The Tesla Cybertruck Is The Definition of Taking a Chance

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 Cybertruck is Riskier for Tesla and Elon Musk Than You Realize Exterior
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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
The Cybertruck is Riskier for Tesla and Elon Musk Than You Realize Exterior
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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.”
The Cybertruck is Riskier for Tesla and Elon Musk Than You Realize Exterior
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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. “
The Cybertruck is Riskier for Tesla and Elon Musk Than You Realize
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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.

The Cybertruck is Riskier for Tesla and Elon Musk Than You Realize Exterior
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2021 Tesla Cybertruck specifications
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
Price $39,900 $49,900 $69,900
Tesla Cybertruck exterior dimensions
Length 231.7 inches
Width 79.8 inches
Height 75 inches
Truck Bed 6.5 feet
Approach Angle 35 degrees
Departure Angle 28 degrees
Ground Clearance Up to 16 inches

Source: Automotive News

Robert Moore
Editor-in-Chief and Automotive Expert - robert@topsped.com
Robert has been an auto enthusiast his entire life. He started working cars at a young age, learning the basics from his father in the home garage on the weekends. As time went on, Robert became more and more interested in cars and convinced his father to teach him how to drive when he was just 13 years old. Robert continued working on cars in his free time and learned as much as he could about engines, transmissions, and car electrical systems, something that only fed his curiosity more and eventually led him to earn a bachelors degree in automotive technology with a primary focus on engine performance and transmission rebuilding.  Read More
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