The Cybertruck is Riskier for Tesla and Elon Musk Than You Realize
The Tesla Cybertruck Is The Definition of Taking a Chanceby Robert Moore, on
What more can we say about the Tesla Cybertruck that hasn’t already been said? It’s awesome, it’s ugly, it’s interesting, it will work, it won’t work – we’ve said and heard it all. But, there’s something that you haven’t heard quite yet, and that’s the cold hard fact that neither Tesla nor Elon Musk did any market research before designing and developing the Cybertruck. This is about as risky as it gets for an automaker, and it’s probably a big reason why models like the Mercedes X-Class just couldn’t cut the mustard.
Tesla’s Fallback Plan for the Cybertruck is So Expected That It’s Disappointing
The common process that automakers follow in introducing a new model always starts with market research. They must consider things like (and among others):
- Is there demand for such a vehicle?
- Can we build it within a budget?
- Will said vehicle sell within that budget?
- Risk factor
- Investments and costs
Tesla, however, marches to the beat of an entirely different drummer, and that much has been made painfully obvious in his recent interview published on Automotive News. In this interview, Musk eluded to the fact that neither he nor Tesla did any customer research.
“Customer research? We just made a car we thought was awesome and looks super weird. I just wanted to make a futuristic battle tank — something that looks like it could come out of Blade Runner or Aliens or something like that but was also highly functional.”
With that in mind, someone at Tesla obviously had a backup plan, right? After all, the time, effort, and money put into designing such an oddball vehicle didn’t just come out of thin air. Well, there is a backup plan of sorts, but not what you think. In fact, if the Cybertruck turns out to be a complete flop, Tesla will just scrap the project altogether and do something different but uncharacteristically common.
“[I] Wasn't super worried about that because if it turns out nobody wants to buy a weird-looking truck, we'll build a normal truck, no problem. There's lots of normal trucks out there that look pretty much the same; you can hardly tell the difference. And sure, we could just do some copycat truck; that's easy. So that's our fallback strategy. “
So, should everyone back out of their reservations or something doesn’t workout otherwise, the Cybertruck will become an interesting piece of company history while something that looks more like a Chevy Sivlerado, Ford F-150, or Ram 1500 will prevail with a Tesla badge, some cool LEDs, and a massive infotainment display. Of course, when you factor in the base reservations totaling somewhere in the range of $200,000, there’s a good chance that the truck won’t flop. Then again, all of those reservations were made with a small and refundable $100 deposit. On top of this, Musk didn’t hesitate to point out that the Cybertruck isn’t aimed at the typical truck buyer or any specific buyer for that matter.
Tesla expects to launch and start delivering the Cybertruck sometime in 2021, and a lot can change between now and then, including the design, so we’ll just have to wait and see what happens.
|Single-motor RWD||Dual-motor AWD||Tri-motor AWD|
|Horsepower:||>400 HP||690 HP||800 HP|
|Torque:||TBA||824 LB-FT||1,000 LB-FT|
|Range:||250+ miles||300+ miles||500+ miles|
|0-60 mph:||6.5 seconds||4.5 seconds||2.9 seconds|
|Top Speed:||110 mph||120 mph||130 mph|
|Payload Capacity:||3,500 pounds||3,500 pounds||3,500 pounds|
|Towing Capacity:||7,500 pounds||10,000 pounds||14,000 pounds|
|Truck Bed||6.5 feet|
|Approach Angle||35 degrees|
|Departure Angle||28 degrees|
|Ground Clearance||Up to 16 inches|
Source: Automotive News