By on July 15, 2021

Tesla

Tesla’s Cybertruck is in the news again, thanks to some (on paper) comparisons between it and the Rivian R1T and news about a deal with Samsung for cameras for the truck.

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.

We report critically on Tesla a lot around here, as we should — our job as journalists is to tell the truth and not cheerlead for any one company. This sometimes pisses off the Tesla stans, but it’s how the press is supposed to operate, and Telsa does plenty of things that deserve critical reporting. Some of what the company does also generates negative opinions from the pundit side of things.

But the flipside of that is that it’s also true that Tesla’s cars have generally been considered popular, and not just among the Tesla die-hards. It’s not hard to see why — though the company has all sorts of quality and service headaches, the cars themselves look good and have helped make EVs seem cool.

The Cybertruck, however, is a different story.

tesla

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.

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.

I did try to give Tesla the benefit of the doubt. Maybe I’d change my mind. After all, Tesla took a risk with the design, and that’s to be commended. And some of those weird Hot Wheels were really cool! I wasn’t even sure if I found the truck ugly.

But 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.

There will be those who buy the truck because they like its looks, or because they are Tesla fans, or because they want a future collectible, or whatever. And they won’t care if you think the Cybertruck is ugly, or if it can’t do “truck things” as well as Rivian or Lightning or Hummer can.

That said, I think once the initial wave of enthusiasm dies down, the Cybertruck will be outshone by the competition. Ram has an EV on the way, too, don’t forget. So that means the Detroit Three — who know trucks and how to sell them — will all have EVs available within the next few years. And Rivian’s truck also seems, on paper, to be more conventional — and more useful in terms of utility.

Update: Since this article went live, a few folks on Twitter have reminded me about the 1 million reservations for Cybertruck. I am aware of that number, but a) reservations don’t translate into sales and b) as I pointed out above, the truck might sell well off the bat. It could still end up being a flop even if sales are initially strong.

I could be wrong. That’s the danger of making a prediction. Somewhere out there exists a record of my NFL predictions from my time as a co-sports-editor of my college newspaper, and if I’d actually bet the games based on my picks, I’d be washing dishes at a casino right now.

That said, I think the Cybertruck just won’t sell well, and Tesla will soon find itself working on a more conventional electric pickup.

One that likely will move units en masse.

[Image: Tesla]

Get the latest TTAC e-Newsletter!

98 Comments on “Opinion: Tesla’s Cybertruck Will Be Company’s First Flop...”


  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    Could be right, although the Model X is arguably the company’s first flop due to low sales figures and the notoriously unreliable falcon doors. Even Mr Musk is sorry about those.

    If the CT had shipped in late 2020 or early 2021, it would have grabbed the spotlight. But the conventional-looking electric trucks showing up soon have certainly resulted in many CT cancellations.

    I can’t get around the Cybertruck’s looks; Model 3s are just beginning to blend in, but the CT never will. That’s not my style.

    Driving a Cybertruck will be a true test of loyalty to the brand.

    • 0 avatar
      Scoutdude

      I’d say the X qualifies as a flop too.

      • 0 avatar
        sckid213

        There are TONs around me here in Los Angeles. They are so ungainly and ugly, and often the trim between the Falcon doors and the rest of the body is HORRIBLY mis-aligned.

      • 0 avatar
        hifi

        You’re way off. The X sells incredibly well. Better than the Model S.

        • 0 avatar
          SCE to AUX

          @hifi:

          I had to look it up, but the Model S has sold about 19% more units than the X from 2016-20, but the X is selling better lately.

          Of course, neither is close to the Model 3, which outsold the S and X by 9 or 10:1. But that’s according to plan.

          Personally, I like the X a lot. But it doesn’t work for my budget, my garage, or my needs.

    • 0 avatar
      Novatecho

      I think you’ve got it backwards. As other companies release their electric trucks, people are going to shop and do comparison of specs. As they realize that Tesla’s Cybertruck outperforms the competition and at a lower price point, they are going to BOOST sales of Cybertruck, not steal them. Tesla will benefit from the advertising of its competitors because the specs will speak for themselves.

    • 0 avatar
      perdit

      What are the criteria for being a flop?
      Models S/X delivered 57k (produced 55k)in 2020. Can’t find any numbers from Tesla about the X specifically.
      By comparison with true model s/x competitors 2020:
      toyota landcruiser ~3k
      porsche NA: all cars 57k
      lexus LX <5k.

  • avatar
    ajla

    Anecdotally, normie buzz around the Cybertruck is actually pretty high.

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      I agree, and I’m dreading our city streets when all the local Musk-stan tech bros replace their Model Ss and 3s with these. It’ll be temporary, as they quickly figure out all the places in this city where a full-size truck can’t park, but it’ll be annoying.

    • 0 avatar
      Tim Healey

      I am getting eviscerated on Twitter for this take, but you guys in the B and B either seem to agree, or at least seem to find it reasonable. There may be a disconnect between the hardcore Tesla fans and those who actually follow the industry.

