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Customers Cancel Tesla Orders Over Elon Musk’s Ties to Trump

At least five Tesla customers who paid deposits on Models 3s told Buzzfeed on Monday that they have canceled their orders over CEO Elon Musk’s involvement in President Trump’s administration.

Musk has agreed to join two White House advisory groups, an economic advisory council as well as a manufacturing council.

On canceling her Model 3 order with her husband, Jodie Eason told BuzzFeed “I feel that someone that wants to colonize Mars and who worries about the machine uprising should not be scared to voice opinions counter to the Trump administration. We figured that speaking with our dollars is really the most effective way to get through to business people.”

Four other people confirmed with BuzzFeed that they canceled their reservations for the $35,000 Model 3. Each preorder required a refundable deposit of $1,000.

Bay Area software engineer Jenny Messerly canceled her pre-order over the weekend due to the Trump administration’s stance on LGBT issues. Messerly said in a statement to BuzzFeed, “While I would like to help fund technological progress to fight climate change, as an LGBT American, raw survival is now the main concern. Learning of Elon Musk’s relationship with Trump was the decisive factor for me.”

Nate Erickson, a self-described “huge fan of Elon Musk” put down his $1,000 deposit the first day Tesla began accepting them last spring. Erickson canceled his pre-order on Monday, after observing Musk’s response to Trump’s immigration ban.

In a statement to BuzzFeed, Erickson expressed disappointment in the CEO, “To see someone that I’ve always looked up to so much, give such a half-hearted, mealy-mouthed statement — it was really disappointing.”

“I understand what he’s trying to do. It’s just that I don’t really agree with it,” Erickson continued, “He’s somehow deluded himself into thinking that by having a seat at the table, he’ll actually be listened to.”

While Trump was campaigning, Musk told CNBC that he was “not the right guy” for the White House. Last week, Musk defended his advisory positions in an interview with Gizmodo, stating “the more voices of reason that the president hears, the better.”

“Simply attacking him will achieve nothing,” he explained, “Better that there are open channels of communication.”

A former Tesla customer in New York, granted anonymity because his company’s new media policy does not allow him to speak to the media, called Musk’s response to the immigration ban “rather disappointing.” The source, who put down a deposit for the Model 3, said “Stronger words came from Starbucks.”

Ahmet Yalcin, an international Tesla customer, canceled his two Model 3 orders due to Trump’s nationalistic statements and protectionism policies. “Especially, being a German, we have very bad associations with these attributes,” said Yalcin.

Yalcin credits his decision to cancel his order with Tesla as “a personal conflict created by their recent political activities and alliances which do not reflect company’s core values.”

According to CNBC, the waitlist for the Model 3 is approximately a year long. Volume production of the vehicle is scheduled for later this year.

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