Sergio Rodrigueznever imagined that saying nice things about his new Ford Mustang Mach-E would spark “death threats” from Tesla owners on social media.
But we are in 2021, after all. No one seems too surprised.
What started this series of social media fights was a tweet on Saturday from Jace Craft-Miller, who picked up his first edition Carbonized Gray MustangMach-E on March 29.
The 29-year-old sales project manager from Cleveland, Ohio tweeted: “All these Tesla fanbois are telling us how much they hate Mach-E … blah blah.”
And Rodriguez, who was featured in the free pressat the beginning of March, he replied: “I received them by message of death threats on my joy with the Mach-E.”
Rodriguez, 41, a U.S. Army veteran who has toured Iraq twice and specializes in explosive ordnance disposal, is now a military contractor living in Saint Marys, Georgia.
The excitement among Ford and Tesla owners reflects the intensity surrounding a growing all-electric market dominated by Tesla. CEO Elon Musk is widely recognized as an innovative leader who has helped transform the public perception of vehicles.
As a result, Tesla has been a Wall Street darling with a market value that exceeds all automotive competitors combined. Cars, which drivers compare to spaceships, are particularly popular in California and China.
The Mach-E has been described as Tesla’s first serious competitor in terms of sleek design, speed, and handling.
Reading the threats from Tesla fans, Rodriguez said he didn’t think about taking screenshots before reporting the content to Facebook and Twitter.
“As the messages were coming in, I was just punching the report,” the Free Press told the Free Press on Saturday.
Rodriguez was so unstable at 11:30 p.m. one evening that he reached out to Mike Levine, product communications manager for Ford of North America, who had himself been the target of fierce and fierce criticism online after defending Mach-owners. E on Twitter.
During this time, the messages submitted for review appear to have been deleted.
Rodriguez said he was particularly alarmed by comments on the private Tesla Owners Worldwide Facebook page, which had 87,500 members on Saturday. One member had published an article about his favorable criticism of Mach-E and it sparked a torrent of what he perceived to be disturbing attacks.
“One was, like, ‘I hope the car loses control and crashes. “Or ‘The car is going to catch fire when you drive it,’” he said. “I took that as a threat. For you to have some kind of ill will towards anyone, why would you say that? Then someone sent me a private message: ‘You’re full of shit and I know what your Tesla looks like. If I see it, “That private Facebook post was more threatening.”
Someone on Tesla’s Facebook grouped Rodriguez, warning him of his comments.
“Before I knew it, about 65% of the comments just belittled me,” he said. “Part of me wants to get rid of my Tesla just so I don’t have the association. A couple here and there, okay. But people are commenting and saying filthy things.” Are you letting big oil buy you? “and” How much do people pay you? “If that’s what’s associated with owning Tesla, why do I want to be in that group? It’s not cool.”
Responding to Saturday’s death threat tweet, Levine replied, “I’m sorry to hear this. Horrifying. Hope you reported them.”
A request for comment from Tesla on Sunday was not immediately responded to.
How it started
Rodriguezflew in San Diego, Calif. To pick up his new SUV and drive it across the country to the East Coast in February. With the a2020Tesla Model X in his garage, the electric vehicle advocate was curious to see how top all-electric vehicles stack up. He shot the video and posted it on YouTube. He has been active on social media, engaging with auto aficionados.
This displeased Tesla fans.
“Some Tesla owners are fanatics of the brand and Elon Musk,” said veteran analyst John McElroy, host of “Autoline After Hours”. “In their mind, they are on a messianic mission to save the planet. Anyone who is not with them is against them.”
Tesla fans have insisted that Ford has to pay ordinary people to post nice things on social media about the Mach-E, which has won a number of accolades, including North American Utility of the Year 2021prize in January, selected by around fifty international jurors.
When Karl Brauer, executive analyst at the car listing site iSeeCars.com, learned of the comments directed at Rodriguez, he said, “Why am I not surprised?”
“I’d like to think of this as a very small minority of fanatic Tesla owners,” Brauer said. “It’s hard to believe this is a real risk to the owners of Mach-E, but unfortunately we live in a world where any threat of violence must be taken seriously.”
The auto industry has had vicious conflicts between brands in the past, Brauer said.
“There are stories of Japanese car owners in the Detroit area facing the same problem in the 70s and 80s. This speaks to the evolution of the industry when a Ford owner can face any kind of problem. threat to the United States, “he said. . “No one is threatening an opponent who is seen as a non-problem.”
The aggressive response is telling, Brauer said. “If Tesla owners try to be courageous and confident in the presence of a rival, they are doing it wrong.”
While Morgan Stanley analyst Adam Jonas wrote in March, “MustangMach-ESteals MajorTeslaSales,” Tesla is still considered the world leader in all-electric vehicles.
Tesla was founded in 2003. Ford was founded in 1903.
Tesla stock on Friday closed at $ 667.93 per share with a market value of $ 635 billion. Ford stock closed at $ 12.75 per share with a market value of $ 47.56 billion. By comparison, Crosstown’s rival General Motors closed at $ 57.46 with a market value of $ 83.28 billion.
What Mach-E is proposing that Tesla is not offering, Ford CEO Jim Farley said in November: “For me, the Mach-E is the first real competitor with Tesla. He’s got some Detroit swagger. “
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