      • 0 avatar
        285exp

        Is it going to be a failure? I think they’ll sell enough of them to keep from calling it a bust, but if it was supposed to dominate the EV market for pickups, then I think it’ll be safe to say it will fail to do that. It’ll be a great truck for people who want to be seen, and there’ll be a bunch of people who want to make sure you know it’s an EV.

  • avatar
    SD 328I

    I’m not sure if we can even talk about it being a flop since it’s essentially one level up from vaporware, at the moment at least.

    Right now, there is only one prototype of the Cybertruck, one!

    Until they build more than one and have began actually real world testing, I don’t even want to really think about this truck.

    • 0 avatar
      JMII

      Agree… all we know currently for sure is the smash proof windows don’t work as expected ;)

    • 0 avatar
      Novatecho

      To be fair, the Cybertruck is closer to mass production than any other competitor electric truck except for the Rivian R1T, which will be produced in much lower numbers. Initial delivers of Cybertruck will start this year (if everything stays on track) when the Texas Gigafactory comes online. The ramp up will be 2022. I feel pretty confident you’ll see Cybertrucks far sooner than any of these other alternatives.

      • 0 avatar
        SD 328I

        How it is closer to mass production, other than Elon’s tweets? When you only literally have one truck for the whole World currently. They literally fly the one they have from California to Texas and back again.

        How about road testing, which Ford did with their F150 Lighting for two years already?

        They are just going to start producing trucks at the end of the year with near zero testing?

        I honestly don’t understand Tesla’s timeline with currently one truck in existence, but full production in the next few months?

  • avatar
    jmo

    Personally, I don’t think your treatment of Tesla comes across as fair. I attribute that to the distinct sense of Luddism that I get from the editorial tone of TTAC. Everything new thing is terrible.

    Just an observation from a loyal reader.

    • 0 avatar
      ajla

      “Everything new thing is terrible”

      But most of us like the Lightning.

      • 0 avatar
        ajla

        Most of us also liked the Maverick and Santa Cruz. IMO, the Hyundai pulls off the “Blade Runner Truck” idea much better than what Tesla came up with.

      • 0 avatar
        96redse5sp

        “But most of us like the Lightning..”

        Yeah, because it looks just like every other pickup truck that’s produced for the last 60 years. That’s the point. Most pickup owners are very conservative. They’re followers. They’re sheep who want things because other people want them. They’re not interested in good design. They’re not interested in originality. There’s comfort and security in numbers. That’s not Tesla’s market. Sheep need not apply.

        • 0 avatar
          ajla

          “That’s the point.”

          If the point of the Cybertruck is to be a styling exercise then that’s a pretty weak point.

          “They’re not interested in originality.”

          So for the Tesla fans an F-150 that doesn’t use any fossil fuel engine somehow lacks originality or newness?

          There’s also a weird implication in your comment that people would accept BEV vehicles if they don’t look like they came out a sci-fi film but that is bad for some reason because I guess BEV adoption isn’t the goal, avant-garde styling is.

          “Sheep need not apply.”
          Baaaaaaaa

    • 0 avatar
      Mike A

      I think you are wrong. EVs from reputable manufacturers and ones actually appearing in real life get a fair press. Whereas vapor ware like this truck, the Semi and Roadster get rightfully scorned.

      • 0 avatar
        Art Vandelay

        Bit harsh to say Tesla isn’t a reputable EV manufacturer. They sell more than anyone else. They typically do miss the dates the initially announce, but they also typically do get the product to market. As they have invested the capitral in building a plant to produce the CyberTruck and seemingly the edquipment to put in that plant to make it and all of their other plants do seemingly produce vehicles when they come on line, I have to think Tesla intends to and will produce a truck.

      • 0 avatar
        mcs

        “Whereas vapor ware like this truck,”

        How is it vapor??? For one thing, you have no idea how many prototypes or mules have been built. Another thing is that the factory is being built for both the truck and the steel supplier is building a factory as well. Photographs have been taken of the IDRA machines and there are photos of the massive isolation foundation needed to handle the equipment needed to make it. Plenty of evidence it’s not vaporware.

    • 0 avatar
      Tim Healey

      Can’t speak for others here, but I am far from a Luddite, and plenty excited about a lot of new and upcoming cars, whether ICE, BEV, PHEV, or hybrid.

      • 0 avatar
        jmo

        Tim,

        It doesn’t come across that way. TTAC seems to go for negativity and snark. If you’re really enthusiastic about some new high tech thing I’d love to hear about it. And in glowing terms.

        • 0 avatar
          Nick_515

          jmo, I’ve done some reading about the history of 20th century consumer culture (for academic purposes), and one thing that I found really interesting is the discovery that as much as “new” is a powerful motivator for the consumers, they still want it blended into an ultimately recognizable and familiar form – hence the often accompanying
          improved.” I hear Tim saying Model S and 3 may have managed that blend well – i.e. new and different “enough” – but the truck may be unable to do so, and is hence likely to flop.

