The Cybertruck has been unveiled and it’s probably the wildest thing Elon Musk has ever presented. Tesla’s latest project is a combination of bizarre styling and bulletproof brawn.
Say what you like about Elon Musk and his company Tesla, but the man knows how to put on a show.
The futuristic red-lit laser show opening for his new all-electric truck was an homage to the future complete with a hologram cyber girl. The billionaire provided his usual staccato introduction, before unveiling the most bizarre looking thing in Tesla history.
Musk had warned us that the Cybertruck might not be to everyone’s taste, and he was right. The boxy Lotus Esprit from the James Bond film, the “Spy Who Loved Me” was the inspiration, and the new Tesla looked like a panel for panel copy.
Even the gathered faithful laughed incredulously at Musk’s base price of $39,000, before he unveiled a far sleeker-looking ATV.
In launching the Cybertruck, Elon Musk has several clear goals. Firstly, he is trying to lay the groundwork for Tesla’s foray into one of the most lucrative (and competitive) US automobile markets.
Secondly, in creating a light truck, he likely hopes to capture the imagination of consumers in states where Tesla ownership remains low, and the pick up is a status symbol.
This was even more obvious as plenty of the show was dedicated to showing how strong the Cybertruck is. Musk had employees hit it with a sledgehammer, before demonstrating it was bulletproof to a 9mm handgun.
Sadly, the test to show how strong the “Armour Glass” is failed spectacularly as the metal ball did break the glass, prompting an f-bomb from Musk and hurting his “built tough” jabs at Ford throughout.
This will be an increasingly crowded space, as plenty of major and minor companies alike are plotting a fully electric truck. Ford’s Mustang Mach E has garnered a lot of headlines, and while it’s launch was close to Tesla’s Cybertruck showcase, it is more directly a challenger for the upcoming Model Y SUV. Musk’s subtle mocking of Ford escalated in the show with a tug of war against an F-150, before beating a Porsche 911 in a drag race.
There is no question that the Cybertruck will stand-out from this crowded field like a monstrous ugly duckling, and that’s exactly what Elon needs to make it work.
Finally, and perhaps most obviously, Musk uses these demonstrations to create hype and interest in Tesla, which helps sell his vision for the future to investors, and distract from some of the company’s less glamorous gross margin issues.
Recently announcing a new Gigafactory to be built in Germany, Elon Musk’s attempts to scale the company are in full swing.
Watching the Cybertruck roll out in Los Angeles amid squeals of delight from the audience, it’s easy to forget that Tesla has yet to make delivery of its promised Model Y (expected Summer 2020), with the updated roadster not being released until after the Y’s launch is underway. Don’t forget that next year is also supposed to feature the Tesla Semi truck as well.
So is the Tesla’s newest vision a legitimate project or just an outlandish diversion from the company’s more pressing issues? It’s certainly a legitimate “concept,” and that’s what makes the “official truck of Mars” such a marvelous distraction.
This is Musk at his most insane but also his most brilliant. He needed his truck to standout from the F-150/Silverado crowd and he’s done precisely that. Now to the small matter of actually building the thing.