PlayThe Rolls-Royce Boat Tail may be the most expensive new car everPlay3 common new car problems (and how to prevent them) | Maintenance Advice | Driving.caPlayFinal 5 Minivan Contenders | Driving.caPlay2021 Volvo XC90 Recharge | Ministry of Interior Affairs | Driving.caPlayThe 2022 Ford F-150 Lightning is a new take on Canada’s fave truck | Driving.caPlayBuying a used Toyota Tundra? Check these 5 things first | Used Truck Advice | Driving.caPlayCanada’s most efficient trucks in 2021 | Driving.caPlay3 ways to make night driving safer and more comfortable | Advice | Driving.caPlayDriving into the Future: Sustainability and Innovation in tomorrow’s cars | Driving.ca virtual panelPlayThese spy shots get us an early glimpse of some future models | Driving.ca SHARE STORY See More Videos Behnia agrees it’s critical for him to step away. “I think it’s important to the brand that I not be involved,” he said July 1. “This way you know all the great people who have worked with Petrolicious can continue to do so. As those and similar posts were shared among larger circles, they began to disturb a larger audience. As a result of the ensuing controversy, Behnia has said he is stepping down from his role as CEO and has put the company up for sale. “We have been in talks with a number of potential buyers and investors for the last 12 months,” Behnia told Bloomberg July 1. “But this has certainly pushed it over the edge.” Trending Videos The Rolls-Royce Boat Tail may be the most expensive new car ever https://www.instagram.com/p/CCCkvXJFD1B/?utm_source=ig_embed“Do unborn black lives matter?” a June 13 post read on Behnia’s private Facebook page, which was then circulated widely on social media. Another called the Black Lives Matter movement “domestic terrorism.” Posts about Muhammad Ali and Rosa Parks were labeled with Facebook’s “False Information” graphic, which suggests readers search elsewhere for accurate reporting.On June 30, Behnia published a statement on the Petrolicous Instagram page defending his “nature and values” and noting that his Iranian heritage has made him “no stranger to racism.” But he acknowledged that the posts hurt his company image.“I absolutely realize that my poorly worded post was also divisive and did not acknowledge the good people of the [BLM] movement and their positive contributions,” he wrote. “I’m truly sorry for that. I’m sorry to have let down our fans, and I hope to be able to re-earn your trust.”RELATEDFord CEO resists employees’ push to end sales of police vehiclesThese 7 auto-related companies are making moves to support BLM The fall-out has cost Petrolicious sponsors and supporters, financial and otherwise. Turtle Wax, a longtime sponsor, has announced it will sever all ties with the brand and told its social-media influencer pool to avoid cross-contamination of the brands. Ditto eBay Motors. A spokesman for Hagerty, which sponsored drives and purchased advertising, said the company will no longer be working with Petrolicious. A spokesperson for Chopard, a regular advertiser, declined to comment.A spokesman from Porsche, while noting in an emailed comment that the automaker does not currently have any advertisements with Petrolicious in the United States, said, “We’ve read the comments attributed to Afshin Behnia and strongly believe there is no place in our society for racial discrimination.” In 2017 and 2018, Porsche financed multiple marketing campaigns shot and produced by Petrolicious employees.More than a dozen former fans and brand members reached by Bloomberg have cancelled their Petrolicious subscriptions or officially disassociated with the brand, which counts 746,000 Instagram followers and 831,000 YouTube followers.Hundreds more comments on the Instagram post announcing his departure note their disapproval and disappointment with the brand, including some saying they’ll “not follow” Petrolicious any more. There are also many commenters in the same thread who voice support for Behnia and decry the “cancel culture” of today’s internet.https://www.instagram.com/p/CCd4C1XgtPh/?utm_source=ig_embedMultiple parties are in the process of bidding to buy the company he founded in 2013, Behnia said, though he declined to name which ones. He had contemplated selling his passion project for the past year, but the events of the past week have “pushed it over the edge,” he said. Bloomberg spoke to the founder of a similar luxury lifestyle brand which at one point had been in talks to purchase Petrolicious—but who has since reconsidered as a result of the fallout from Behnia’s posts.Certainly, Behnia retains friends and supporters; aside from the hundreds of comments on social media, he said he has received many direct messages from people who say they agree with him.Under new ownership, the brand will have to work to overcome the negative impression built by Behnia’s public posts, say current and former employees. COMMENTSSHARE YOUR THOUGHTS Car aficionados close to Afshin Behnia have long known the founder and CEO of the classic car enthusiast website Petrolicious often posted messages on his personal Facebook account brandishing the #MAGA2020 hashtag, describing “lefties” as “monsters,” and advocating bullets for “liberals.”But over the past month, Behnia’s musings grew more aggressive as the Black Lives Matter movement progressed nationally, and what was were once viewed as provocative but harmless comments among friends and insiders began to take a darker turn. RELATED TAGSFlexClassic CarsNews We encourage all readers to share their views on our articles using Facebook commenting Visit our FAQ page for more information. On July 10, he made the move official with an announcement on the Petrolicious Instagram account. “Today I have decided that it is in the best interest of Petrolicious, our fans, and its future clients, for me to step down and let new owners carry Petrolicious forward,” Behnia wrote.