          That does not necessarily mean bias, negativity, and snark.

          • 0 avatar
            Novatecho

            There are plenty of things about the Cybertruck that would warrant the “improved” label. The integrated motorized bed cover, the independently steerable wheels, the bulletproof and rust-proof armored exoskeleton instead of a bed-on-frame design, etc. Just the fact that it is an electric vehicle would justify “improved” versus traditional vehicles in many respects.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            @Nick_515 – You are correct that consumers want a “recognizable and familiar form”. Humans have basic hardwired primitive survival mechanisms. One happens to be the ability to quickly find the familiar. An “odd” vehicle like the cybertruck is not familiar. Ford has the best shot at success since the Lightning isn’t all that different than any other F50.

      • 0 avatar
        Art Vandelay

        Yeah I’d be excited too about all the new tech…especially if I could get Uncle Sugar to put a nice pile of other folks’ cash on the hood for me as Mr. Healey advocates!

      • 0 avatar
        Archie1919

        Tim,

        What you are failing to realize is the 3rd party charging the “big boys” hope to use is complete garbage. It is no where near acceptable. You just won’t realize it till you drive an EV full time. You, like everyone else who “follows the industry” are completely missing the most obvious problem the f150, rivian and other competitors will have.

      • 0 avatar
        wolfwagen

        “Can’t speak for others here, but I am far from a Luddite, and plenty excited about a lot of new and upcoming cars, whether ICE, BEV, PHEV, or hybrid.”

        Funny it seems that just the other day you were advocating for the demise of the ICE and the push to EV’s?

    • 0 avatar
      Art Vandelay

      @JMO, I agree. His treatment is totally unfair. Let’s say Ford, GM or Stelantis missed on sale dates by matters of years and had the quality issues Tesla has had. We know we’d read all about it in multiple articles with hundreds of comments. We know because that’s what usually happens. And rightfully so.

      That doesn’t really happen with some.of the glaring Tesla issues.

      So yeah, I won’t go as far as to say unfair, but certainly their vehicles are held to a far lower standard.

  • avatar
    jack4x

    I actually think all the startup EV trucks that actually make it to market will fail, as well as the Cybertruck.

    And really, it has nothing to do with being EVs.

    Toyota and Nissan, two of the largest and (over the long term) most successful automakers in history, spent decades and billions of dollars trying to crack the code for selling full size pickups to Americans. They built new American factories. They built in many ways, objectively superior vehicles, Toyota especially. They marketed to Americans aggressively. They competed on price too. They had die-hard fans of their other models, just as Tesla does now. Today, after close to 20 years, the Titan and Tundra are afterthoughts.

    What kind of hubris would some place like Rivian or even Tesla have to have to believe they could do better? Their only chance was to beat the big boys to market, and they didn’t.

    • 0 avatar
      JMII

      This +1. The Lighting and the Hummer will sell because there are built by truck people from truck companies. Telsa stole market share from Audi, BMW and Benz. Telsa fans don’t want a truck. However I can see some SUV customers switching over but real truck buyers want nothing to do with this space ship concept. For reference exhibit A the Honda Ridgeline, a truck-like thing that F150 drivers laugh at.

    • 0 avatar
      DenverMike

      It’s not the trucks, loyalty or anything of the sort. It’s the way the big boys market them. OK it’s the trucks a little but Toyota and Nissan can’t or won’t compete on trim levels, packages, engines, axles, etc, and basic “ala carte” ordering (from dealers themselves too), stacked deep with discounting up to 25%.

      Never mind catering to fleets. Nope they insist on selling them no different than Camrys and Maximas. I can’t picture Tesla doing anything different.

      • 0 avatar
        dal20402

        This is a great point. Tesla in recent years has reduced build combinations to the point where it really feels like every car is exactly the same, well beyond what we’re accustomed to from the likes of Toyota. The way they’ve been selling is diametrically opposite from how the Big 3 (especially Ford and Ram) sell trucks.

        • 0 avatar
          Novatecho

          This is a good observation and definitely applicable to Cybertruck. It will be the most cookie-cutter of any of Tesla’s offerings so far. For example, they will all be stainless steel.

          I think that’s going to help them take the market though because that decision will allow them to make vehicles that are dramatically cheaper than the competition. If you can beat the competition not just in performance, but also in price, what is left? Who would pay substantially more for an inferior product for the sake of “trim level” and customizations? I know I wouldn’t.

          • 0 avatar
            dal20402

            It’s not “trim levels” with pickups (well, it is, but that’s not the main thing). There are lots of functional features that are super-important to specific buyers: shorter or taller axle ratios, various combinations of cab and bed lengths, drive-system hardware, bed and tailgate options, and so forth. Toyota and Nissan don’t match all of those and I see no reason to think Tesla will either. Like Toyota and Nissan, they’re aiming at the center of the market, but in the pickup world the edges are pretty wide.

