Customers Cancel Tesla Model 3 Reservations On Musk-Trump Bonhomie

President Donald Trump’s executive order banning the entry of refugees from seven primarily Muslim countries has sparked outrage across the United States. The ban directly affects thousands of people. But it is also indirectly affecting a few companies. Tesla CEO Elon Musk, who was a Trump critic before the Presidential elections, has been inching closer to President Trump. And it has not gone down well with some customers who had pre-ordered Tesla’s Model 3 mass-market electric vehicle.

Musk is an adviser to Donald Trump

Tesla has received more than 400,000 pre-orders for its Model 3 car that will enter mass production later this year. Customers paid a $1,000 deposit for reservations. Now Electrek reports that some of the reservation holders have been canceling their orders after Elon Musk’s comments on the executive order. Ever since Trump’s election, Musk has been getting closer to the administration.

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Musk serves on President Trump’s Strategic & Policy Forum. Last week, he also joined the President’s new manufacturing council. Though the Tesla CEO has disapproved Donald Trump’s executive order, he has not been as strong as some expected. Musk recently tweeted that the blanket entry ban was “not the best way to address the country’s challenges.”

Elon Musk also wrote on Twitter that there was “no possibility of retraction.” However, the executive order could be modified. He also tried to crowdsource potential amendments that he promised to present to the advisory council and the President. Musk, who has a cult following, has seen some of his fans turning against him over the last few weeks.

It is unclear how many customers have canceled their Model 3 reservations. But the numbers are unlikely to be large enough to make a dent in Tesla’s huge Model 3 backlog. The Tesla founder is one of the leading advocates of clean energy. So, it came as a surprise when he endorsed the former ExxonMobil chief executive Rex Tillerson as Secretary of State.

Tesla, SpaceX rely heavily on the US government

In November 2016, Elon Musk said in an interview with CNBC that Donald Trump was “not the right guy” for the job of the President of the United States. He added that the real estate baron’s character wouldn’t reflect well on the United States. His bonhomie with Donald Trump could be because of the fact that Musk’s Tesla and SpaceX rely heavily on the US government for many things including the Department of Energy loan guarantees and multi-billion-dollar contracts with NASA.

Tesla is not the only company facing the backlash. Taxi-hailing service provider Uber is facing a #DeleteUber campaign due to its CEO Travis Kalanick’s links with the Trump administration. Just like Elon Musk, Kalanick sits on Trump’s Strategic & Policy Forum. The outrage against Uber intensified when its drivers declined to halt pickups at the John F Kennedy Airport to protest the ban.