting with NY Times naysayers and generally indicating that he was having none of this nonsense.
Then, the pièce de résistance, NY Times media rival CNN involved, asking to test drive the car. CNN reported no complaints and gave it the thumbs up. Meanwhile, Tesla’s Facebook page is overflowing with positive anecdotes from Model S drivers, and the general media is having a field day reporting on the dispute.
What’s happening at Broder’s end? Oh…
(Check out the date of his last tweet before all this kicked off).
Broder’s NY Times follow-up is long-winded and full of counter-arguments, smacking squarely of the lady doth protesting too much. This is a playground saga where Broder has attempted to take on the bigger boys but has quickly found them to be too popular and great in number. Why? Because Tesla has a strong social media voice and has leveraged it effectively in its time of need.