        • 0 avatar
          Scoutdude

          It is important to note that the EV-150 will only be available as a crew cab 5.5′ bed, at least initially. The chose that configuration adn are giving them all dual motors since the best selling F-150 is the crew cab 5.5′ 4×4.

          Once capacity is up they can quickly add some other configurations with a new frame since they are using the same bed and cab as the ICE trucks.

    • 0 avatar
      DungBeetle62

      Combine that with asking for an aesthetic leap the size of the Grand Canyon from a notoriously conservative buyer base and you’ve hit the bulls-eye.

      Dodge / Ram wiggled its way into improved market share by making their offering look MORE trucky, not less.

    • 0 avatar
      SoCalMikester

      tundras are super popular in southern california, as well as just about everything toyota. been seeing a lot of the new sienna and the rav4 hybrid as well

      titans/NV vans? nobody wants that crap

  • avatar
    Art Vandelay

    It’ll sell to people who would otherwise buy a Jeep or Bronco and the hardcore fans. I don’t know what Tesla’s expectations are, but that is probably enough to sustain the model. It won’t sell in D-3 truck numbers but nothing really does. This model is no different.

  • avatar
    KOKing

    Define ‘flop’. It’s a expectations/reality thing. I think relative to the hype train, it will be a flop. I doubt it’ll sell 1M units in its entire run, let alone actually filling that many reservations. It’s not gonna be a ‘work truck’, but that’s likely the case for the other EV trucks, at least for now, and outside of certain fleets. It’ll be a fanboi/statement piece, and I think from that perspective, it’ll be a success. It’s not like Tesla has to make money on it or anything.

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      “It’s not like Tesla has to make money on it or anything.”

      I assume you’re joking. That’s an expensive plant in Austin they need to pay for with Cybertruck revenue.

      • 0 avatar
        DenverMike

        It’s doubtful. Even the normal players don’t turn a profit until deep into the run, especially when the vehicle has the (new) platform to itself, never mind the assembly plant (outlay).

        At best it’s a niche within a niche.

    • 0 avatar
      jdvegas87

      “Define flop” is a great point. What numbers would determine a flop or not? Some of us were car buyers back in the late 90’s when the Hummer H1 became available for retail buyers. The sales numbers of the Hummer series showed promise, and then started to die off, until GMC eventually discontinued the model (https://www.goodcarbadcar.net/hummer-sales-figures-usa-canada/). There are a number of factors that could determine if the CT will be a success or flop – it would be helpful to know what numbers Telsa are planning which may help determine flop or not.

  • avatar
    Imagefont

    Are you sure they’re going to build this “truck”? Because I’m quite certain that it’s unbuildable as presented. It will have to be radically different that the prototype presented, and far more expensive. And are they going to meet the quoted price of, what, $40k? Isn’t that what all the $100 refundable deposits are predicated on? This truck, which costs the same as a base model 3, is somehow far more capable with equivalent range? Do you actually believe that?
    Have you considered the advantages of owning your own bridge???

    • 0 avatar
      jmo

      ” This truck, which costs the same as a base model 3, is somehow far more capable with equivalent range?”

      When the 3 was introduced in 2016 lithium ion batteries were $295 a kilowatt hour. In 2020 they were $137 a kilowatt hour.

      • 0 avatar
        dal20402

        I think they’re going to have to get to $50/kWh manufacturing cost to make the stated Cybertruck prices possible.

        I also think no Cybertruck will go for those prices in the first couple years. They’ll start manufacturing with the three-motor version and then do the two-motor version, and they’ll probably require FSD and other options (fancy stereo? premium interior?) on early builds. If you want the single-motor version you’ll have to wait at least a couple years, during which Elon hopes he can make battery costs drop further.

        • 0 avatar
          Novatecho

          If there really are a million pre-orders (more even) and even less than half actually convert into real purchases (is that a good ratio? What’s the historical data on that?), it will take years just to fulfill the backlog. If you wanted to buy a Cybertruck and you get your name on the list now, you likely won’t see it for 3 or 4 years just because of all the people ahead of you in line. Although it depends on how fast they can ramp production in Texas. They’ve been battery constrained in the past, but they will be more than doubling their battery supply next year and probably adding to that in follow on years. So perhaps they can get the build rate up to close out that backlog sooner.

          • 0 avatar
            dal20402

            I think it’ll go just like the Model 3 rollout did. People who are willing to pony up for loaded 3-motor trucks will see their reservations fulfilled pretty quickly. After that, it will be a slow trickle through the rest of the backlog, while people without reservations who want to order the loaded truck for immediate delivery will be able to do so despite the backlog.

    • 0 avatar
      mcs

      “Have you considered the advantages of owning your own bridge???”

      Maybe you should google “Manny Moroun”. seems to have worked out for him just fine.

