Musk’s anti-lockdown rant could be a stroke of genius

World

Musk’s anti-lockdown rant could be a stroke of genius

His ‘Free America Now’ plugs into the middle America zeitgeist, a move potentially worth its weight in gold for Tesla

Robin Pagnamenta

It was a pithy response that summed up the feelings of millions. When Elon Musk issued a Twitter threat to move Tesla’s car production away from California last week, despite receiving billions of dollars of state support, local assembly member Lorena Gonzalez took to the billionaire’s favourite social media platform herself to respond: “Fuck Elon Musk.”

Either way, whether his hardball tactics to force the reopening of his factory in Fremont were justified or represented a selfish public health risk, they did serve another purpose. In a few keystrokes on his smartphone, Musk’s flurry of Tweets to “Free America now” and brand stay-at-home orders designed to curb the spread of Covid-19 as “fascist”, have placed him as an impromptu leader of a swelling grassroots movement to reopen America’s economy.

In the long term, that could turn out to be a piece of marketing genius that could be worth its weight in gold for Tesla...

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