Tesla Takes Consumer Sentiment on Wild Ride with Latest Projected Launch

Tesla has taken consumer sentiment on a wild ride this past year, from its electric vehicle dominance and space launches to Elon’s tweets and mysteriously named child, this is a brand name everyone knows. And now, less controversial but still wily (as it’s been done without NHTSA approval), we see the projected launch of Tesla’s Yoke Steering Wheel.

How is this news – all of this news – resonating with stockholders, potential car buyers and competition? Let’s find out!


We are exploring all things Tesla as we go, including:

  • Controversy around Tesla’s Yoke
  • The consumer sentiment connection to Tesla’s Tweets
  • A crowded room full of EV technology

And here’s what we know about Tesla this past year, it:

  • Delivered 180K vehicles quarterly
  • Had 31.5 billion in revenue in 2020
  • Produced a self-driving car that had only one accident for every 4.59 million miles driven (where autopilot was used)

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Tesla’s Model S Powertrain Overshadowed by Yoke

Tesla has been peeling back layer after layer of new and enticing tech in the EV space, winning business resulting in 180K vehicle deliveries quarterly. And although Tesla updates features on their vehicles every day, it’s not the newer/sleeker features people are talking about, nor the extended charge its powertrain has. It’s also not the nearly 10 teraflops of processing power the new in-cabin touchscreen has. It’s the steering wheel, or as it’s being called, the yoke. And consumers are having fun with it:


#teslasteeringwheel hashtag on Instagram

Like taking a seat in the Batmobile, this “wheel” features a rectangular look, which has people wondering whether you can make tight turns with it, forget hand-over-hand method.

Market research has the skinny on all things Tesla. Here our market intelligence tool has pulled intel from blogs, news sources and articles from around the world on this ground-breaking vehicle. And we can see other electric vehicles entering the arena to challenge the brand in the EV space, such as Nikola and Lucid Air.


Here, we can see other car companies listed as part of the Tesla conversation, and how often each is mentioned in context:


From here, we have many avenues to explore. We can see there’s a small amount of negative sentiment swirling around these industry leaders, but that is often revealing intel in itself. Digging in further, in October 2020 we see Tesla’s battery test experiencing less than flattering results. And then both the Yoke steering wheel and its stock price elicit some negative press in January 2021:


And we can drill down to see where these conversations are happening, sorting our bar chart by “source.” We see deforestation, lawsuits, competitor chatter and, of course, some steering yoke talk too:


That’s the media viewpoint though. What do consumers have to say?

Capturing the Consumer Voice

Sometimes news and consumer opinions can be at odds with one another, or they may be aligned, but with just enough difference in perception that it changes the sentiment around a brand entirely. That’s where having an analytics tool for social media comes in handy. And Netbase News is perfect for this sort of comparison:


As an example, above we see that Tesla is talked about more on social, than its reported by the media. And both are pretty impressed! On a scale from -100 to 100, it rates well over 50 (the brand average demonstrating good standing) in both news and social.

Brand perception is critical to understanding on all fronts, including how these sentiments change over time.

Tesla Tweets Tied to Sentiment

No doubt 2020 was a wild ride for Tesla. They managed to bring in $31.5b in revenue. And 2020 was a wild ride for Elon Musk as well, with the baby-name debacle and move to Texas. And his tweets have kept all of us on the edge of our seat with excitement, wonderment and sometimes confusion.

Interestingly, the most Tesla mentions over the past three months happened when Elon posted about Bitcoin on 1/28 and again on 2/8. Each with different associated sentiment though, as it seems stock market investors are less than amused by the richest man in the world apparently manipulating stock prices via tweet:



Isolating for mentions about the “Yoke” improve sentiment a good bit:


And when we explore the associated Emotions and Buying Behaviors, Tesla’s Yoke appears to be a hit with potential buyers:


And what else can we expect the EV of the future to look like, beyond this weird steering wheel? Exploring the EV universe beyond Elon Musk is helpful there. Specifically, a Patents search of the space . . .

Competition in the EV Space

Flying cars? Built-in Cappuccino maker? Self-driving vehicle, anyone? Tesla has it already and the testing is going well with only one accident for every 4.59 million miles driven when drivers had autopilot engaged. This invention feels like sci-fi but it’s a taste of where driving is headed. Turns out we may not be too far from the era of the Jetsons after all…

Market research reveals emerging market insights when we look at patents filed from the past year. They are segmented by category. We see telescoping doors, advanced wireless capabilities and charging capability innovations taken up the three largest buckets.


And if we wanted to focus specifically on advances around power sources, we can see what percentage of the conversation these innovations inhabit. We can also see how they connect by exploring individual nodes, which each represent a patent:


For example, here’s one for a water-cooled hydrogen fuel cell, along with who, when and where this patent was filed. There are also links to related patents to explore:


From anti-theft frames to braking systems and navigation, there’s a lot to be explored in the EV patents space. And what you find may inspire your for your next product idea, or a complementary service once its operational.

Whatever you are dabbling in, dabble no longer – get real results with market intelligence. Reach out for a demo!

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