      “Because I’m quite certain that it’s unbuildable as presented.”
      You’re not a manufacturing expert. Actual outside manufacturing engineers have praised the design.

      https://www.sae.org/news/2020/06/tesla-cybertruck-stainless-steel

    • 0 avatar
      Scoutdude

      It seems like there are a lot of speculators out there on the Cyber truck. Some Tesla fans seem to think that they will be able to sell their place in the line for a significant profit so they plunked down for 2 or 3. I mean what the heck you won’t earn much on a $100 in 2-4 years.

    • 0 avatar
      aja8888

      Wait until Tesla sees what the stainless steel prices are going to be for this slug. Steel and other commodities are priced through the roof right now and will be for quite a while. And from the looks of this slug, it will need a lot of very expensive steel and special fabrication techniques. Working with stainless and other dissimilar metals is not like working with cold rolled carbon steel.

  • avatar
    70Cougar

    TTAC has predicted that Tesla as a business would be a flop and that each new model would be a flop. Now you’re predicting its first flop?

    • 0 avatar
      Roader

      “TTAC has predicted that Tesla as a business would be a flop and that each new model would be a flop.”

      The jury’s still out. I hope Tesla is wildly successful but their long-term prospects are uncertain.

  • avatar
    ToolGuy

    “Detroit Three” – is this 1971?

    • 0 avatar
      APaGttH

      Ya, it’s the Detroit 2 at this point and barely at that. You could build a serious argument that China is more important for GM than the US at this point.

  • avatar
    ecchris01

    Everyone is entitled to an opinion. All I can say is that I would have never bought a truck, let alone one from the Big 3.
    Have 2 CBTR on order and I WILL get them :)
    Where do I start? All American? Electric? Bulletproof? Ding proof? Clearance? Tow capacity? Acceleration? Price? Charging Network? Brand? Safety profile? Autopilot?….. Couldn’t care less what it looks like if they can deliver on those – and Tesla has always delivered…even if it took a few years of waiting.

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    I’m not betting against Tesla anymore.

    It defies logic.

    My soul tells me this is styled like a stainless steel Aztek but I’m just not going to bet against the Teslarati at this point.

  • avatar
    UltimaRex


    Well, you did it, you got my attention.

    You want the truth about cars? Fine. Here it is.

    The Cybertruck is the best vehicle on four wheels. Out and out, you can’t buy better. No “opinion” or bias. Just FACTS. And the fact is the tri motor CT dominates the very metrics used to judge cars.

    Performance: 0-60 in 2.9s, adaptive air suspension, all wheel steering.

    Utility: 6.5 lockable bed with 3500 lbs payload, 14,000 towing, 500 mile range, seats 6.

    Cost: $70k, no gas/cheaper electric, minimal maintenance which leads to…

    Reliability: next gen batteries, near no maintenance electric motors and the final nail in the coffin of this issue.

    30X stainless steel exoskeleton.

    Yes, it’s the reason the CT looks different. Yes, it’s the reason the CT will beat everything else on the road. When the CT was unveiled people talked about the F-150 buyer who got another F-150 every 5 years.

    The CT buyer will buy one CT. ONCE. Their future kids will inherit them.

    Sledgehammers and bullets barely scratch it. It won’t rust. No paint to scratch or even fade. Every high performance, high utility, highest bang-for-buck component in a near impenetrable shell made from metal designed for reusable spacecraft. I predict (and this is the first and only prediction in this entire rant) that when we finally get down to the last 10 remaining cars from the 21/22 model year 8 of them will be Cybertrucks.

    And, true to form, you complain about it.

    Well then, you want the truth? Post a car, truck, ANYTHING on four wheels that beats the tri motor CT on three of the four metrics.

    Performance.
    Utility.
    Cost.
    Reliability.

    No smarts, no snark. A. Car.

    • 0 avatar

      This is quite a scrawl here.

      “The Cybertruck is the best vehicle on four wheels.”

      It’s not in production, this claim is invalid.

      “Out and out, you can’t buy better. No “opinion” or bias. Just FACTS.”

      There are no facts until the car is in production. As-is, it’s a prototype which is not for sale.

      “And the fact is the tri motor CT dominates the very metrics used to judge cars.”

      The motor is not on sale and neither is the truck, so it therefore cannot dominate anything as it does not exist.

      • 0 avatar
        rocwurst

        But the Cybertruck can and does dominate all other similarly soon-to-be-released electric utility trucks in specs and features.

        In addition, Tesla has a history of delivering production vehicles that match and surpass their prototype vehicles and pride themselves on their Concept cars being what is actually delivered to customers – unlike pretty much every other manufacturer.

        Yes UltimaRex was a bit flowery in his comment, but he’s right about no current or announced truck matching the specs of the upcoming Cybertruck.

      • 0 avatar
        UltimaRex

        That’s a whole load of not posting a car.

        • 0 avatar

          Shall I mock up a sales poster for my LewisCo LLC TyberTruk that has 3x the capabilities of the Tesla and is half the price?

