Musk offers Tesla (TSLA) cybertruck design updates
Colorful Tesla, Inc. (TSLA) CEO Elon Musk has provided updates on the company’s cybertruck, which hit the market with a splash in 2019, hinting it could become a flop in the market.
On Twitter, Musk’s most popular social media platform, the CEO wrote that the car’s doors would have no handles. Instead, it would just recognize the owner and open the door. He also said the Tesla team plans to keep the same design that was shown at the 2019 launch. “Just a few small tweaks here and there to make it a little better,” he wrote.
When it first launched, the unconventional trapezoidal design and yoke of the truck in place of a steering wheel sparked confused reactions from analysts and Tesla observers. Toni Sacconaghi, Senior Technology Research Analyst at Bernstein, wrote that the Cybertruck was “weird … really weird”.
The central theses
- Tesla CEO Elon Musk tweeted that the company’s cybertruck could prove a failure due to its futuristic design.
- The fully electric pickup was already launched on the market with major advertising in November 2019.
- It will struggle with a market that is quickly becoming crowded with startups and established automakers.
The highlight of the opening event, however, was the smashing of the glass windows of a demo cybertruck by Tesla design manager Franz von Halzhausen with a metal ball. Musk had said the glass windows could withstand bullets from a 9mm pistol.
However, as with most Tesla products, the public invited the truck and immediately submitted the pre-order amounts of $ 100. Musk, who doesn’t shy away from free advertising, has touted the numbers at public events and on Twitter.
But his mood on Thursday was more cautious. He said there is a chance the all-electric truck may not be successful “because it is so different from everything else”. He wrote, “Other trucks look like copies of the same thing, but the Cybertruck looks like it was made by aliens from the future.” The truck is planned with a starting price of $ 39,900 for a rear-wheel drive (RWD) model start production this year.
A market dominated by established automobile manufacturers
According to Motor Intelligence sales data, pickup trucks accounted for 20.1% of total new vehicle sales last year. The market for pickup trucks is dominated by established automobile manufacturers. General Motors Company (GM) led the market with a 36.1% share of the total market, and Ford Motor Company (F) came in second with 33.8% market share.
As Tesla prepares to manufacture its truck, Ford is already racing past it to launch all-electric versions of its pickups. An all-electric version of the F-150, its best-selling gasoline-powered truck, was released earlier this year. General Motors also entered the market with its GMC Hummer EV, which is due to be delivered in 2023. Although it doesn’t have the unconventional design of Tesla’s vehicle, Ford’s all-electric truck has been well received by the market. A startup, Rivian, has also entered the all-electric pickup truck with the R1T, which delivers a range comparable to Tesla’s Cybertruck and also qualifies for a federal tax credit.
Given Tesla’s previous problems with releasing products on time and increasing competition, the success of its electric truck is far from given. But that’s nothing to worry about for Musk. “I don’t care,” he wrote on Twitter, referring to a possible failure of the electric truck. “I love it so much, even when others don’t.”