Elon Musk Admits Tesla Cybertruck Could Be A Flop. Says He Doesn’t Care.
On July 15, Tim Healey, writing in The Truth About Cars, offered this opinion. “I’ve been thinking this for quite some time — since the unveiling, really — and the more I see the truck in the news, the more I think it might be Tesla’s first true flop as a model. It looks like a one-off Hot Wheels toy come to life. You know the kind — those weird little toy cars that looked as if they’d be impossible to produce.”
Well, that’s not going to make the Tesla fanboys too happy, is it? All we have to say on the subject is, opinions are like noses. Everybody has one.
Healey goes on to say, “I still remember the launch in November 2019. It took place on the back end of press days for the Los Angeles Auto Show. We weren’t invited, and that’s fine — I was at dinner with another OEM anyway the night before driving one of that company’s prototypes.
“During a lull in conversation at Spago in Beverly Hills, we journalists started checking our phones to see what Tesla was showing. The reaction among the assembled media and PR folks was less than enthused. It sure seemed like it wouldn’t be able to do what trucks are supposed to do, at least not well. It does have a bed and lockable storage, and the claimed towing numbers are impressive, but it seems like the Rivian, Ford F-150 Lightning, and the upcoming GMC Hummer will be more usable as trucks.” Naturally, Elon had something to say about Healey’s opinion piece.
To be frank, there is always some chance that Cybertruck will flop, because it is so unlike anything else.
I don’t care. I love it so much even if others don’t.
Other trucks look like copies of the same thing, but Cybertruck looks like it was made by aliens from the future.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) July 15, 2021
Musk is not wrong. GM, Ford, Dodge, and to some extent Toyota and Nissan have all tried their best to capture whatever the essence of pickup-truckness is that causes Americans to run out and buy them like lemmings following each other over a cliff. Each has a distinctive grille meant to intimidate other drivers as much as possible. Every year, those grilles get higher, wider, and more aggressive looking, which seems to bring more customers into their showrooms.
The Cybertruck, quite obviously, is not playing that game, which may turn out to be its greatest strength. But Honda’s experience could have a lesson for Tesla. Early models of its Ridgeline pickup truck had flying buttresses along the sides of the load bed. Sales were dismal. The current version of the Ridgeline does away with those sail panels and sales have perked up nicely. Nevertheless, Tesla may have over 1 million reservations for the Cybertruck already.
The not yet released electric Hummer has already had an effect on the Cybertruck. People are in awe of the Hummer’s 4 wheel steering that allows it to crab-walk sideways. Tesla has already announced the Cybertruck will also have 4 wheel steering available when it goes on sale. Competition really does improve the breed. But the rest of the design has changed little since the Cybertruck was unveiled, including the absence of door mirrors.
In end, we kept production design almost exactly same as show car. Just some small tweaks here & there to make it slightly better.
No door handles. Car recognizes you & opens door.
Having all four wheels steer is amazing for nimble handling & tight turns!
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) July 15, 2021
Naturally, Musk tweets and the TTAC’s story have created quite a stir on the EV subreddit forum, where many question whether the Cybertruck, with its angular front end, will meet pedestrian safety regulations. On the subject of looks, here’s a sampling of the 300 comments so far:
“I liked it when they introduced it, I still like it now. I’m not getting one for two reasons: It won’t fit in my garage. My partner hates how it looks and said she wouldn’t want to ride in it. But even though it’s weird looking, something about it appeals to me.” Victheone
“I think it’s more different than ‘ugly.’ It’s the differentness that doesn’t appeal to many people. But it’s the differentness that appeals to others. It does at least look strong, hard to argue with that. Whether it’s as strong as it appears is anyone’s guess, but ultimately it doesn’t really matter. It definitely grows on you; I liked it less initially, but once I got over the shock then it’s not so bad. It doesn’t sit quietly. If someone wants attention they will defiantly get it in one of these, which tells me it won’t be an outright flop. I think it looks decent tbh.” GlobalShutter
“Ford and GM both have more practical, durable and good looking EV trucks coming out in the next year or two. Not to mention that spares you from having to buy anything made by that bastard Elon Musk.” Sozialismus1917
“Frankly it could be uglier and I’d still buy it. I like the stainless steel. I like the big FU to the gas guzzling pickup world. I like the locked vault and the power and the big visibility out the front and the range. It’s gonna be great.” randamm
Your opinion may vary. See dealer for details!