          Can’t post a competitor for something that doesn’t exist. When it is *in production* with the *specs as indicated* then it’s time to celebrate and talk how it bests competitors.

          You haven’t posted a car either.

          • 0 avatar
            UltimaRex

            If you can roll your BS on stage and smack it’s door with a sledgehammer, fine.

            Cybertruck exists. And it’s the best vehicle on four wheels.

            Post a real car or GTFO. Not interested in whataboutism BS.

  • avatar
    280zfan

    I truly don’t understand your position. You could argue that it looks odd, but I assume truck people care about specs. It CRUSHES the offerings from Rivian and Ford on every benchmark while costing significantly less than any of them. Just on that basis alone it ought to win out. Then you have reliability. Tesla has 10 years of experience churning out quality EVs. Rivian and Ford have a combined total of zero years. Maybe in a decade they’ll make an EV truck someone would risk 6 figures on, but at this point that’d be a huge gamble until they have some sort of track record.

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    This is the first Tesla product that will actually have some real competition right out of the gate. It’ll be interesting to see how this goes.

  • avatar
    Mackie

    I’d feel like a dork driving that thing.

  • avatar

    Tesla CT will replace Humvee. I can imagine the profit margins Tesla will have on each one. Why do I think so? US army goes green and everything Tesla makes is much more innovative and advanced than the rest of the market.

  • avatar
    indi500fan

    You can pretty much predict the story here.
    Production hell in TX for the first year.
    Another tsunami of Tesla design/quality problems overwhelming their small US service footprint.
    Boom year for the guys who tow these in with Ford diesel rollbacks.

    • 0 avatar
      mcs

      I don’t think it will take Texas a year to clean up the problems. I’m guessing just a couple of months. It’s a well designed new plant and they’ve learned from Fremont and Shanghai. The other wrinkle is that They’re already starting production in some areas. There were photos of freshly produced Model Y castings coming out of the Idra machines before the walls were even on that part of the plant. They also got rid of the people responsible for the startup mess of the Model 3 and have redesigned problem areas like the rear casting. I’ve been through a new auto assembly plant build and startup before, so I have a feel for what it’s like. I was there mostly to study it and the startup, so I spent a lot of time observing what was going on. I also have family members that have gone through new plant startups. I’ve even had a chance to crawl around Fremont in its GMAD days when it was shut down for some reason.

      • 0 avatar
        indi500fan

        Castings? I thought the truck was a formed stainless steel unibody?

        • 0 avatar
          Scoutdude

          For some reason the idiot Sandy Munro called a number of the sheet metal parts in the Model 3 castings when they were stampings. All of a sudden calling a stamping a casting is the norm/acceptable.

          Two processes that are only related in the fact that they can be used to make parts out of metals.

          • 0 avatar
            ToolGuy

            With the Model Y, Tesla is using die casting in place of stamping. Big reduction in part count.

            https://electrek.co/2021/01/11/tesla-starts-production-model-y-massive-single-piece-rear-casting/

            Casting as in molten metal.

            https://youtu.be/kzXYZngXGyE

            Tesla knows the difference (and so does Sandy Munro).

          • 0 avatar
            Scoutdude

            Go watch Sandy’s videos and you’ll see many occasions where he refers to stampings as castings.

        • 0 avatar
          SoCalMikester

          suspensions use lots of castings

        • 0 avatar
          mcs

          “Castings? I thought the truck was a formed stainless steel unibody?”

          It’s not a unibody. Stainless steel exoskeleton for the upper part. Large castings for the skateboard under part. They’re using an 8,000 ton die casting machine. Instead of body on frame, it’s an exoskeleton/frame on skateboard design.

          https://insideevs.com/news/487355/tesla-cybertrucks-structure-unique-sandy-munro/

  • avatar
    MoDo

    The reservations mean nothing. For $100 some clown can screen shot his “order” and brag about it on social media even though he has no intentions of actually buying one. Those make up a very large portion of the reservations.

    • 0 avatar
      rocwurst

      To think someone would imagine a million people would kick in $100 each for something that they can’t even show off. The point of a “look at me” exercise is to have something physical to wave around. Not sure how you figure that an online booking qualifies?

      If you’re going to lie about actually buying the Cybertruck in the end, why not lie about placing the online pre-order and save yourself the $100?

  • avatar
    algru

    “We report critically on Tesla a lot around here, as we should — our job as journalists is to tell the truth and not cheerlead for any one company. This sometimes pisses off the Tesla stans, but it’s how the press is supposed to operate, and Telsa does plenty of things that deserve critical reporting.”

    So, where is your report on Ford Mach-E failed design stranding owners in the middle of nowhere like the case of 6 Mach-Es locking its wheels and dying going downhill in Norway along the same road within 2 weeks?

    And, by the way, your piece is NOT a report, but an opinion about the appeal, or lack thereof, of the Cybertruck to you personally.

  • avatar
    rocwurst

    Tim, I think you give too little credit to the specs and value proposition that the Cybertruck represents and the potential appetite for change in the “looks” department.

    Yes, I hated the looks at first but it grew on me and now I absolutely love the minimalist Lamborghini/BladeRunner/Armoured Personnel Carrier aesthetic and judging by the amount of pre-order interest, it’s pretty apparent I’m not alone.

    Truck owners are notoriously spec-driven and the Cybertruck completely thrashes its competitors in price, load, towing, ground clearance, acceleration, power, torque, approach and departure angles, secure storage, toughness, etc etc.

    Features that every Truck owner would salivate over include:

    – 3mm bullet-proof, dent-proof, scratch-proof, rust-proof hardened stainless steel body
    – height-adjustable air suspension (“kneels” to assist loading)
    – Extremely high 16” ground clearance
    – “Baja-class” suspension(!)
    – built-in ramp
    – built-in air compressor
    – 110/240v power supply for power tools
    – flat, sealed armoured bottom
    – Partial Amphibious capability with water propulsion via wheel spin
    – best-in-class approach and departure angles
    – multiple secure storage locations – Frunk, Side Wings, below bed and the “Vault” (100 cubic feet)
    – automatic secure, rolling tonneau cover
    – Massive 33” Wheels
    – automatic 8-camera Security recordings and Dashcam
    – Auto-Pilot and Full Self Driving (eventually)
    – low cost (starting at $39K)
    – very low service and maintenance costs (no service intervals required for recent Teslas at all)
    – Built-in Solar panel on rear vault cover generating up to 15 miles of range per day (optional)
    – 14,000 lbs (6.3 tons) towing capacity
    – 3,500 lb (1.6 ton) payload capacity
    – 6.5ft (2m) bed length
    – 0-60 mph in <2.9 secs (Tri-motor verson)
    – Up to 800 horsepower (597 kiloWatts) and 1,000 pound-feet (1,356 Nm) of torque (Plaid model)
    – All-wheel steering standard
    – low drag coefficient compared to traditional boxy truck designs

    With 500 (620 rumoured) miles (800-1,000kms) of range for the tri motor Cybertruck, even assuming a loss of 30% when towing a large load, we are still talking fantastic range.

    And the no-frilly-plastic-bits, Zombie/Apocalypse aesthetic is perfect for blokes who don’t want to drive around in your average dent-if-you-lean-on-it conventional truck.

    • 0 avatar
      jack4x

      “I think you give too little credit to the specs and value proposition that the Cybertruck represents”

      Does Tesla have a good track record of delivering the specs and value they promise years in advance?

      I’m still waiting for a $35K Model 3, a 500 mile range Model S, a robo-taxi, a Semi, full self-driving worthy of the name, etc.

      Let’s see what the production Cybertruck offers, if and when it appears, before listing a bunch of items that “every truck owner would salivate over”

      • 0 avatar
        rocwurst

        Actually, Tesla has been adding rather than subtracting features to the Cybertruck beyond what was originally promised with 4 wheel steer, “Baja-like” suspension upgrades, auto-opening doors.

        Do you really believe Tesla won’t deliver on the vast majority of the features promised with the Cybertruck such as the scratch-proof, dent-proof, rust-proof stainless steel exoskeleton body or the built-in air compressor, 110-220v power, massive 16” ground clearance, automatic retracting Vault cover etc etc? They’d have a revolt on their hands from those 1 million per-order owners if they didn’t deliver.

        Sure they sometimes take longer to deliver on some promises, but they also overdeliver in many instances such as the Model Y being released 6-9 months earlier than promised, continual new features and performance upgrades beyond what were originally promised delivered over-the-air, industry-leading heat pump and Octovalve architecture providing far more efficient heating and cooling than available in earlier cars, etc.

        And heck, yes, they did actually have the $35k Model 3 available for a while, but with them still unable to sate the massive demand for the car globally, it’s not surprising that model remains a lower priority. With the Semi, you just need a little patience – it is very obviously still coming.

  • avatar
    ToolGuy

    In 2019 while Hyundai was feeding Tim Healey at Spago in Beverly Hills [for a writeup which generated 5 comments], Kia was busy launching the Telluride.

    The typical legacy OEM is 15-20 years behind the general technology curve. The typical automotive journalist gets 92.875% of their information from the typical legacy OEM. 84% of this information relates to new or refreshed models and therefore lags the OEM by 6-36 months.

    So if you want a good read on future technology and related product viability, a restaurant table of partially-inebriated automotive journalists playing who’s-the-smartest is a generally terrible place to look.

  • avatar
    Luke42

    I don’t care if it’s a flop or not, I’m likely to buy a Cybertruck.

    I have the means: My buying power is increasing as Tesla prices are decreasing, and the intersection is likely to happen right about the time the Cybertruck hits the market.

    I have the motive: I have a travel trailer I need to tow, and a family to haul. The kids are now big enough that a minivan is not strictly required — so the compact interior space isn’t a showstopper. I also dislike the sound and fury of V8 engines (despite owning one now), and I’ve absolutely loved every EV I’ve ever driven.

    I have the opportunity: Or, rather, I will as soon as this truck hits the market.

    I don’t really care if the Cybertruck is a flop or not, I’m eager to buy one. The stainless steel body should last until I retire (I’m in my 40s), and the rumors that Tesla is attempting to make a million-mile battery sweeten that deal (even if they only get 1/4th of the way there).

    I’m all in.

    HOWEVER, the Cybertruck just isn’t as flexible as a regular pickup truck — and most of the pickup truck aftermarket components that pickup truck owners use to customize the truck to their purposes won’t work on the Cybertruck. That’s a bigger problem than most of the Tesla fans realize, because a lot of them haven’t lived in pickup truck culture. This thing is a Chevy Avalanche, with better MPG and a better tow rating. The Cybertruck is more of a niche vehicle than most pickup trucks.

    I expect to see a lot of vehicles on the Cybertruck platform in a variety of sizes and shapes before too long. A CyberTahoe and a CyberAstroVan seem like natural extensions of the platform. The only way Tesla will be able to compete with GM’s GMT 900/K2XX cash-cow-platform (a good idea!) is to make a wider variety of shapes and sizes than the GMT, because each Cyber-platform model will be less flexible than the GMT equivalent. I wouldn’t be surprised to see some additional Cyber-derived vehicles as a “just one more thing” during the next Tesla media event.

    Will all y’all still consider it a flop if the Cyber-platform sells 5-different semi-niche vehicles, all of which all find enthusiastic buyers?

    • 0 avatar
      Dorzak

      I was thinking the same thing. It is basically an avalanche. Many of the truck accessories like contractor racks, or anything that gets loaded from the side is affected.

      I saw a member recently “This is a truck” with the typical trucks shown, and this is a SUV with a birth defect showing the Honda truck which also looks like a smaller Avalanche.

  • avatar
    EBFlex

    Tesla’s first flop was the Roadster. Followed by every subsequent model.

    This CyberPuke will not be a failure however because it will not see the light of day. It’s vapor ware.

  • avatar
    Roader

    There will considerable demand from corporations anxious to display their eco-virtue, at least initially. Power companies looking to burnish their green bona fides and, hopefully, sell more electricity. Others that need to keep the greens buying their product, people who will never own a pickup truck (or maybe not a motor vehicle at all). Nothing wrong with that. It’s just smart marketing.

  • avatar
    frankfan42

    You could well be right, the striking looks might not spell sales for the folks who buy based on “Image.” Let’s be honest, most people buy based on what they WANT not what they NEED. That said Tesla offers some pretty compelling reasons to consider their truck, starting with the rust resistant stainless stell construction. Some of us actually KEEP our vehicles until they rust through, which is not much over 12-15 years here in OH. Then there is the fact that Tesla has a huge head start over OEMs not with producing trucks, but cars that people actually buy. And more critically, that has allowed them to develop a charging infrastructure second to none in the USA. The charging infrastructure is a HUGE win for Tesla no matter how you look at it. The inevitable teething troubles from the beginning of the supercharger network are largely worked out now from what I hear from Tesla owners. (I don’t own one) Plus price is a huge incentive, if Tesla can stick to their pricing model I think many will be tempted. Remember, a LOT of people who have bought Tesla cars might find the truck and inevitable SUV spinoff, pretty attractive. Finally the looks. Well it is polarizing, and electric vehicles don’t NEED to resemble their ICE counterparts. The first automobiles were truly styled to look like “Horseless carriages” because of a lot of reasons, but they didn’t stay that way did they? The appearance of the Cybertruck is largely the result of the construction methods, which from what I have read ARE inspired by hotwheels diecasting methods. The proof will be what consumers perceive as vallue to them. This will drive sales more than prognostications and is why Ford has huge hits with the Bronco and quite possibly the coming compact truck, Maverick. Just my two cents, I could be wrong, but we’ll see in a few years.

Read all comments

Back to TopLeave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Recent Comments

  • ABC-2000: James May’s Cars of the People, season 2 Ep1 about 24 min in, the real reason why american cars fail...
  • Kendahl: I’m thinking about replacing my 14-year-old Infiniti G37S coupe with a Tesla long range Model 3. One...
  • Socrates77: Better health care in europe. Americans are fat and unhealthy.
  • Socrates77: No wonder GM is falling behind, ford beat them on the aluminum f150, now ford has the electric f150...
  • Art Vandelay: “to military support for producers and transport.” The last 4 large scale exercises I have...

New Car Research

Get a Free Dealer Quote

Who We Are

  • Adam Tonge
  • Bozi Tatarevic
  • Corey Lewis
  • Mark Baruth
  • Ronnie Schreiber